Whitney and Stephen, from Studio C.
Jonathan Downie, former UofU basketball player, and current med school student, photographed at my studio in Provo.
This is a list of my favorite photographs I took in 2016. They are compiled from the client work I got, in addition to the things I shot on my own.
It's an incomplete list, really. I initially selected more images than shown, here, but narrowed it down to a more blog manageable size. And for any one event, I tried to only include a single image. So calling this post my "favorite images" isn't entirely accurate. It is some of my favorite images.
So, out of the thousands and thousands of pictures I took in 2016, here are 165 in random order, that for me, rose to the top.
(Click any image to view it larger, then click through individually)
There is a lot of variety, here, but I hope you can see some stylistic consistency. I hope a unique point of view and perspective comes through. Thanks for looking through these.
And maybe you'll be in the mix for 2017?
The city of Provo made some commercials with a handful of local business owners as a way to promote the business opportunities in this town. They've been showing on BYUTV, so if you've watched a BYU football game, maybe you've seen one or two.
It's hard to watch myself, but I'm always happy to herald the great things about Provo.
Thanks Cjane, for suggesting they include me.
Founders of Chatbooks, Vanessa and Nate Quigley
I'm so impressed with Vanessa and Nate. They're started a remarkable company and continue to grow it, and I like that, but it's also so nice to just be around them. They are very good at making people around them feel important. And I like that, too.
Oh, and have you seen their hilarious commercial?
For six years I have done these birthday self portraits, inspired by my friend Brett Howell. The idea is that throughout the day I take the same number of self portraits as I am in age. This year: 49. This year, I was visiting my parents in St. George, Utah, so I got some fresh scenery from the previous years' birthday self portraits.
Come with me on a journey of romance and adventure through these 49 self portraits and see how I spent my 49th birthday.
You can also see how things played out when I turned 48.
Some notes about the project -
This is hard. First of all, I have to try and take 49 unique pictures. Obviously, not all of them are home runs. In fact, most are not. I hope at the end of the day I get a couple of really fantastic stand-outs. I think this year there are a couple of those. Also, it takes all day to do this. And then of course, I don't want to repeat what I've done in previous years, and the truth is, that's impossible. And there are some repeats. In fact, I want to do one particular repeat every year. That is, the first picture is me, in bed, at the beginning of the day. I like that as a starting point.
It was nice being in a different town this year, as I had some new environmental elements I could include.
How long will I do this? Beats me. But for now, I'm having a great time doing it. And if nothing else, it's a really pleasant record of my birthday.
Why do this -
Well first of all, why not? It's fun! But beyond that, I'm a big believer that working photographers, professionals, people that make their living creating images for other people, should always be doing work for themselves. (In fact, in a few weeks, Trevor Christenson and I will be speaking at a very cool photography conference, Photo Native, about this very topic.) There is value in doing something just for pleasure. So that's one reason. Another reason, is because trying to make an interesting self portrait 49 times means I have to push myself beyond the obvious, past the cliches, past the pictures I've done before. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I do not. But that act of trying will always translate into making better pictures when I'm hired by a client. So this is fun, but I also see it as a necessary step in trying to be a better photographer than I was last year.
Upward and onward! 2017!
Jimmy Osmond, photographed at his home for the London Sunday Times.
This job was great fun to shoot. Last year, Jimmy was on a cooking show in the UK, so the Sunday Times wanted him pictured with one of his favorite meals. We arrived at his house and were welcomed in by Jimmy who was gracious, friendly, and funny. And after the shoot was over, he even helped me carry my gear out to my car. Now, that's a classy move.
About 8 months ago, Derrick Clemments and Court Mann, a couple of cool guys, a couple of writers from Provo's Daily Herald started a podcast, talking about the city of Provo, it's people, and the arts. I was honored to be their first guest on their very first show. Thanks for having me on, fellows! If you care to listen to the episode, it's below.
Their site is here, if you want to see their full lineup so far.
And here's a fun fact. At the time, Derrick Clements was not married, but got engaged shortly after the interview. And after interviewing me about my process, why I'm a photographer, and how I approach weddings, he hired me to photograph his own wedding. Court, you're next, buddy.
I like outtakes. For me, they are pictures that don't work, but then, on some level, they do. Maybe they just didn't fit the intended purpose, but there's still something interesting (strange? compelling? unanswered?) at which to look.
Here are a handful of images from 2016 I didn't show the client. But I didn't get rid of them, either.
Click on any image to view it larger.
I collected these as I was reviewing my favorite images from 2016. I'll be posting those pretty soon.
Best voice in the world, Brooke White.
Photographed at my studio in downtown Provo.
Here's the vow renewal ceremony of Sherrod and Emily in Bakersfield, California.
One the best parts about being a wedding photographer is witnessing the happiest days in someone's life. I leave the event feeling good about the world, about life, and love.
Emily and Sherrod's vow renewal ceremony felt just like that, except newlyweds often have no idea what they're getting into and have a wonderfully optimistic, yet untested sense of hope. Emily and Sherrod, on the other hand, after being married for 20 years, knew just what that marriage road looked like, and they loved what they saw. The whole event was very inspiring.
(Click any image to view it larger)
Photograph of Rexburg, Idaho on December 31, 2016.