Friday, January 8, 2016

My Favorite Images of 2015

I am extraordinarily blessed to LOVE what I do for a living. 2015 was such a great, full year for me. It was a growing year and a year of trying new styles and techniques and getting out of my comfort zone a little. But it was a fun year.

This list simultaneously is my favorite and my most hated post of the year. I love going back through the year and reliving so many great memories with so many amazing people. But I have the absolute WORST time narrowing down this list to the top 10 images. The first cut was more than 30 images and I slowly, gradually, methodically whittled the list down to these.

I still didn't get it down to ten. It killed me to have to cut so many photos that I absolutely love.

So here they are, along with a brief note about each. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did creating and sharing them!

Thank you so much for allowing me to do what I do. Here's to a great 2016...

It just doesn't get much cuter than this shot of these sisters hugging and playing. I love this shot.

In October I had the opportunity to hike around Big Bend with one of my favorite landscape photographers, Laurence Parent. The week before, hurricane Patricia has come through and dropped a lot of rain on the park, which led to the sagebrush and ocotillo plants being in bloom while we were there. This a part of the Chisos Mountains with sagebrush in bloom in the foreground.

I had a lot of fun doing more real estate photography in 2015. This shot is one of my favorites. It's a rustic fire pit outside a log barn that was built in the 1800s in upstate New York and moved to Texas.

Photographing seniors is so much fun - there's such a feeling of capturing their energy and potential in the frame. I had the great opportunity to photograph Adam this spring. Adam is a very talented musician and just a great guy. He didn't need a lot of direction - I just basically put him in a field and said "okay - be yourself."

This summer my family and I traveled with some friends to the Frio River in Central Texas. While we were there we went to a bat cave where we got to watch 10 million bats (the second largest population in the world) leave the cave in search of food. It was an experience I'll never forget. I love the moodiness of this shot and the bat shapes silhouetted against the sky.

One of the many weddings I photographed this year was of Adrienne and Rodney. This shot was form their engagement session in the spring. I love the intimate setting in the grove of trees, but more than anything, I love that he's whispering to her and the look on her face. They were so great to get to know this year!

This image was shot in April outside of Austin. The sun was setting behind the mesquite trees, giving the leaves the appearance of glowing. Add to that one of the best fields of bluebonnets I saw this year and you have a shot that screams "Texas!"

One of the seniors I photographed this year was Blake, a baseball player who plans on playing at the University of Texas.  You can just feel his potential in this image.

This summer on vacation I travelled to the panhandle and Palo Duro Canyon - the second largest canyon in the United States. It was a gorgeous, sunny day with beautiful puffy John Ford clouds. I love the contrast of the browns, reds and greens agains the light blue sky in this shot.

I was in Abilene this spring when a series of heavy storms and tornadoes rolled through the area. This is an interesting shot of the moon and a storm front approaching with some great clouds and lightning.
This image from Big Bend shows the Rio Grande winding through a wooded canyon as the full moon rises above the Sierra del Carmen mountains/

The Davies were one of many families I had the great pleasure of photographing this year. They are great people and I love the perspective of this shot.

Photographing these boys took a bit of coercion. One of them didn't want to have his photo taken, but a bribe went a long way. What we ended up getting out of this mini-session were some of my favorite kid portraits of the year. 

Lauren was such a beautiful bride. She wanted her bridal portraits to be elegant, but rain made us cancel at our original location. So we moved inside to the Ant Street Inn in Brenham and captured some gorgeous light in an elegant setting.

One of my favorite projects this year was the Step Into the Past film series for Main Street Brenham. This is a photo of "Trailboss" Troy Arndt portraying Texas hero "Bigfoot Wallace." The light on that August evening was just perfect.

This year was also sadly moving as a friend and client lost his battle to PTSD. I was asked by his family to photograph his homecoming as his casket arrived and was removed from the plane on the tarmac at Hobby Airport in Houston. This was one of the only times I've ever cried while shooting photos.

I stopped in Albany, Texas in the spring to photograph the courthouse and happened to see this old restored Sinclair station behind me in the shadows. So I light painted it.

Adrienne and Rodney were married in a gorgeous outdoor ceremony at the Royalty Pecan Plantation in Caldwell. Following the ceremony, we ventured into the  plantation grounds for some portraits. I just love how joyful they are here as newlyweds of less than an hour.

This summer I ventured into the middle of the Frio River to get this shot of crystal clear running water at sunset. Yes- there are places like this in Texas!

This family's session yielded some great photos, but my favorite was this whimsical shot of a little Texas girl turning cartwheels in the middle of a field. 

I had a lot of fun getting to know this great couple this year. Lauren and Tyler were married in the fall, but earlier in the spring we shot their engagement portraits in and around the campus of Texas A&M, where the met. This is my favorite shot from that session. You can just feel the love.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing job James. You are truly a gifted photographer..... not just in the fact that your pictures are beautiful, but the fact that each picture has a purpose and story that you truly invest in and can relate too. Keep up the awesomeness!