Every year I look back through my images and try to wrap everything up in a nice little package mentally. This year has been very different photographically for me. A blog normally heavy on landscapes has transformed over the year. It now includes a lot of portrait work too! And that’s not a bad thing as I sit here and review 2011.
This year it’s not a top 10 or top 20 images. Instead I just cruised through my 2011 Lightroom Catalog and picked images that jumped out at me, or that were part of my growth as a photographer. So, let’s have a look, shall we? 🙂
Early into 2011 I took a quick road trip along Route 66 with two of my lighting assistants, Elliot and Kassi. The idea? Have a little fun on Route 66, maybe create a couple of edgy images, and work on lighting techniques with the two of them together. 2011 has marked the start of my offering portrait and commercial services. And the trip on Route 66 served to energize the 3 of us about the possibilities of what we could shoot for the year.
Over the past few years if you’ve read along you know I’ve developed a passion for ghost towns, and for the Vulture Mine. Well this year we’ve suffered a loss. A spring trip found the Assay Office crumbling and no longer accessible to the public. It was a wonderful building to photograph in, and losing it bummed me out more than words can describe.
Of course, no year in review on this site would be complete without one or two photos from White Pocket. One of my absolute favorite places to visit in Arizona! It’s changed since I first started visiting, more folks have come to find the place as well. While I continue going, I will start the search for other unique places to visit.
Over the past year I’ve not only spent a good deal of time working on the portrait side of my business, but I’ve also poured months into learning all about composites. And during the learning process I ran around a lot getting backgrounds for composites. I finally shot the above scene after not letting myself for years. See, Ben Wilmore did a great version of this scene, and I never wanted to copy what he did. But with the composite quest in mind I finally decided, “Well, you can put your own spin on this one Rich.”
The composite quest this year has taken many forms. From a family looking for a very unique and personalized image, to high school seniors ready to play anywhere. I’m grateful that clients gave me the leeway to experiment, and to enjoy the experimentation with me!
Let’s not forget the Whiskey Row Off Road as well. Days of photographing cyclists rolling through the back woods of Prescott. I did enjoy myself shooting the event this year, and I’m planning on shooting it again next year!
Of course I haven’t left my love for landscape behind while I’ve been on my learning jag. 2012 we’ll see if we can’t find a better balance of landscapes and portraits.
2011 also found me doing more and more commercial work. And that’s super exciting. Since August I’ve had 6 magazine covers, both locally and or travel magazines as well. 2012 should see a lot more commercial work, and me stepping up the game even further.
And finally, 2011 found me making the Dells photograph that I’ve wanted to since I moved here. Sure over the years I’ve created many images of the Granite Dells, but nothing on the order of the shot above. It’s the photo that took me 4 years to make. And for me the image defines the Granite Dells like no other I’ve ever seen. If you can’t tell, I’m ever so proud of this image. Normally I pick my images apart quickly after shooting them, but this isn’t the case for my “Glow of the Dells.”
So, there you have my own personal year in review. The business is growing like gangbusters and so much is already getting planned this spring. Several weddings, a really cool commercial gig next week, maybe a little travel in February for some landscapes once more, and if I’m lucky a longer road trip this summer.
2011 was a great year for me. Some struggle here and there, but summing the year up I can’t help but be happy. 2012 promises to be an amazing year! Can’t wait to capture moments and share them here again!