update

Flying to Indiana to visit the fam dam tomorrow!

I'm here at the studio tying up loose ends, and I wanted to share these two headshots before flying out to Indiana early tomorrow morning to spend the holidays with my family. The first is of Glenn, of City of Seattle's Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (whose staff paid me a visit this afternoon), and the second is of my girlfriend Erika, who was kind enough to test model sans makeup. I'm proud of how both portraits turned out (as well as the rest, to be edited after getting back to Seattle on January 1st). Anyway, it's about time I became much more adept at working with studio lighting, and so in the new year I'm eager to take on lots of headshot gigs. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Bernie photos coming soon!

I spent yesterday photographing Sen. Bernie Sanders' visit to Seattle. The opportunity to follow a presidential candidate around in close quarters at event after event was a dream opportunity for me and something I would definitely love to get used to someday. I'm still culling the photos and can't wait to share, but going to have to. I'm happy to be participating in The Whole U at UW's free family photo day this afternoon (always mixing it up!). Will be back to editing this evening - with maybe a nap first!

One year ago I went to Sasquatch, got back, and started this blog

Leaving for Sasquatch in the morning! Last year when Dru Dinero and I went to photograph and review the festival on behalf of Seattle Gay News, I was broke, hadn't booked that many gigs for the upcoming summer, and was feeling pretty sorry for myself. The weekend really helped to turn the year -- and my attitude -- around. Was a much needed break from the office and chance to unwind with a good friend. I've been in a much better place since, and am really looking forward to doing it again.

Aleksa and Atasha Manila in studio (4.11.15)

A white wall, a strobe to my right, and two beautiful models - that's all it takes. So far I've only done one shoot at the new studio so far - for Seattle's HIV Vaccine Trials Unit. The Manilas were two of about two dozen volunteers who modeled for the HVTU's latest campaign. Need to start getting into a rhythm of doing more in-studio work. Performer wanting some glamour shots? For $200, I'll make 10-15 of these for you!

In the news: American Photography 31 slideshow

It's super exciting to have my work selected for this for the third time in four years, but what really gets me is the fact that many of the photographers I've looked up to and names I've familiarized myself with since getting a camera also have work in AP31: Christopher Anderson, Chris Buck, Aristide Economopoulos, Lauren Greenfield, Pieter Hugo, Nadav Kander, Annie Leibovitz, Dina Litovsky, Gerd Ludwig, Sandro Miller, John Moore, Joe Pugliese, Martin Schoeller, Art Streiber, Sebastiano Tomada, Stephen Wilkes, and Dan Winters, off the top of my head. Additionally, I need to check out the work of Natalie Keyssar, Lara Joe Regan, and Alec Soth, and noticed three other Seattle-based photogs in the mix - Michael Clinard, Amanda Ringstad, and John Keatley. I'm honored and thankful for the opportunity. Check out the slideshow at http://www.ai-ap.com/slideshow/AP/31/

My day is made.

Not only did I book an underwear shoot featuring pretty women in exchange for a pile of cool t-shirts this afternoon, one of the world's preeminent portrait photographers (click here to see some of his work) reached out on LinkedIn. Time to update my profile!

Marco, if you read this, the add is much appreciated. I highly regard your work and your passion for what you do.

Today would've been my grandma's 100th birthday.

Grandma Helen lived a remarkable life, and raised a wonderful family. I can't get over how beautiful she is in this photo, and what style she had. She was the most proper person I've ever met. She always corrected my grammar, and so I went to school, became a newspaper editor. She still corrected my grammar. I helped my father write her obituary almost one year ago. What a thing to have to do, write your mother's obituary.

Love you, Mom. Love you, Dad. Very much.

