2010 Retrospect — Part 2

Here we go. It was tough narrowing down some of my favorite images of the year. Every shoot brings something special. Everyone brings something good to the table. Here's a little bit of the goodness.

Wendy hired me to shoot some professional headshots, but this is hands down my favorite image from the session. It's candid, relaxed and smile-inducing.

I love the classic, vintage vibe of this image of Katie. Nice soft lighting; good expression. And despite the simple background and good lighting, it wasn't shot in a studio. It was shot in the decaying, weather-beaten shell of a house on the shores of the Salton Sea. The light was courtesy of a hole in the roof.

A more candid moment from a family session I did earlier this year. Proof that good portraits don't always require people look at the camera.

I met these two couples at a charity photoshoot in Malibu. I only had about 15 minutes with each of them, but it was enough time to create some warm, romantic images.

A chance moment after a baptism.

The next few images are from the wedding of my friends Teague and Jenni, last spring at an almond grove in Moorpark. It was a great day from start to finish. Simple, romantic and a fantastic celebration.

This pretty much sums up the reception.

I enlisted my friend Sarah to help me test out a new lens. It was also good practice in looking for easily missed good backdrops.

I had an absolutely fantastic engagement session with Jordan and Jess as we walked around Fort Tejon and the Tejon Ranch property north of Los Angeles. The hills are peppered with majestic old oak trees.

In September I traveled to Washington, D.C. to help my friend Christine shoot a wedding. There were lots of great moments to be captured, among them this chance moment between Emily and her flower girl, and Emily and Scott sharing a kiss in a veritable cathedral of greenery.

Sheridan, Jade and I had a fantastic time exploring Descanso Gardens near Pasadena and creating some awesome engagement images. We had a great time, and I'm looking forward to their vintage-themed wedding.

At yet another charity photoshoot, I met engaged couple Tim and Tara and had just a few moments to capture some images. This was one of my favorites.

I've been doing a lot of freelens shooting lately, and this is one of more favorable results, captured during a shoot with Perla in downtown Los Angeles. It didn't hurt to have plenty of light bouncing off mirrored office buildings.

I've shot engagements, weddings, families, newborns ... but this was the first time I was hired to photograph a group of roommates. We got plenty of great images, but I love the classic, "band photo" look of this one.

Blogged just a couple days ago, this is from a series of portraits I did for my stylist friend Josh. Using the mirror as a framing device, I wanted to capture and image that said "vision."

In addition to shooting photos of Josh, I also did some photos for the homepage of his new website. For this image of Chad, I went with more of a high-key lighting feel. A bit of a change from my normal style, but I like the results.

Capping off this blog of epic length are two images from a recent shoot I did for my friends' hair and makeup portfolios.

So that's it, 2010 in review. Thanks for reading! If nothing else, come back in 12 months for more greatness.

2010 Retrospect — Part 1

The year's almost over. Personally and professionally, 2010 was altogether challenging, rewarding, joyful, frustrating — it was another year of living life. I've done a fair amount of reflection over the past two months, but I'm more focused on looking ahead to what the future holds. That said, I wanted to share some of my favorite images from the past 12 months. I'm thankful for everything — every place, every face, every moment — I was able to see and photograph. Hopefully you enjoy some of these as much as I do. Today is a smattering of more photojournalistic images. Tomorrow, Part 2 will pull together some of my favorite images of people.

This first image in many ways encapsulates my approach to life these days: Chasing the light in the darkness.

I kicked off (yes, pun intended) getting to cover the Rose Bowl game between Oregon and Ohio for the newspaper I was with at the time. I'm not really a sports fan, but it's impossible not to feel the adrenaline pumping when you're walking the sidelines of a stadium packed full of cheering fans.

In the 5 1/2 years I spent with The Signal newspaper, the kind of stories I most enjoyed writing were those that cast a spotlight on ordinary people getting recognition. Read the story here of this Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star more than 40 years after a battle in the Mekong Delta.

Over the past decade I've spent in California, I've always enjoyed driving through the vast expanses of desert. It's a harsh landscape, peppered with interesting landmarks. One of those is Salvation Mountain. For more than 30 years, Leonard Knight has lived without electricity or running water, east of the Salton Sea, constructing and painting a clay "mountain" adorned with flowers, rivers and Bible verses. This oasis of American folk art stands in stark contrast to the unforgiving terrain surrounding it.

A moment in time along the freeway west of Palm Springs.

Catalina Island sits just about 30 miles off the coast of San Pedro, California, but it feels a world away. It was good medicine to get away from everything for a day and wander the small harbor town of Avalon. At the top of a mountain overlooking the island is the Wrigley Memorial, in honor of William J. Wrigley who did much to develop the island.

In September, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to a help a friend photograph a wedding. It was my first time there in probably more than 15 years, and I fell in love. It's a grand, walkable city with architecture that reminds me of Europe. These were the views as I walked the National Mall one afternoon, ending up at the Washington Monument for a beautiful sunset.

It's been nearly a decade since L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian was shot dead during a shootout, but he was close in memory to his brother on the anniversary of his death. Read the story here.

A few months ago, I dragged myself out of bed in the pre-dawn hours to capture some images of the community's early risers. The Way Station Coffee Shop has been a Santa Clarita Valley fixture for almost 40 years, and is a deliciously textbook example of a "greasy spoon."

That's it! Some of my favorite newsy images from 2010. Come back tomorrow for images of couples in love, bouncing babies, chic ladies and more.