My favorite photos from 2014

The Big Day

The Big Day

Every year about this time I like to sit and reflect back all the photos that I shot in the previous year. Of course it is nearly impossible to come up with a single choice and say “this is the best.” So rather than say one photo is better that all others I choose to put them into categories and make a brief statement about the photo.
Of course I will start with my wife. I think this photo of Munn is my favorite of 2014. It was just a quick shot with no real setup. But she was so happy to start her very first real job here in the USA. Although she has worked for our catering business she had never really officially worked anywhere else. The photo was captured just outside in the yard moments before she got in the car.

Model Chloe

Model Chloe

I post photos to the 500px website from time to time and I have learned it is extremely hard to post a photo of a pretty female face and get a score above 90.0, unless you give the photo some sort of strange edit such as overly white eyes or some other in (my opinion) bizarre edit. So this photo of Philadelphia model Chloe received a very high score of 96.2 in less than 24 hours and I might add that it was one of my favorite model shots of the 2014 season.

Happy Pixel 1/1000 sec at f/3.2 ISO 100 200mm

Happy Pixel
1/1000 sec at f/3.2 ISO 100 200mm

Like most people who are photographers and have pets, I too take a lot of photos of my Bichon Pixel or as we usually call her “Pixie.” I loved the back lit structure to the photo.

Street Side Cafe'

Street Side Cafe’

My favorite food shot of 2014 was of food I never even got to taste. While doing a model shoot in Historic section of Bethlehem PA, I was walking with the model from one location to the other and as we walked past a sidewalk café an older couple were just about to dive in to their lunch when I see these sliders the waitress just put down on the table. I stop and engage the couple with a “hi, hey that food looks delicious” and the man who was clearly not happy to see me had a look of horror as if I was going to request a bite of food. The lady on the other hand was very pleasant and I asked if I could just take a single photo of the slider burgers. I actually shot of three quick shots and every time I look at this photo I get hungry. The photo is also nice because it uses the rule of thirds, the rule of odds and has leading lines. But most of all it just looks like you could almost taste those sliders.

Model Reese Maddox

Model Reese Maddox

I love my extreme close up face shots and the shot of model Reese Maddox is just so damn beautiful. Her face is very plain & natural in the photo and it was at the beginning of the shoot. Then add in that creamy green bokeh and the yellow flower in contrast to her striking ebony beauty, it for me, makes a very interesting shot.

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Model/Actress Kendall Strampel

I think my most memorable shot of the season was with teen model Kendall Strampel. It was our first shoot together and it all came together very quickly over the time of a few days. I was running late to the shoot, it was August so it was hot and I meet Kendall and her parents at the location. I for whatever reason under estimated this young lady. I’m thinking “ok teen model with just a little experience and she’ll be very nervous and I’ll have to explain a lot and direct a lot to get any kind of a good pose,” let alone a great pose. At least that is what I thought beforehand and boy was I dead wrong. Although the framing of this shot was off it is my most memorable because it was the very first click of the shutter for the shoot. I said “ok stand here and give me something (a pose).” I received the biggest smile with a hand up that was creating some negative space and a triangular shape to the arm and again while the shot is not perfect, at the moment I looked into the back of the camera and I was sort of dumbfounded… the girl is an amazing model and the whole shoot that day was awesome, her parents are wonderful people and so many great images came that day. When I look at this photo I remember the day I met a very talented young lady.

Kendall Strampel at the gate to the medical ward at Eastern States Penitentiary

Kendall Strampel at the gate to the medical ward at Eastern States Penitentiary

By far my most favorite Photoshop composite is “Krazed Kendall” where we see Kendall in a gas mask behind the locked gate to the medical ward at the famed Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The gate was never shot with the intention of ever using it as a background. The shot of Kendall took place a few months later at Lockridge Park. It was the end of the shoot and we wanted to get a little crazy so we brought out the gas mask. Putting it together in Photoshop resulted in this very striking image. Kendall’s dedication to personal health & fitness really makes this shot.

Cigar Break Reese Maddox (model)

Cigar Break Reese Maddox (model)

My favorite for best use of props is Reese smoking the cigar in front of a cigar shop. Love this photo and it too had a huge score over at 500px. The cigar is not real and this was so impromptu, just a spur of the moment and I happened to have a fake cigar.

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Model Amanda Lennon, Hair by Megan Motter

My favorite hair style shot was that of the lovely Amanda. The hairstyle created by hairstylist Megan Motter. I received so many comments about this photo. Also my favorite Glamour style shot too.

Ambré_Stockton_Fashion

Model Ambre Baxter

Although I have many fashion shots this shot that I did in the autumn with the amazing Ambré Baxter was a great shot. And I have to say I wanted the coat off and she said “no it’ll be fine” and how right she was.

The Gate Keepers

The Gate Keepers

My favorite location shot is certainly the Gatekeepers shot from the shoot I did at Eastern States Penitentiary with models Reese & Tishana. The dresses are designed by Owned by Lisa_J of Philadelphia, hair by Its The Gurl B and makeup by TeDara Watts.

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Model Cynthia Ann

And although I worked with many models in 2014 I have to say Cynthia is the most amazing young lady for being able to connect with my mind while shooting. And I say this because it really is almost kind of scary. I’ll think of what I want to tell her to do and as I look up to say the words she is already doing it. Her posing is endless and not repetitious. She comes to a shoot with a personality that turns the shoot into a show of sorts. She is perverted, silly, smart, flirty, professional and a down right amazing model. You come away from the shoot exhausted from laughter.

Gurdy

Gurdy

My most favorite animal shot goes to Gurdy. She is no longer with us. Rest in peace you beautiful creature.

Thai Taxi Ride

Thai Taxi Ride

Best “Street Style” photo was the Thai Taxi Ride.

Ancient Siam City

Ancient Siam City

My favorite Landscape photo for 2014 is this temple shot from Ancient Siam City in Thailand.

I call it the 10,000 mile sunset because that's about how far from home I was when I captured it.

I call it the 10,000 mile sunset because that’s about how far from home I was when I captured it.

My favorite sunset. Siam Bay on Ko Chang, Thailand.

Cobra Village, Thailand

Cobra Village, Thailand

Most favorite action shot.

Angel & Me

Angel & Me

My favorite selfie with my Thai angel at Thepsuda Bridge in Kalasin Thailand. Waiting for that awesome sunset that never came. So we started taking selfies lol.

I was going to stop at ten photos, but I have so many favorites. I encourage everybody to take the time and go back through your photos from 2014 and pick your best and share with your friends. Remember; You need to have a good filing system that works for you so you can always find your special moments when you want them. Today we have cloud services (some free) that let us sync our photos. More and more cameras are coming equipped with WiFi allowing direct uploads. Honestly now is a great time to sit down and organize photos. I did a post on this last year but simply put what works for me is to put all my photos in folders by the date they were shot.

2015 is going to be a great year for my photography I know. Why? Because like last year I set goals and I reached most of them and had a lot of fun along the way. Happy New Year everybody.

 

 

 

 

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