Helen Evangeline (Gowdy) Hovey, 99, of Elkhart, died at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday (April 30, 2014) at Hubbard Hill Estates. Helen E. Hawkins was born April 8, 1915, in Van Wert, Iowa, to Roy B. and Evangeline Hawkins. She graduated from Leon High School in 1932 and attended Simpson College. Helen grew up working in her father’s law firm. There, she attained skills as a typist and a stenographer, which served her throughout life. Her knowledge of English grammar established her as a resource for her entire family. Helen also had a natural talent for music and was the church organist in Des Moines, Iowa. ¶ It was this affinity for music that introduced her to William L. Gowdy. The two married on Aug. 29, 1937, and attended Drake University and Northwestern University. They moved to Elkhart, where they raised three children and Bill developed the choral music program at Elkhart High School. Helen worked for many years as receptionist and executive secretary at the Elkhart Rehabilitation Center. ¶ Bill and Helen enjoyed the music community in Elkhart and were active in the schools and church. They were members of Trinity Methodist Church and, later, First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart. Helen was also a member of Riverside Club, Matinee Musicale, and bridge clubs. Her husband Bill passed away on Dec. 19, 1974. ¶ Helen had experienced tragedy and loss earlier in her life. First, when her 17-year-old younger brother Roger Hawkins passed away unexpectedly before he was scheduled to attend West Point. Shortly after his funeral, she was involved in an automobile accident that claimed the life of her mother, her fiancé, and a close friend. These events seemed to form an empathetic nature and compassion towards others and their hardships. She will be remembered as a gracious, elegant lady. ¶ On June 28, 1979, she married Nilo W. Hovey. Nilo and his late wife Ruth had been Bill and Helen’s close friends. Helen formed a wonderful relationship with Nilo’s family and their children and grandchildren. Nilo passed away on March 14th, 1986. His family was of great joy and comfort to Helen through the rest of her life. ¶ Surviving are sons Roger (Marsie) Gowdy of Charlevoix, Michigan, and Bruce (Vickie) Gowdy; daughter Martha (Michael) Oyer; step-daughters Marjorie (James) Eger of Bristol, Indiana, and Lois (Wendall) Schmoe of Nokomois, Florida; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; and 20 step-great-grandchildren. ¶ She was preceded in death by a grandson, Jeffrey Gowdy. ¶ A family service will take place at Rice Cemetery. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. ¶ Memorial contributions may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart.

Grandma had just given my dad a look, showing us that she was still with us at a time she was becoming harder to reach, when he joked that he didn't know which Caleb he liked better - his German Shepherd in the 80's or my sister's  fiancé . It's the last photo I snapped of Dad and his mom - shot from the hip, like he always does but I still haven't gotten very good at. Grandma Helen passed at the end of April 2014 at 99.

Grandma had just given my dad a look, showing us that she was still with us at a time she was becoming harder to reach, when he joked that he didn't know which Caleb he liked better - his German Shepherd in the 80's or my sister's fiancé. It's the last photo I snapped of Dad and his mom - shot from the hip, like he always does but I still haven't gotten very good at. Grandma Helen passed at the end of April 2014 at 99.

Favorite 30 images since I started blogging in May 2014

These are some of the shots I've found myself coming back to since I started this blog in May. With captions about each one!

My favorite image of the year is of Vice President Joe Biden. Cranked my ISO and slowed my shutter while catching his official photog's flash going off, which is what I was going for but wasn't sure if it would work. Got lucky!

My favorite image of the year is of Vice President Joe Biden. Cranked my ISO and slowed my shutter while catching his official photog's flash going off, which is what I was going for but wasn't sure if it would work. Got lucky!

My favorite summertime snapshot of the year. Titus running to the ocean during our trip to San Diego in September.

My favorite summertime snapshot of the year. Titus running to the ocean during our trip to San Diego in September.

I've been collecting images of drag queens dragging since 2011. This one's by far my favorite one since taking Mom Finley's portrait as Cruella de Vil at the start of 2012.

I've been collecting images of drag queens dragging since 2011. This one's by far my favorite one since taking Mom Finley's portrait as Cruella de Vil at the start of 2012.

I didn't expect to include this one from Neighbours here, but am going to keep it if only because it reminds me that I'd like to make more of these exposures.

I didn't expect to include this one from Neighbours here, but am going to keep it if only because it reminds me that I'd like to make more of these exposures.

The moment I realized I need to take more photos during "golden hour". Taken at Inspire Youth Project's annual summer camp in August. There was another kid who got major ups for the camera and turned out pretty great, but this picture is my pick of the two.

The moment I realized I need to take more photos during "golden hour". Taken at Inspire Youth Project's annual summer camp in August. There was another kid who got major ups for the camera and turned out pretty great, but this picture is my pick of the two.

