I know I'm a little behind with the whole "year in review" thing but I figured as long
as I published this before February 1st I was still good...!
In no particular order, here are my top 16 portraits of 2016 and
why they were my favorites of the year.
I've known Camilla since she was a little girl. I would go over to her house for my voice lessons with her mama. She's the 2nd of their children I've had the honor of photographing Senior Portraits for (shout out to Caroline!) and from start to finish it was a delight. We shot on the beautiful Rice University grounds and their iconic column lined hallway made the perfect background for her final outfit. Camilla has a natural grace about her and I fell in love with her Prom outfit; a soft pink tulle skirt, cream lace top, and a whimsical flower crown. She was the perfect fairy princess! This shot takes my breath away every time I see it. From the beautiful backdrop to Camilla's classic style and grace, it was an easy pick for my top 16 of 2016.
I've used Galveston as the backdrop for dozens of portrait sessions throughout the years, the charm, the beauty, the culture, the architecture, the ability it has to take on a new life with each and every desire. However, during my Senior session with Andrew this place of beauty was transformed from visually satisfying walls, doorways, alleys, and buildings to a reminder that because something looks historic, is because it has a history, it has meaning.
Andrew was born here, and spent the first few years of his life here. As we moved between shots he and his Mother shared memories of the passing locations. The memories that raised him, the events that began the life of the young man before us took place on these very streets. The symbolism of the beginning and end of a period of existence, the life of a child to a man, portrayed in these portraits. The one I believe that best represents this I've named "The Streets that Raised Me."
My sister, Natalie, and her sweet family are always a joy to photograph. Since Maddie has entered our world we are never short on entertainment. While Penelope was waiting on her big debut, we took some Family Portraits before their family of three became four.
I credit Maddie for teaching me that when photographing children you just go with the flow! Maddie is usually well behaved during photo time but ALWAYS has her own ideas. By listening to what she wants to do, the photos come out more happy and authentic. This shot so perfectly describes their moment in time in my eyes, Maddie is on top of the world, center of attention, unaware of the fact that her world is about to be turned upside down with the upcoming arrival of her new baby sister.
Summer in New York City is an amazing time, its the time for innovation and creation, when people collaborate and new art is born. Out of this one of the most celebrated dance photographers in the City and a personal favorite of mine Omar Robles hosted an instameet in collaboration with Fuji Film. I was lucky to claim one of the thirty coveted spots.
For over two hours Omar guided us through his style, and his method on a classic Chinatown street. His two fabulous dancers Eriko Sugimura and Eric Lehn worked together beautifully and I loved their movement the most in the portrait above. In one sweeping moment he lifted her and pulled her in close effortlessly while on one foot and she gave the image of natural direction, being moved, yet her gaze cast on the area before her in bewilderment and longing. The embodiment of strength and grace. It's an experience I won't soon forget.
It been years since I photographed, Max, one of my dearest childhood friends. Always the funny kid, none of us could have expected that Max would grow into a serious professional ballet dancer. During his time in between seasons with Carolina Ballet he came up to NYC to visit and on his last day we took to Liberty State Park for some Dance Portraits.
I usually prefer a little bit of overcast and some sunlight when I photograph, but on the day of these photos the sky was completely covered in a gloomy fog. The clouds dipped into the skyline and I was in awe as the buildings and Max's shirt coordinated with their soft blue hues. Max leapt high with arms stretched to the sky I can't help but think about the two kids we growing up in Houston with big city dreams. So proud of my dear friend and feel blessed by his friendship. I'm so glad we can always count on one another for encouragement as we reach for our dreams!
Witnessing my newest niece, Penelope's birth was a huge highlight for me in 2016. I had only arrived in town the day before and was thrilled that Natalie wanted me there to capture the first moment of sweet P's life. It so happened that all my sister's and I were in town to share in the excitement of the birth of our new niece. Soon after the delivery, Natalie was moved to a more comfortable room and when I walked in I was enamored by its tall glass windows. I situated Penny's bed in front of the window and snapped this image. I love the contrast of the big glorious window of light and the tiny little baby only hours old. So much life ready to live, personality to be discovered, and love to to give.
Every year on my photography business' anniversary I love to put together a special project or photoshoot! For my 7th anniversary I invited childhood friends/incredible dancers Kate and Aaron for a Dance Portrait Session. Aaron showed up with pink hair and it completely set the mood. We had a blast laughing, dancing, and shooting around the beautiful Tribeca streets.
I've known these two for as long as I can remember and feel blessed to have them in my life. They have loved with me, grieved with me, laughed with me, cried with me... And no matter how long time has passed since our last conversations, we share a special connection that will never fade. They are such beautiful souls and I loved sharing this day with them through photos.
I was thrilled and honored to be a part of Jack's proposal to Lauren in Central Park. It was so special that the clouds parted and the rain stopped just in time for the big surprise! Everything about project was pure joy from start to finish. I loved the planning process with Jack, who was determined to make this moment perfect for Lauren. He had a few specific ideas, but what was most important was finding a spot in the park they could call their own from then on.
Lauren was in town studying dance for the summer and had no idea Jack had flown in. She and her parents were "walking through the park before going out to dinner" when Jack revealed himself. He led her down to the quintessential Central Park spot, got down on one knee and popped the question. I got misty behind the camera as I captured these two lovebirds mark a very chapter in their lives together. To say it was exciting would be an understatement. The big gasp, the hopeful look in eyes, and NYC soaring around them, this really was a shot (and session) to remember!
(Also, a hashtag I used on this photo on Instagram booked me THIS session. So way cool!)
