As we begin to wind down 2017, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look back on some of my favorite images I captured throughout the year.
It was a year that saw me take on big challenges and explore new photography styles. It was also a year that helped me further define the connection between my career helping companies tell better stories and my passion capturing those stories with my camera. That intersection is something I’ll be focusing on in 2018.
What were my favorite images of 2017? Let’s look.
I kicked off the year with a dream commission from PayPal to shoot a series of limited edition prints for their big customer conference in Scottsdale. We reserved a small number of prints for the general public to invest (email me for pricing and availability). The prints were the centerpiece of the opening reception at the conference, complete with a violinist. Each of the prints had behind-the-scenes video encoded on them that attendees could access through an augmented reality app on their phone (below). Yeah, that was all kinds of awesome.
This next shot is another one of those “Did this really happen?” images. I got wind the up-and-coming country band, The Cadillac Three, was rolling into Philadelphia for a show at the Theater for the Living Arts on South Street. I shot a note to their publicist and manager to see if anyone was scheduled to shoot the concert. There wasn’t and I got invited to shoot from the pit. It’s been fun seeing my images pop up as backgrounds for the band’s tour posters this year.
For the past couple of years, my friend Brian Boger and his merry band of awesome misfits at Doylestown Bike Works, organize a head-to-head stationary bike race at one of the local bars. For the record, I accidentally won the open category the first year (probably because there weren’t any hills). I wasn’t able to successfully defend my crown this year and played around with slow shutter speeds after my eventual (and quick) elimination.
I serve as the director of communications for the Bucks County Classic, a pro cycling race that rolls into my town every year. During the race I like to walk the course to absorb the massive crowds watching the race. Near the back of the loop, I caught these two ladies enjoying the paper as the peloton screamed by.
I woke up early to get this shot of this sunflower field in Ringoes, NJ. It’s the kind of shot I’ve wanted to get for years. It was possible because my friend, Mike Rubillo, provided amazing advance scouting, including exact GPS coordinates and sunrise windows. With friends like Mike, the shooting doesn’t get any easier.
My backyard continued to put on a fairly consistent sunset show throughout the year.
My favorite tree in my favorite secret location continued to provide great photographic fodder.
I made my annual pilgrimage to Portland, Me., for the annual Monktoberfest conference. Like years past, I chose to drive up and try to catch some of the northeastern foliage. While this year’s weather pattern shifted the changing leaves out a week squelching my ability to capture the transition from summer to autumn, it did provide some unseasonably warm weather and an amazing Wes Anderson-like moonrise over Nubble Lighthouse.
I’ve wanted to get a decent shot of a full moon for some time now. I was lucky enough to be on a boat in Casco Bay looking out toward the Atlantic during a full moon this year. Special thanks to my friend Stephen O’Grady for making it possible.
We listen to music with our ears. We see it performed at live concerts. And this year I had the opportunity to hear and see how it was made. My daughters’ high school marching band recorded their halftime show at the famed Big Boy room inside Sound Kitchen Studio in Nashville. This is the same studio where artists like Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Chicago, Donna Summer and Quiet Riot recorded albums. And it’s where I watched my youngest daughter record a vocal track at 11:30 at night under the direction of the producer/engineer who recorded Twenty-Pilots in the very sound booth she sang in.
One of the goals I set for myself going into 2017 was to do more portrait work. I tend to gravitate toward people in my shots, especially in my street photography. I wanted to see what I could accomplish in more controlled and deliberate settings. Huge thanks to models like Taylor, Abby, Dev, Rachel and Victoria for indulging my efforts.
Earlier this year, I began a personal project as a way to use my PR and photography experience to give back to my community. The project is titled, “This is Our Town.” It started with a wide focus on interesting people around town. I’m tweaking it a bit in 2018 to focus on the outstanding teachers in our district.
This is my number one favorite shot of the year. I captured it during the Womens’ March in Doylestown. To me, it encapsulates much of the frustration, disgust and, yes, still flickering hope we saw in a year that tested and continues to test the experiment that is democracy and the resiliency of the people that make up this nation.
Want to hang one of my images on your wall? See my full gallery at mikemaney.com