Extremely proud of this bathroom shot from my first real estate gig. As someone who's always photographed people, I found out I enjoy architecture photography this year and am blown away that I've taken a portfolio-worthy photo of a bathroom.

Extremely proud of this bathroom shot from my first real estate gig. As someone who's always photographed people, I found out I enjoy architecture photography this year and am blown away that I've taken a portfolio-worthy photo of a bathroom.

Was given the opportunity to do brief portrait sessions with eight of nine Seattle City Council members. This one of socialist Kshama Sawant came out perfect. Bounced the flash off a reflector.

Was given the opportunity to do brief portrait sessions with eight of nine Seattle City Council members. This one of socialist Kshama Sawant came out perfect. Bounced the flash off a reflector.

Katie Rogers, a good friend since high school who recently started on in the newsroom of The New York Times, gave me a tour! Here's one of the walls of the boardroom - each portrait is autographed by historical men and women who have visited the Times' offices. The fact that I was able to even be inside this room is nuts.

Katie Rogers, a good friend since high school who recently started on in the newsroom of The New York Times, gave me a tour! Here's one of the walls of the boardroom - each portrait is autographed by historical men and women who have visited the Times' offices. The fact that I was able to even be inside this room is nuts.

A perfect sunny afternoon with queer icon Waxie Moon, who's now a Seattle landmark downtown. The mural was created by Anna-Lisa Notter and commissioned by The Pink Door restaurant.

A perfect sunny afternoon with queer icon Waxie Moon, who's now a Seattle landmark downtown. The mural was created by Anna-Lisa Notter and commissioned by The Pink Door restaurant.

The happiest I've probably ever seen Mr George Bakan - in front of rows and rows of stacked newspapers lining the halls. It was the largest edition of the Seattle Gay News ever printed in 40 years. My favorite shot of a man I love and admire and who gave me confidence and opportunity from the beginning.

The happiest I've probably ever seen Mr George Bakan - in front of rows and rows of stacked newspapers lining the halls. It was the largest edition of the Seattle Gay News ever printed in 40 years. My favorite shot of a man I love and admire and who gave me confidence and opportunity from the beginning.

Robbie Turner is usually all smiles - not this time, at the end of a long night. I like the juxtaposition between her and Justin's smiley face in the foreground.

Robbie Turner is usually all smiles - not this time, at the end of a long night. I like the juxtaposition between her and Justin's smiley face in the foreground.

My first studio fashion shoot in over a year and a half, with looks by Devonation, made me eager to schedule more shoots with favorite Seattle designers. Model Briana Haskell, with hair and makeup by Nancy Nav, killed it.

My first studio fashion shoot in over a year and a half, with looks by Devonation, made me eager to schedule more shoots with favorite Seattle designers. Model Briana Haskell, with hair and makeup by Nancy Nav, killed it.

Have to include this one of Hillary at her book signing in the University District! Crossing my fingers I'll get to see more of her in person in the next two years.

Have to include this one of Hillary at her book signing in the University District! Crossing my fingers I'll get to see more of her in person in the next two years.

I don't know what I did to get this reaction! But go-go boys having fun always make for great photos.

I don't know what I did to get this reaction! But go-go boys having fun always make for great photos.

In a world of so many selfies, this one from Seattle Pride really makes me smile.

In a world of so many selfies, this one from Seattle Pride really makes me smile.

I think this would make for a great ad for Virgin America.

I think this would make for a great ad for Virgin America.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smiles while visiting with Zackary Lystedt at the 8th Annual Brain Injury Gala. Young concussion legislation has been passed in all 50 states, and many were modeled after Washington state's first-in-the-nation "Zackery Lystedt Law".

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smiles while visiting with Zackary Lystedt at the 8th Annual Brain Injury Gala. Young concussion legislation has been passed in all 50 states, and many were modeled after Washington state's first-in-the-nation "Zackery Lystedt Law".

Memorial Day weekend at Sasquatch with my bud Dru Dinero was when 2014 really turned around for me. It helped me relax when I really need to relax. Can't wait for this year's festival at The Gorge.