9. Fred & Adele Astaire Awards
When my two worlds of dance and photography meet, in the coolest way! I was tickled pink to be an official photographer for the 2016 Fred & Adele Astaire Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway each season. The day was exhilarating starting with the dress rehearsal, then to the awards performance, and finishing at the VIP after party. Along with my photography business I'm pursuing a career in theatre choreography. Being in the same room with all of idols on a night where their work was being highlighted and celebrated felt like an out of body experience. Susan Stroman, Randy Skinner, Sandy Duncan, Lee Roy Reams, Savion Glover, Donna Mckechnie, Desmond Richardson, Charlotte D'Amboise... the list goes on and on! I soaked it all in with every click of the shutter! It was one of those "Only in New York..." kind of days and I hope to find myself on that stage one day accepting an award for my choreography having a full circle moment.
Collaborating with Nikol is always extremely fulfilling as an artist. She excused light and love and I love our photo sessions together. On our most recent Artistic Portrait Session I was able to fulfill a photography dream of mine... Sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge (ala SJP in Vanity Fair.) It was early and a bit chilly but the golden sun was so worth it! We had the bridge to ourselves as Niki ran towards me, arms cast behind her, leading with her heart and head held high! Magic. These images have been used in her company ZenRedNYC, where she serves as an Empowerment Coach for Creatives. Looking forward to what 2017 holds for Niki and I in terms of collaborations. I'm richly blessed my her friendship and support.
Maddie was used to being the center of attention and when Penelope was born Maddie was a bit unsure about it all. When she went to meet baby sister at the hospital she was more interested in where Mommy had been then with the crying, pooping thing. About a week after Penny came home from the hospital we set a chair in their backyard and started photographing Maddie (she lives for photoshoots with Aunt C.) After a few minutes we brought Penelope out and convinced Maddie to hold her for the first time. It was extremely special to watch Maddie morph into the role of big sis in front of my eyes. She held her sweetly and gently and we acquired a memorable portraits in the process. The photo above was my particular favorite, there 's something about the way the black and white highlights Maddie's face as she peeks up from gazing at baby sister... I can see the sisterly bond starting to form and I love it!
Sometime a shot just takes your breath away and that is how I felt the moment I laid eyes on this image. I love making Senior Portrait sessions a very special experience, focusing on and magnetizing the personality of each Senior. MacKenzi and I have strong similarities in our charter, fashion sense, and interests so photographing her Senior Session felt very authentic to me. When she pulled this red dress out I knew we had to do something extra dramatic! We took several takes os skirt swooshing before I finally caught this image. Its got style, pizazz, strength, and glamour- all things that Kenzie emulates. This images makes me so proud as her photographer but even more proud as her friend. Seeing the wonderful young woman she's grown to be after having known her for so many years makes my heart burst with happiness. Stay just as you are, Kenz, and let your incredible talent and heart shine for all to see.
I must sound like a bit of a broken record but I'm seriously so proud of all the highly talented young people I've had the privilege of knowing for so long. Tara and Kennedy's Dance Portrait Session was a treat to say the least. They've both made huge leaps (pun intended) and growth in their technique and performance quality over the last few years and have such an ease in their partnership. I loved this shot specifically for the beautiful pose their bodies are creating. Tara lunges forward, leading with her art and held high while Kennedy supports her and holds his ground. You can see the trust. You can see the ease. You can see the partnership.
Before their Engagement Session I had only met Veronica once, briefly, and had never met David. By the end of their session I felt like we'd been friends forever. I had the best time bouncing around Galveston with these two lovebirds. They were silly, carefree, and madly in love! I have many favorite portraits from their session but this was has stood out to me from the moment I took it. Yes it has gorgeous light and composition but the real reason I love it is because of what Veronica's eyes. Its as if she's saying..."I'm the luckiest girl in the world."
15. Kate & Chris- Wedding Day Portraits
I'm having a blast editing this New Year's Eve wedding and look forward to sharing much more with all of you once the post production is completed! I have absolutely loved getting to know Kate and Chris as a couple. Their wedding was so beautiful and we had a lovely day capturing every special moment for them. My favorite part about photographing weddings is hands down is portrait time with the happy couple alone. It a one big whirlwind of a day, but everything slows down a bit when I'm able to get the bride and groom alone for their photos. After taking a few traditional posed shots I wanted to do something a little more intimate and artistic so I had Kate reverse her veil and drape it over Chris creating a little tent for them. I stuck myself underneath and voila! That moment right before a kiss is so magical and I couldn't have been more pleased with how this shot turned out.
Maggie is one of my longest, dearest friends. We've had our ups and our downs but I know that we'll always be there for one another. Being a mother has been Maggie's biggest dream for as long as I can remember. So many late night sleepover conversations were around what she would name her children and how much she would love them. While I was in Houston over Christmas, she told me she wanted to do some very special portraits of her, Zach, and their puppy Sophie and they ended up being pregnancy announcements!! I was so honored and touched to share this moment with her. When I look at this photo I'm filled with pride, I know how mow she has wanted this child and has prayed for it. I look forward to watching her grow and become the wonderful mommy I've always knew she would be.
2016, you brought me beautiful clients and incredible experiences.
Thank you for the many opportunities of capturing life,
love, and happiness with the click of the shutter.
I look forward to what lies ahead in 2017!
Loves: my husband, golden age movie musicals, red lipstick, fall leaves, rainy mornings, dressing up, jazz music, yellow tulips, tap dancing, and taking your photos (yes YOU!)