Happy Birthday, Jordan!

I’m taking some time today to wish this spectacular lady a, Happy Birthday. Jordan was a regular model on the site for a while, and she’s always been great to work with. We’ve done shoots in studios, graveyards, a river, and frigid cold, and she’s never been anything short of stellar. Hopefully, we can collaborate again soon.

The Year In Review

A full year. Since I graduated. Since I proposed. Since I started freelancing. Since I started the site to keep myself in practice. I suppose that I should take a hard look back at 2013.

                Let’s start by looking at things from a purely objective standpoint and take a look at the numbers.

  • Numbers Total Hits: 9,709
  • Overall Average Hits Per Day: 27
  • Most Hits In A Single Day: 283
  • Total Number of Followers: 110
  • Total Number Of Posts: 205
  • 205 posts/ 365 Days= 56.1% of Daily Goal
  • Then again, I was working 60-80 hours a week the last two months of the year, so taking off November and December, we get 196 Posts /304 Days= 64.5%

 What do these numbers tell us? Well, they tell me that I need to do better. I While I have started writing, editing video, and dabbling more with graphic design, I haven’t come as far with branching my skills as I would have liked. And yes, I have been shooting daily, it hasn’t necessarily been what I want to be working on.

It might be fair to say that I’ve been… disconnected. After I graduated, I lost all of the resources available to me through the university. That doesn’t just include the photo gear and technology, but the connections though fellow students and teachers. Add all that to the fact that my car died early this year, and funds have been relatively low. So, with no money, no car, and no connections, it honestly felt like a year adrift.

But, those are just the numbers and the setup. What did this year in photos actually look like? (Be sure to click to open in theater mode. There’s a cut line for each one of these. )

Where does that leave me? I wouldn’t call the year empty, and I can’t say there was nothing fulfilling.  I wouldn’t say that I didn’t grow, but I still feel like I could have been more. I feel like I’m falling behind my peers. All I can do is try to keep at getting myself off the ground this year.

I photographed this collision with my cell phone on my lunch break. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. The photograph was picked up by one of the local papers.

I photographed this collision with my cell phone on my lunch break. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. The photograph was picked up by one of the local papers.

Still, with everything I shot this year, one photo stands out more than anything I did. It was the photograph I took on my lunch break with cell phone of the car crash. It reminded me how much I can care; not just about news, but about people. I had just finished Dave LaBelle’s Lessons in Life and Death, and learned just how much photographs of tragedy can help those involved cope and come to terms with those events. I felt like I had a responsibility.  It reminded me that no matter where I am, or what I’m doing with my life, that drive for journalism, and news is always there. I’m never going to give up.

Jordan Gets In Touch With Her Inner Harley Girl

Returning again is the ever-awesome Jordan Castello! We were lucky enough to be given permission to shoot at a nearby Harley Davidson outlet. However; the catch was that we were only given an hour to work with  before the store opened, and we had to work fast. Every shot had to count, and I really had no time to explore many different set-ups, and could only grab a few exposures at a time. Overall, I feel pretty happy with the set, but there were a few issues that I saw in post that I wish I had time to fix physically, rather than in Photoshop later.

I was actually a little physically sore after we wrapped, I was using my left hand to hold my flash off-camera to get the right angle, leaving my right to support the camera on its own. Eventually, I had to break down and use my tripod toward the end to prevent camera shake. Not to mention trying to maneuver my flash into position while it was attached to the my monopod.  I was really happy that I had thought to bring a stepladder along. The shop made for a cluttered background, and the ability to shoot from a high angle really helped clean up the composition.

I still had a blast with the shoot, and it was exciting to try to get everything done within the time limit.