It’s that time of the year again – time for me to post my best of year end blog. 2014 was a little different for me than past years. I did less healthcare photography, but way more industrial photography. I wore more steel tipped shoes and safety glasses, and less hospital scrubs and surgery masks. I really enjoyed shooting the manufacturing photography that we did. I got to see many cool and interesting things and made some nice images that my clients loved, but sadly I can’t share many of them due to confidentially and non-disclosure agreements.
One of the most interesting shoots we did was at a manufacturing facility that makes and fills propane tanks. When I say we, I’m referring to myself and my crew: assistants Matt Ludtke and Todd Truttman and my main hair and makeup artist, Jai Schmidt. I’ve worked with these three for the majority of my freelance photography career. We had to use an intrinsically safe and explosion proof camera. When your main directive for a shoot is to not let anything electronic get lower than four feet from the ground, it adds a little excitement.
In 2014, we shot more video than in the past and a couple of those shoots were pretty interesting. On one shoot, we had seven video cameras rolling from different angles as a tanker truck was imploded. On another shoot, we did a stop motion time lapse piece from multiple angles of a mobile bio lab getting prepared for shipment.
As I look through my favorite photos from the past year, I also see that a number of them were shot with my iPhone. As the old saying goes “the best camera you have is the one you have with you”. Not sure I would have dug out my DSLR when I saw that tree frog crawling up our kitchen window early one summer morning while I sipped my coffee, but it turned out to be a fun shot. That’s not the only smart phone photo in this blog. The shot of the maple leaf on the black background I shot as I trotted down my driveway with Chica for a walk on a rainy afternoon.
In 2014, Judy and I completed our first placement as foster parents. As a photographer, one of the rules of foster parenting was a tad difficult for me. You can take pictures of your foster child, but you can’t share them on social media and you sure can’t add them to you stock photography portfolio. It would have been great to share some of those photos on Facebook and Instagram, but it probably meant more to see those images decorating the birth parents’ home. I was able to use one of the shots of our foster son since it was a silhouette. That shot is posted below and it’s a moment I’m very glad I documented. The photo is from Sunset Beach in Fish Creek in Door County, Wisconsin. While most sunset viewers that night kept far away from the chilly waters, our young man pulled up his shorts and waded out in to the shallow waters and just enjoyed the moment. Photos from water adventures are plentiful in this post and the majority of them are from adventures with Judy in Wisconsin, Michigan and our end of the year trip to Key West, Florida.
The year end best of photos is also heavy with sports emotion, both jubilation and anguish. Green Bay Packers games are always great for showing sports emotion, but one of my favorite events to cover is the Wisconsin State Girls Basketball Tournament. The girls aren’t shy about showing their feelings, whether happy or sad.
One of my favorite photos, and the one I will probably remember even after the others have faded from my portfolio, was one of my final shots of the year. The photo is the last shot in the blog and it’s a picture of my parents enjoying a before dinner margarita on our final night of our Christmas adventure to visit them in Florida. I think the photo is a great capture of the two of them together. My dad might think it would be more accurate if he had a brandy and water and my mom was holding a martini.
Thanks for looking!