Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers in my life! This includes much more than a narrow ‘traditional’ definition of ‘mother’ but also, all you nurturers, selfless givers, care takers, ‘fur baby mamas’ 🙂, and those tasked with taking care of the other big kid in the house (ahem, I am looking at you guys). You are so appreciated.


And of course to my wonderful wife, Joline, who is again on a journey that will reinforce to her the power of that role and responsibility, Miles and I are in awe of you and can’t wait to watch you guide a little girl and show her that being a beautiful and kind spirit is the greatest gift she can give to the world around her.

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

Thursday (10/22) started out like many other mornings this week during our amazing vacation South of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Hungover and smiling. There was again an energy and anticipation for adventure in the air as my man Joe, (and local Tony) put together another impromptu excursion for a little group of us to see more of the Pacific Coast south of Banderas Bay.
We hopped in two skiffs from our beach in Mismaloya and headed South along the coast. I recall comments on how the swells looked a little high as we checked out the fancy jungle hideouts along Costa Sur. The luxury villas eventually transitioned to little villages accessible only by boat. At one of these called Quimixto, we disembarked and enjoyed a brutal barefoot humid hike through the jungle to check out the beautiful refreshing waterfalls at the end.

Headed back from Quimixto after photos/refreshments and as we got back to the village, we took in the sights, sounds and smells of life in this tiny hamlet that reminded me of another time in my life. Kids playing HAPPILY, helping unload supplies from boats, taking care of what ‘little’ (I could write another essay about this) they had by making sure their homes were swept clean and perhaps more jarringly, the sounds of two little girls sweetly singing to us to buy their ‘sea shells from the ocean’. After a stop in Las Animas for lunch on the beach, one of the best meals I have ever had because of the company, food and surroundings, we headed back to Mismaloya for the evening’s festivities.

That jingle stayed with me the rest of the boat ride back making me smile but then quickly turned haunting when we got back to Mismaloya and heard of the impending ‘mother of all storms’ that developed in a span of hours and was bearing down on the coast in our proximity.

After the initial disbelief and putting together a plan and contingencies for what we should do to ensure our safety, my mind drifted and focused back to the little girl from the village (pictured). Did she know what was coming her way? How would this impending catastrophe change her life and her innocence? Living directly on the coast (2 – 5 meters above sea level) with 12 meter surges expected, did they have a plan? Accessible only by boat, what were her options to protect her precious little life?

Perspective is everything and I am thankful for another reminder of what is really important and how ungrateful we sound when we complain about the most mundane things in life. This experience culminated in what has been a very self-reflective 10 days in my life…and somehow, I can’t help but think that I should just have bought one of her beautifully imperfect shells.

Where Have I Been?

It has indeed been a while since my last blog update.

Yes, I have a ton of excuses I could insert here some of which may be legitimate (Baby, Graduate School…).🙂

The truth is that I have an innate need to keep shooting and though I have not posted regularly, know that photography, my creative outlet, is still a large part of me.

 
My muse the past few months has been my baby Miles Isaiah:

“Red”

One crisp Fall day, I took two friends to one of my favorite photo haunts just across the Indiana border for a brief photo adventure.  Victor  is a photo enthusiast and Nicole (‘Red’) is an immensely talented professional dancer.

I sought to capture some of her soul as a dancer, her sheer athleticism and of course juxtaposition on the gritty surroundings.

These are some of the images we made.

Until the next…thanks for visiting!!

DeCollage, Revisited

So I haven’t shot in a while…however, I have a back log of work over the past few months that I am yet to catch up on.

I will keep on churning through that back log as some of my favorite captures are yet to be seen!

Kelsey (DeCollage) and I worked collaborated on a another shoot (earlier work is recorded earlier in this blog).  With the help of Stylist Ella G, an amazing team (model, Hair/Makeup artist was assembled and here is a brief preview of some of what we got:

 

 

Bridal Shoot

Earlier this week, I was fortunate to capture the work of an amazing creative team.  It is very inspiring to work with a very talented team as you want to make sure you do your absolute best, to capture their exquisite work.

My original intent was to shoot with natural light.  I had to throw those plans out the window when we arrived on location and were greeted by a backlit scene which would have illuminated the models harshly.  I then decided to use one light to try to compensate for the unusually bright Chicago Spring afternoon.  I hope you enjoy some of the images posted here.

Acknowledgements:

Shoot Produced by Anita Arsova (http://www.AnitaArsova.com/)
for VIP Chicago Chicago Brides (www.vipchicagobrides.com)

Dresses: Laurel Bridal (http://www.LaurelBridal.com/)
Accessories: Marta Cebrat-Czernik for MCebrat

Creative Team (all photos):
Hair + MUA: Anita Arsova (http://www.anitaarsova.com/)
MUA: Zee Gustafson for Zee Artistry