2008 Year in Review – Part 3

After my trip to Boston, I was feeling a bit defeated as far as my photography went. I hadn’t come back from Boston with many good shots and a few performers refused to speak with me for my Shutter On The Street project. I was frustrated and actually contemplating throwing in the towel on taking my photography to a new level. Fortunately, all that doubt was cleared out after another trip to East Hampton. I came back from that trip with two of the best pictures I’ve taken, one being a portrait and one being a concept I’ve had in my head for over a year.

Steph - East Hampton sun rise

Life's Journey

In September, Derek, my cousin, finally received the honor of Eagle Scout. It was a long time coming and Derek really worked hard for this rank. I was very proud of him that day.

From Derek’s Eagle COH

After a trip to Ocean City, for Labor Day, I returned with my favorite picture of 2008. It’s an HDR shot from underneath the pier in Ocean City at sunrise. I’m not much of a morning person this past year, a combination of medication and motivation, but I got up early anyway determined to get some great shots of the sun rising over the ocean. Ocean City has some amazing sunrises and this morning was no different. The photo was very well received when I posted it on Flickr and even won an “award.”

Under the boardwalk

Also in September, I had the privilege of doing a photo session for Courtney, Steph’s sister, dance pictures. I learned a lot from that session and it really sparked my interest in doing more studio/portrait work.

In October, I was asked by Bert and Leah to do an engagement portrait session with them. I was pretty nervous but after the first frame, I knew that there were going to be a lot of “keepers” from the session. Bert and Leah are very attractive people and really, all I had to do was get them in position and then push a button. It was dead simple and I used quite a few pictures from that session in my portfolio.

Bert & Leah Engagement

A week later, it was off to East Hampton again for another visit. Again, I returned with photographs that I was really happy with and by this time my confidence was really booming. I was just starting to emerge from my cocoon. The ball was rolling and I was finally starting to steer.

East Hampton - 2008-10-03-3839

October was packed but it was a lot of fun. I hosted a BBQ for friends from Capitol that I hadn’t seen a long time. It seems we all get busy as we grow older so it was really nice to reconnect with everyone and find out what they had been up to. My family also planned a family camping trip which was rained out so instead we went bowling. It was a blast getting together and everyone had a great time.

From Bowling Night

November was a very busy month for shooting. Word had gotten around about my studio set up and people were volunteering to stand in front of the camera to help me build up my portfolio.

Bethany came over and let me work on some fashion and model shots. We had a lot of fun and it was quite a shock to see my “little” cousin looking so grown up and so FANTASTIC!

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I also did my first Holiday card session with a new family. Andy started his family in 2008 with the birth of his first child and then they bought their first home together later in the year. They are doing a great job with their daughter and she was such a pleasure to have in the studio.

Holiday Card for the Nistico's

Steph’s friend Stacie also volunteered to let me do their family’s holiday photos. Their little Simon is so well behaved and a total ham in front of the camera. They were also willing to let me try out a concept I had thought of a few months back and I was really happy with the results.

Charlie Brown Xmas

We took a quick break from the photo sessions and found Munnys! To be fair, I had seen them before but never really knew what I wanted to do with them. They are literally a blank canvas for creativity and for a while, I found that very intimidating. A little bit of liquid courage and the company of some good friends and I was ready to take one on and hosted a Munny Madness party.

Munny Shawn

This year also featured my return to Thanksgiving with the family after a year off. 2007 was just too much for me around the holidays and I really dreaded them coming. The later half of 2008 was the complete opposite. While I still had some reservations, I just wanted to soak in the warmth of my family’s love and be around them as much as possible. We even turned Thanksgiving into an ad-hoc photo session and knocked out family portraits. It was also the chance I was looking for to try out a new concept called “Little Planets“.

My Little Planet

There was one more holiday photo session in November to complete the month. The Tirschmans are a really happy family and it was a real treat getting to see them all interact and play. It was my first time doing an “on-location” shoot and it went really well. They loved that I could come to their home and capture their family in portraits.

I managed to squeeze in 3 more photo sessions in December. It was tight but every session was a lot of fun and something that I learned at lot from. I’m really grateful for every one who gave me a chance to practice this year and improve my photog skills. It’s given me a lot of practice and a feel for what it would be like to have my hobby turn into a career. I think that ultimately, it may serve as my retirement plan when I’m finished working in IT Security.

As a special treat this year, my Mom, Dad (and his dog), and Sister spent the night at Steph’s house with me on Xmas Eve and we all awoke together (at the sound of the smoke alarm from my sister cooking) on Christmas morning. It was really special to me, we haven’t all been together on Xmas morn in 8 years. It was a real surprise that my parents even considered it but what’s great is that my Mom is considering it as a new tradition for her. We’ll see what next year holds but I’m looking forward to it.

One Response to “2008 Year in Review – Part 3”

  1. Mom
    January 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    I love reading what you write and I wish I had the courage to write about things like you do.

    However, the educator in me could not let this go. So… The photo was very well received when I posted it on Flickr and even one an “award.”, please fix “won”.

    Christmas was such a pleasure and I appreciated the invite. I, too, was surprised that I actually considered it and then agreed to it. But it was the best decision I made for the holidays. I miss having you and your sister around and waking up with you both was the best present I could have received. I am not very good with the “empty nest syndrome”. This year you and Amber have made it so much easier. I love you both very much.

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