2014 Year in Review

So much happened this year and I really appreciate that so many of you have come here to see a little of my world.  It’s not just a photography outlet but a place to express myself and it’s from these blog entries where I get a chance to display my artwork and sometimes offer a little about my own crazy life.  If I had one blog entry I’d say was my favourite from 2014 it would have to be a wrap-up of a trip I took with my four year old son in September.  Family is number one and having my beautiful wife by side and my three amazing and bratty children with me is why I try so hard to be their hero.  If you feel like checking it out please see it here:

A Trip to know my son

Each year I look forward to this post and reflecting on the past year.  It gives me the opportunity to evaluate short and long term goals, both personal and career.  Working for myself is a challenging position especially when I travel so often and have a young and growing family at home.  The constant challenge I’m faced with is balancing my personal life and continuing to grow my business life and travel like I did before the kids came.  It is often met with hurdles that Colleen and I must navigate in order to be fair to everyone.

2014 was certainly a year where I decided to find more of the personal balance and revive a bit of my old travel and sport life.   Early in the year I took a trip back to Africa to visit and stay with the Omo tribes of Southern Ethiopia.  I was so lucky to have great friends from Germany meet up with me and experience this amazing adventure.   I took a real leap and could not have done it without the support of my wife as I felt I needed to feel that adventure again.  To put myself back into a world where every single you see is new, exciting , a bit unnerving and very inspiring.  I felt that my photography and vision had changed so much in the last couple years and really needed to see how well I could photograph this trip.  It was a very necessary experience and I came back with feeling of accomplishment.

A career challenge I presented to myself was to bridge the skills I pick up from hiking , traveling, personal interaction and deliver it to my work and wedding/lifestyle photography.  I had to make very conscious choice in the direction my work will go and to deliver a product that is honest and take images that will last the test of time while still doing  a few creative and glamorous shots.   I found myself staring at old images from JFK and Jackie Kennedy when they got married and the images were purely happy, true and mostly journalistic moments from their wedding.  Nothing too splashy or too glamorous but each one made me stare at it and I could see myself standing there as it was shot.  I think that’s so important and I feel it’s my responsibility to a couple to give them a document of the wedding, and of course still provide the eye opening shots which are created in my head.

Overall a lot happened in 2014 and even through all the ups and downs, which there was ample it’s been a year to remember.  I’ve included a large assortment of the images from the year and just uploading them made me smile.  I always feel so lucky being able to meet so many people, all with unique and interesting lives and getting to know each of them is so much fun.  I also had a fair number of shoots and weddings that are not reflected here for privacy reasons but please enjoy the year that was 2014.

A few career accomplishments from 2014:

* Weddingbells named me as on of the most inspiring wedding photographers in Canada

* I was Awarded Best Photographer In Alberta by the Canadian Wedding Industry Awards

* Junebug Weddings awarded one of my images as one of the top destination Wedding images in the world

* National Geographic published two of my images as their daily dozen and four images were recognized in their international photography contest

* Kelly Redinger and I hosted our first wedding Workshop.

* ranked in the Top 50 wedding photographers int he world by MYWED

* won a few Fearless Awards

* had three images recognized in the Africa Geographic Photographer of the year

* and published in numerous newspapers and magazines

Some personal accomplishments:

* Taking a trip back to Africa for three weeks with friends to visit the Omo valley and stay with the Mursi tribe.

* Visiting Istanbul in Turkey for the first time

* a ten day camping and tour through BC with my four year old son to get to know the little guy

* A wonderful trip back to England for a wedding and a great road trip with friends.

* made it a practice of getting on my mountain bike as much as possible

* I Finally made it to Chicago and caught a Notre Dame Football game, CHicago Bears game and see the Hawks play.  RUDY , RUDY, RUDY

* Here are some tips on camping with kids.

And a whole bunch more from that amazing experience back in Africa: