Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Wedding Day

Here is a shot of Adriana and Val from their wedding day a week ago. Adriana owns a great reception hall in Mesa, AZ called Villa Tuscana I work this hall often and it is a wonderful place.

Well this is why we live in AZ. Great days like this in December when the rest of the country is freezing. You can't ask for better weather than this to photograph in.

Next wedding shoot New Years Day!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Ah! What it would be like to be fifteen again. That is a guy at fifteen not a girl which is obviously what Yazari is. Though I do look great in blue also.

The skies were not blue on this day but overcast which is a nice change at times from our normal extra bright blinding skies.

Well Christmas will be here in just a few days and I am looking forward to what is in store for me in 2011.

A new project for the coming year is to develop a few products for photography that I have feel are needed or products that I think could be improved on.

The first is on its way in a few weeks so I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Progression of a Cross-Eyed Cat

Our little cat Jocee is getting bigger and bigger it seems almost every day now. Gone are the days of her fitting in my palm, now she is like a wild two year old child running around a hundred miles an hour, climbing the curtains and getting into trouble every step of the way.

She is adorable though and it is hard to get mad at her even when she completely unwinds the paper towel roll all over the kitchen floor.

She loves being outside in the back yard and she puts up a complete fuss when she has to come in. Of course that is after she makes you chase her around for five or ten minutes till she tires out enough to catch her.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mountain Lake

Pembroke Virginia is the home to the famous Mountain Lake Hotel where the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed.

This shot is a view as you travel down the mountain road heading back down from the hotel. It is one of those long twisty mountain roads that are common in Virginia. If your not use to them motion sickness is almost a sure thing.

If you are ever in south west Virginia this is a must see place so don't forget to stop in and check it out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


A few weeks back I helped to shoot an event at Saint Mary's Basilica in down town Phoenix for the 800 year anniversary of the Crosier's

I had taken up a position up in the back balcony of the Basilica with my trusty D700 and my Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 lens to get all the action below and while I was waiting for things to get started snapped this image of the towering pillars making there way from front to back.

It was a challenging event that day shooting at 1600 ISO and wide open aperture but ended up with some good images.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Last Saturday I attended a local artist gathering which included photography, painting and music just to name a few medias.

Though it was geared to more beginning level artists it primarily was to get local artist together.

I took this image of Rhoda who was a beginning level photographer who had also done a little modeling.

I enjoyed the event just for the fellowship itself and hope to make next years.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This last shoot yesterday was of Crystal on her 15th birthday celebration.

She was great to work with and willing to pose anyway I asked.

I loved her white dress and it is one of my favorite colors to shoot.

All in all a great shoot!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Black & White

Here is a shot of a couple that I took awhile back and thought it would make a great B&W image.

I took this shot while at a seminar and these two are models but they seem to be getting a long with each other fairly well.

It would be great to get brides to push themselves a little more without the fear of messing up their dress for the sake of getting shots like this.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This past shoot was with Alexandra for another Quinceanera. I think this was my favorite of all my shoots to date.

It is great when the people you are shooting are fun and energetic and are just enjoying the whole day.

This celebration was non stop and Alex's friends were dancing well into the night, never letting up.

I wish they could all be like this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Phoenix Botanical

If you haven't ever been to the Phoenix Botanical Gardens it is a must see place at least once a year.

They have done a great job keeping up the gardens as well as always having something in bloom to attract visitors no matter what time of year. Spring is the best due to the cactus blooms but even in October there are some great shots to be had.

Besides the great shots there are several trails to hike and outdoor concerts on cool fall nights.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well the weather is getting better every day here in Phoenix and with this change came the change of Pilar from a child to a woman.

Pilar celebrated her 15th birthday this past weekend and I enjoyed shooting her event for her very much.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Yesterday was a day that reminds us here in Arizona why we live here. It appears summer has finally passed and the days of one hundred plus degrees are gone for awhile.

The shoot was for Martha's 15th birthday celebration. She was a joy to shoot and this dress was a great color for her.

Now that the harsh summer has passed and with that the rain that we just had, the grass and trees have come to life once again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Well it has been one of the hottest summers on record here in the desert and I think it is finally coming to an end.

