Life’s been busy. Earlier this week I remembered I hadn’t yet posted a list of my favorite images I created in 2018. It was a fun year for me behind the lens. I created portraits on two continents, used my Canon to capture the sensory overload of Bangkok, got drenched in a downpour shooting out of an open sunroof as pro cyclists raced around my hometown. I got up early to catch early morning light and rushed out the door at dinner to catch the sunset. I got up close and personal with one of my favorite bands. And I used my photos to shine a national media spotlight on the awesome that is my hometown.
Let’s jump right in.
I set a goal to focus on my portrait work in 2018. I’m glad I did. It gave me the privilege of shooting stylized headshots with the Cloud Foundry Foundation community in Boston and Basel. I helped build the portfolios for aspiring models like Joe Gratz. I got creative with Broadway actress Jenny Lee Stern before and after her pregnancy. I spent a half day building a library of images for a local photographer I admire, Robyn Graham. And I spent an afternoon 68 floors above the WTC Memorial creating executive portraits with the stylish Laura Merling.
I gave landscapes a bit of a break this year. When I did venture out to shoot, I chose to do so with purpose. I’m lucky to live in an area of the country where magical sunsets and sunrises are plenty. It’s a place where taking even a few steps off the beaten path can transport you to another world. And where simply standing on the side of the road during morning rush hour can yield an autumn scene that would make a French Impressionist drool.
2018 was bittersweet for my wanderlust. Anthony Bourdain’s death was a gut punch. Beneath the noodles and beer, he showed us that cultural differences are not to be feared, but embraced. He broke the barriers of geography and language to show the binding forces that makes us all human. When I travel, for work or personal, I try to travel like Bourdain would. I make a conscious effort to get off the beaten path and experience a city’s culture. I try to be a traveler instead of a tourist.
Such was my mindset when I flew the family to Thailand for two weeks to explore the city of Bangkok and the islands of Phuket and when I absorbed the calm meanderings of locals while sipping beer on a sunny day along the banks of the Rhine in Switzerland.
I ran varsity cross country in college. Over the past six years, though, my sport of choice became cycling. I got involved with a popular professional race that rolls through my town each September. It gave me access to some of the biggest names in the sport and a front row seat to the high speed action shooting out of the pace car sunroof or off the back of a motorcycle (where I motored and clicked alongside former Tour de France champion Floyd Landis). It also allowed me to get creative at our town’s annual Goldsprints competition, where three time Olympian Bobby Lea took down local pros in head to head competition while downing a pint.
Concert photography is a special discipline. I enjoy it, but there are people like Bob Linneman who are absolute pros. Luckily, Bob was in the pit when I first shot The Cadillac Three and was generous with his advice. It was good to see him at the Theater of Living Arts pit in Philadelphia when TC3 rolled back into town this year.
In an ideal world protest marches wouldn’t be necessary. However, 2018 saw the need for several. Doylestown’s concerned citizens rose up and I had the duty to capture their messages and strength. One of my images from a protest in the wake of yet another mass murder in our country’s schools was included in a New York Times roundup of marches from around the nation.
I also captured Doylestown’s iconic County Theater for a feature on America’s most charming theater marquees in Atlas Obscura.
As the year raced to a close, residents decorated their homes and businesses festooned their storefronts with twinkling lights. Discover Doylestown tapped several local photographers to participate in a friendly competition to capture the holiday scenes. My image of the Patricia Hutton Gallery took the top spot in the commercial category.
The absolute favorite shots I captured in 2018? Without question, the two that close out this post. Images captured by an insanely proud father to two beautiful, talented and fearless daughters.