Memorial Day weekend at Sasquatch with my bud Dru Dinero was when 2014 really turned around for me. It helped me relax when I really need to relax. Can't wait for this year's festival at The Gorge.

First portrait commission photographed at my studio's building in Chinatown. Still in awe of how polished the images of Judah Travis turned out.

First portrait commission photographed at my studio's building in Chinatown. Still in awe of how polished the images of Judah Travis turned out.

I've taken a whole lot of photos of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray over the years. This one from the Pride Foundation's Scholarship Celebration is one of my favorites - I think it's the bright red.

I've taken a whole lot of photos of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray over the years. This one from the Pride Foundation's Scholarship Celebration is one of my favorites - I think it's the bright red.

Was this sun-drenched living room in Medina even real!? I totally have to get back in touch with the Microsoft executive and his wife who own this home.

Was this sun-drenched living room in Medina even real!? I totally have to get back in touch with the Microsoft executive and his wife who own this home.

I took better photos of George at this year's Pride parade, but I like this one because he's still got his Vulcan fingers at the ready, prepping for more waves for the adoring crowd.

I took better photos of George at this year's Pride parade, but I like this one because he's still got his Vulcan fingers at the ready, prepping for more waves for the adoring crowd.

My most picked up image of the year didn't have any people in it. Published by TIME.com!

My most picked up image of the year didn't have any people in it. Published by TIME.com!

Tom Douglas is not a easy man to photograph. Quickly grabbed this shot as I was leaving, and it's the one Alaska Airlines used in social media to promote its collaboration with him.

Tom Douglas is not a easy man to photograph. Quickly grabbed this shot as I was leaving, and it's the one Alaska Airlines used in social media to promote its collaboration with him.

This picture epitomizes what I'm keeping an eye out for whenever obnoxious bachelorette parties come through R Place. Always look forward to seeing them!

This picture epitomizes what I'm keeping an eye out for whenever obnoxious bachelorette parties come through R Place. Always look forward to seeing them!

Detail shot of the Stadium Place building next to CenturyLink Field. The architecture firm called wanting to purchase it, but I didn't have a building release at the time and we never followed up with each other.

Detail shot of the Stadium Place building next to CenturyLink Field. The architecture firm called wanting to purchase it, but I didn't have a building release at the time and we never followed up with each other.

I only witnessed conflict through my camera lens twice this year, once when a drag queen and her husband got into it with a bouncer at the club, and this time at Pride as folks charged forward to create what the media called a "Wall of Love" to block protesters who'd crashed the parade.

I only witnessed conflict through my camera lens twice this year, once when a drag queen and her husband got into it with a bouncer at the club, and this time at Pride as folks charged forward to create what the media called a "Wall of Love" to block protesters who'd crashed the parade.

And another, from the protesters' perspective. That guy was really worked up and the girl in butterfly wings was holding him back. Intense!

And another, from the protesters' perspective. That guy was really worked up and the girl in butterfly wings was holding him back. Intense!

From the Runway to Freedom fashion show benefiting survivors of domestic violence.

From the Runway to Freedom fashion show benefiting survivors of domestic violence.

Besides Pride, the happiest I've been with a camera all year was feeding two dozen seagulls In-N-Out on the beach in San Diego. Totally in my element.

Besides Pride, the happiest I've been with a camera all year was feeding two dozen seagulls In-N-Out on the beach in San Diego. Totally in my element.

NEW YEAR

I envy folks who are up on it enough to do those year-end review posts of their favorite photos of the past year. Maybe I'll have a chance to do something along those lines, but January's going to be busy. I'm set on revamping the wedding portfolio, focusing on client commitments, catching up this blog with selects from shoots and gigs, getting the 4-years-ago-today blog off to a smooth start, clearing out hard drive space, doing the books for the 4th quarter, and will hopefully start putting together some contest entries. We'll see where things are at in a month, but anyway, it's the plan. So far ahead of 365 days ago- still not where I want things to be. I guess that's what it's about, though. My favorite quote I read this year was from Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton: "There are so many people that use 'following your dreams' as an excuse to not work," he said. "When in reality, following your dreams, successfully, is nothing but work." Dude gets it.

First up, taking a much needed break from the studio and celebrating the new year with this pretty lady.