My hope is to get in a lot more shooting this fall than last, maybe take a few trips up north or even down to the southern part of the state.

I really have been wanting to shoot San Xavier Mission where Ansel Adams had shot years ago.

I know I will be going to Sedona in a few weeks and hope to get some good shots there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Old Trunk

This morning I spent a couple of hours teaching another DSLR 101 Workshop. We decided to do it at one of my favorite places to shoot in the valley that being Goldfield Ghost Town out in Apache Junction on the way to Canyon Lake.

One of the reasons I like it there is because there is so much stuff everywhere you look...Old engines and cars, signs, machinery it just goes on and on.

I shot this in color but then decided to give it a old black and white look.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Here is the newest addition to our family, little Josee. She is a rambunctious little thing and has teeth like needles and likes to use them.

I shot this with my new Sigma 18-200 OS image stabilization lens $370 that I got a few days ago. I love my Nikon 18-200 VR lens but couldn't justify spending another $760 for the lens on my secondary camera.

I am still giving the Sigma a workout and so far it has worked well at half the price but I will put it through more tests tomorrow before I give it a thumbs up.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I was just out messing around today wishing it still wasn't 100 degrees out when I came across this little guy. It was about the only thing out in this 100 degree weather besides me. I guess we were both hoping for the same thing, that is that summer would finish up here and go away. Unfortunately we are still about a month away from cooler days.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Beatriz 2

Here is another shot of Beatriz from last weeks shoot posing with a background drape and I am shooting this with my new Nikon D700 camera.

I was impressed with the D700 over my D300s when it came to low light shooting. The full frame sensor is better adapted to low light conditions and showed it well.

Another thing I really like about my D700 is that it's built with the same magnesium frame as my D300s and has many of the same controls and functions so I felt right at home.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Here is Beatriz who just happens to be a relative of the girl below Dianne whose event I shot last weekend.

Most of the shots I put here are shot the day of their event and are printed and displayed at the event so people can view it as they come in.

The shots just get a quick edit and then I print them on a HP 8550 printer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Yesterday was a long 10hr shoot for me on Dianne's 15th birthday celebration.

Though I LOVE being a photographer 10hrs is a little long for me. I usually do 8hr shoots which for me is much easier to handle...Especially when it is 110 outside

This color dress choice she is wearing is a great color to shoot and I think she wore it very well.

All in all a good shoot.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Another day another workshop taught. This little guy is a Burrowing Owl and is only about 8" tall. He came out to check out a corn snake that was lurking around.

I never realized that there are owls that burrow into the ground but think it's pretty cool.

Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Photography Workshops

As the summer is moving along the demand for my photography workshops has been increasing steadily.

It seams more and more people are purchasing Digital SLR's and joining the ranks of existing photographers.

Some are new moms looking to document their children's lives while others are more interested in things such as nature and wildlife photography, yet others are looking to hone their skills in the hope of becoming a professional photographer one day.

Whatever the situation may be photography is as popular as ever.

This image was taken by me today at the Phoenix Zoo while teaching two students the fundamentals of photography in my DSLR Photography 101 Workshop. The zoo is my favorite place to teach and my students seem to learn the quickest there.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Well this past week it was Stephanie's turn to celebrate her quinceanera or 15th birthday.

This spot has been one of my go to spots out at Freestone Park and I think my favorite spot at the moment.

She wore one of the wildest dresses that I have seen yet and the hot pink color isn't one of the easiest colors to shoot.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Shot

Today I spent the day at a workshop put on by Doug Gordon who is a very popular wedding photographer out of NY.

I enjoy going to seminars and workshops from time to time for a couple reasons, one for the fellowship with other photographers and two because I believe it is important to continue to progress in everything we do.

This image was taken of the two models who were doing their thing for us at Doug's direction. Doug is a master at posing for sure and I had a great time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Deysi's (pronounced Daisy) Sweet 15 or quinceanera was HOT. Maybe it may have had something to do with the 106 degree weather this past Saturday.

In either case I thought she looked wonderful in her bright yellow dress.

