Looking back through my portfolio over the past year, these are the 18 images I made that resonated most.

I had the opportunity to shoot several of my daughters’ musical performances in 2016. We are lucky to live in a school district with tremendous support for the arts. That is not the case in too many parts of the country.

I dipped my big toe into the wedding photography world this year and look forward to capturing a small, exclusive number of nuptials in 2017.

I had a blast exploring the streets of Philadelphia a bit more this year. If you haven’t gone on a photowalk in your town or city, do it. You’ll see things you take for granted in a new light.

One of my goals in 2016 was to shoot more portraits. It’s an area of photography I enjoy and will continue to push in 2017.

When I look through the lens, I don’t see images. I see stories.

My iPhone rarely left my pocket as a camera in 2016. But when it did…

Sometimes you have to lie down in the middle of a busy Philadelphia street to get the shot you want.

One of the advantages of running communications for a big pro bike race is having a front row seat to the action.

When I click the shutter, I’m not just trying to take a picture, I’m trying to capture the personality and soul of the subject I’m shooting. Having a perfect sunset and the Jersey shore as a temporary studio doesn’t hurt.

The reason pro photographers always carry a camera is so they don’t miss things like fiery midnight protests at the foot of the Washington Monument.

2016 was an opportunity to remind myself that simple is often better.

This year was also a reminder that you don’t have to travel far to find beauty (this is my backyard).

Always say yes. It’s how you create opportunities like being asked to shoot promotional images for bands like Barrage8.

The past year was also a reminder to keep your eyes open wider and longer if you want to see the bigger picture.

Did I mention how lucky I am to live where I do?

 

I played around with some long exposure photography this year.

Get up earlier. Go to bed later. Life is lived on the edges.

As I curated my images from 2016, there was one I was never able to cast aside, despite knowing it wasn’t my most technically perfect shot or the one that got the most hearts on Instagram. Yet, something about it stuck with me. It’s the portrait I made of a man named Rudy during a trip to Portland, Maine, this past October.

The reason it meant so much to me this year is because at that moment — the 1/200th of a second it took to press the shutter on my camera — is when I understood why I kept sensing the collision of my profession and my passion. Organizations and executives got caught up in messages, forgetting that what people really want to hear are stories about other humans. I saw a technology industry continue to struggle with recruitment and diversity. I saw opportunity to use my experience as a storyteller and a photographer to help organizations and executives tell their stories better (and, in many cases, find the stories that need to be told).

To me, the portrait of Rudy is less about the photograph I see and more about the conversation I had. Yes, I took better photos throughout the year, but none evoked the personal emotion and introspection that this one did.

 

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