What do you think?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Rescue Dog

It has been several years since we had a dog so I decided to check out one of our local no kill rescue shelters to see if anything caught my fancy. We had a little list of must haves such as house trained, crate trained, good with cats, and last one of my personal requirements it must be a mans dog. Nothing wimpy for me.

As difficult as I thought this list would be to fulfill it wasn't. Gemma, an American Bulldog was just there waiting for us. Now after having her for a whole month she has been a perfect loving dog.

If you are interested in a pet check out Friends For Life at

Monday, May 31, 2010


This past weekends shoot was another quinceanera with Lysa. This shot was taken at Freestone park on the carousel. Though I shoot at this park often this is the first time I put the carousel to use. On this day (Sunday) there was no one on the ride so I payed the two bucks for use fee and shot away.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gerardo & Jessica

Well things are warming up in sunny old Phoenix! This past Saturdays shoot was a little hot nearing about 90 degrees.

I think this couple did very well bearing through it all. I have been so lucky having clients that have been so easy going. I like to think that at least in part it is because of how I deal with them. I have this calming effect on people. I think that's part of a photographers job, to instill a feeling of your in good hands.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Billy Sample

I visited a good friend of mine the other day, Billy Sample, who is a gifted musician. He is a singer, song writer, guitar player and even throws in a little harmonica to round it all out.

Billy understands this gift that he has been given and uses it as a ministry by reaching out to people on the streets.

You may find him in downtown Mesa or Mill Avenue in Tempe belting out a song that he has written or maybe even a song from Neil Young or Bob Dylan.

If you happen to see him stop by and say hello.

Visit Billy @

Sunday, April 25, 2010


This past weekends shoot was another quinceanera with Dulce. She had a great smile with pink braces which made it look like she just got through drinking red punch.

I have been working lately on my flash skills by using different zoom techniques. Here I throw a narrow beam of light on the face lighting it up just enough to bring out some color. I like this technique a lot and have been using it often.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This evening me and a friend decided to head out and shoot the changing weather and sunset up in Carefree, AZ.

After getting there and traveling many miles down some old dirt roads we cam a long this spot.

It was a spot that my friend had shot at once before and it is a beautiful spot but maybe it was the weather but after spending some time there it just wasn't doing it for me until finally the sun started to set and then it all came alive.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

Ah, Spring is in the air here in Phoenix and it was about 90 degrees today which I am sure is much hotter than many of you get mid summer.

Here are three shots that I took at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens which is a great place this time of year.

I took a group of eleven photographers on a little get together through the gardens to photograph the many sites from cactus blooms to lizards.

If you are local and haven't been there I suggest you take a day and go and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Few More

As this week has moved forward so has my progress in my post production work for Michael and Natalie's wedding last Saturday.

Here I have pulled three more images to show that I found myself drawn to.

The top image of the bride going out the tall iron scrolled doors to her awaiting limo is really my favorite of all these images from this shoot. I shot about five images of this with varying stages of exposure and found this one to be the one I preferred.

Tomorrow morning back to the Botanical Gardens to shoot more cactus blooms.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Michael & Natalie

Here is a shot that I just pulled from my wedding shoot yesterday of Michael and Natalie.

This was shot at one of the most popular places in the Phoenix East Valley area called Freestone Park in Gilbert.

One of the downfalls of living in Phoenix is the harsh sun. In this image I placed them in the shade of a tree with the sun behind them then add a little fill flash to lighten up the face a little.

Many photographers would just use all natural light but I think you loose the glow of the brides face and much of the brightness of the eyes by doing it that way.

I think many new photographers feel intimidated by flash so it is one of the workshops I teach at Photography Workshops of Arizona. Flash is our friend I teach so don't be afraid of it.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Yesterday I spent some time in Sedona checking out a couple of new spots. It was a great day about 75 degrees though I wish there was a few clouds in the sky but you can't ask for everything and expect to get it.

The first image on top was of a washed out bridge that I have seen off the main road year after year always thinking that I needed to get down there one day and check it out. As you can see, water was flowing very well that day from all the rain and snow this year and really added to this shot.

The image at the bottom was at a popular photography site called Crescent Moon which is south out of Sedona several miles on 89a. The sun was a little harsh this day and you really needed to try and tone it down but this shot was approaching sunset which made it a little easier to capture it well.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Desert Blooms

I look forward every year to spring time and the coming of the desert blooms. Today I spent some time at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens checking out the start of the bloom season.

It was looking pretty good so far and with all the rain we had this winter it should be a great year for them.

I try and go every week for the next several weeks catching it at all stages. What I find is that one type of cactus may be in bloom while others need a little more time and heat before they finally erupt.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roanoke VA

I have mentioned before that I spend some time in S/W Virginia and this image was taken in Roanoke which is a great little city with some great old buildings in its downtown area.

I saw this shot as I peered down an ally way by where the farmers market is.

We don't have places like this in Phoenix and wish we did but then again Roanoke doesn't have most of what Phoenix has to offer.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No Flash Allowed!

The dreaded "NO FLASH ALLOWED" words that we as wedding photographers hear from time to time when shooting the ceremony at a church.

Personally having been a senior pastor of a church for several years I have never understood this. I can tell you I didn't force any photographers to shoot without flash. I am sure there is some tradition that has continued over these many decades, I am not sure what but I'm sure there must be.

So we do what we must and put on our 1.4 or 1.8 lenses and shoot wide open with shallow depth of field and make of it what we can.

This shot is one that I would call a more artistic shot that I can use for a backdrop to lay other images on, maybe a cover shot for an albun or in some cases it does appeal to some couples just for its artistic value.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fine Art Slide Show

Check out my Fine Art slideshow that I created from a new feature from Zenfolio.

Mike & Steph

Here is a trio of shots taken from Mike & Stephanie's wedding a couple weeks back set on top of a background.

I love the center shot of her gazing into his eyes. He is not at an angle which shows him well but he doesn't need to be because the focus is on her, but we still know its him she is looking at.

And the flowers draped over his back adds a splash of color to the scene.

They loved this shot.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm Back!

Here is a shot of a fountain within the MGM Grand where I stayed. Pretty cool fountain.

Well Vegas was great but when I got there on Monday afternoon the trade show was already closing up at 4pm so I had to spend a few more hours there Tuesday so I could do what I went there for which was check out all the great vendors. Who's crazy idea was it over at WPPI to close up the trade show so early?

While there on Monday night about a dozen of us from had dinner at Diego's and it was pretty darn good. If you haven't found Photography Schoolhouse yet go there and check it out. It has a nice mixture of both Pro and non-Pro photographers sharing their thoughts.

Anyway this was just a quick update so check back soon!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vegas Bound!

Monday morning I will be heading to Vegas for the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International convention.

It will only be for a day but I am looking forward to my stay at the MGM Grand where the convention is being held.

Vegas is about a 6hr drive from Phoenix depending on traffic at the Hoover Dam but it is a nice drive with some great scenery.

The trade show is primarily why I like to go. It gives me an opportunity to see some great new products that the many vendors will have available for display.

So wish me a safe trip and I will give you an update when I get back.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mike & Steph

This past Saturday was the wedding of Mike and Steph. Our plans for our shoot was going to be at a local park but the weather didn't look like it was going to hold up so I brought them to a place I had shot at once before which had these great covered arch ways around this little pond.

This spot ended up being a much better place to shoot and the weather even added more drama to the backdrop.

I think we ran over our allotted time by about forty five minutes getting to this place but it was well worth it. We kept everyone waiting for us at the reception and they were nice and hungry by time we got there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spirit Feathers

Here is a image I took awhile back and decided to work with it a little more and this is the outcome.

I took this at one of the Pow Wows I visited and really liked the shot but it just sat in storage until just recently when I rediscovered it.

I think the colors and textures are both great within the feathers and this may be a shot that finds its way on one of my walls.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Sleepy Otter

The weather in Phoenix has been incredible lately so yesterday I decided that the location for teaching my DSLR Photography 101 Workshop to a new student would be the Phoenix Zoo.

The zoo is a great place for new photographers to test out their skills because each exhibit is so different from the previous when it comes to lighting, distance and overall surroundings that it makes the photographer work through their cameras settings in order to get a quality image.

I took this image of this sleepy otter about mid way through our two hour workshop.