Looking Back at 2018
Well its been one hell of a year. Over 30 different shoots, Mainly portraits mixed in with some live music. 2018 kicked my ass and brought a hell of a lot of frustration. Between not having time to shoot and not having inspiration to shoot it was hard to power through it. I wanted to look back at everything I did this last year and pick some of my favorite shots from each month.
I only had one shoot this month. I started this website this month and decided to make this photography thing something serious. I didn’t know at the time that I would grow as much as I did this year. I found a home in portrait photography and I have never looked back.
February was a fun one. I didn’t have any shoots really besides this concert, but it felt amazing to be back at Starland photographing music again. That rush is truly something I miss. 3 songs 9 minutes. Close to 500 photos. Going into a photo pit used to give me the worst anxiety. What if I fuck up? What if a card fails or a battery dies? I won’t have time to fix it. But that feeling of leaving the photo pit with a card full of photos that you have almost no clue of how they look is unreal.
March was when I decided that I was shutting down my online publication. I shot my last concert which was Matt & Kim. A band I’ve loved for years but never got to see or let alone shoot. So I immediately did my research and found their PR, sent my email, and got approved a couple of days later. So I waited for the concert packed my bags and headed to the venue. I waited in line to get in. Walked in and waited. Matt and Kim finally came out and for the next three songs I couldn’t even tell you what happened. Once I start shooting. I go in this mind set of just shoot and get it right. I go into my own little world so I can focus and shoot. In the same month I had one of the best shoots with Kelli. We didn’t plan anything out really just met up in the city and got to work. I feel like every-time we tried to shoot together the best comes from when we don’t plan anything. We walked around and ended up finding a small little bodega in the basement of a nail salon. Walked down and it smelt like old fish but in the back we found the ramen wall and then bam. The photo below happened.
Another month, another shoot with Kell. We went back to Fort Hancock in NJ to shoot the artwork for her Single, “FIghter,” We took some portraits around the base before we headed over to the Mortar Battery’s to shoot her single artwork. Make up smeared all over her face hair a mess. It was a surprise that no one ran into us. This photo was obviously before that.
May was another quiet month. I saw an idea on the internet with smoke and umbrellas and needed to make it happen. I knew I wanted to change it from the original and I wanted a clear umbrella not even thinking the clear ones are plastic and would melt. But after going to 4 different stores I finally found one. We went to an abandoned Terracotta factory to shoot this. Got everything ready lit the smoke and we had about 2 minutes before the smoke burned a hole in the top of the umbrella.
Two shoots both in the city both incredible. The first was mainly a day to just walk around and explore. Ever since I watched Tomorrowland, I’ve always wanted to go to the site of the worlds fair. I made a trip to the city and got on the hour long subway ride from Penn station to Flushing Meadows Park. I got off the subway walked over the train yard, and entered the beautiful park. I was completely awestruck by the scenery, walking through the gardens and then seeing the Unisphere in the distance. That, that was incredible. A couple weeks later I came back to the city with Kelli again. We had very little idea behind this shoot but I knew we wanted to shoot with a very hipster type feel. We took over the city doing one of our most intense shoots to date.
In July I found the Dream Machine online. I knew I wanted to go and knew I needed to bring the right people with me. I brought along Emily and Gabby and it was the best idea. What we created that day deserves its own post. The Dream Machine was a walk through pop-up “museum” designed for photos. Around the same time I tried to branch out and use more of my gear. I’ve had a drone since DJI came out with the Phantom 2 and I’ve since upgrade to the Mavic Pro, but I find myself using it less and less. So I decided when i took the trip to the mountains to the New Jersey Botanical Gardens I told myself I was bringing the drone. So in this overly hot and gross day I took my first drone portrait.
August was one of those months were it was so hot outside all you wanted to do was stay indoors, sitting in front of the air vent with cold air just blowing on your back. It was gross. But I made it out a couple days that month. First was to Rockaway Beach to see the Kusama Exhibit. Narcissus Garden, or commonly known as The Mirror Balls. 1500 polished stainless steel balls were arranged in an abandoned military warehouse. It was one of those things were it doesn’t seem so amazing until you see it in person. Later on in the Month I got to photograph a friend of mine, Melanie. Its kinda funny how Rockaway, was at Gateway National Park, NY and my shoot with Melanie was in Gateway National Park, NJ. After walking miles through the sand we finally reached the water and man it was great. To be completely alone on a beach in Jersey, In August is a weird thing.
In September I was able to talk Kelli into shooting again. She wanted to do something football themed. I wanted a dress in the woods. We did both. We headed to Holmdel County Park, looking for a nice open field to shoot on, it was no question to go here. After shooting the football outfit on our way to change outfits I spotted an area in shade were we did the red dress shoot. It was simple yet worked perfectly for the look we wanted. Later on that month I got to head out to Philly to shoot my friend Holdn. Putting on a small local show at Creep Records. Love going out to shoot her always a good time and she puts on a killer set, every, single, time.
October was great got to shoot some new places and new things. My shoot with Lily was incredible. Shooting dancers is something I really want to get into more. The fluidity they portray is something out of this world. Moving from pose to pose itself is an art-form. Later on I had the idea I wanted to shoot in Historic Smithville, little did I know that they had their annual Oktoberfest. We pulled up and were greeted by a mass amount of people walking around crowding the streets and drinking beer. Safe to say we moved that shoot. We ended up heading down to Atlantic City and explored their aquarium.
This first photo I literally thought of as I was driving down the Parkway and saw this open parking lot. Completely empty except for one store. With an empty lot a drone and beautiful white lines we took this incredible shot. For months I was trying to set up a shoot with Shannon and we finally did the day after a snow storm it was weirdly warm and we were able to take over run down greenhouse. The people who owned the property were super nice about it and gave us free reign and freedom to spend as much time as we wanted there.
December was a fucking awful month. So much shit happened, it just wasn’t a good month for me but I knew I couldn’t let that stop me. I took my first self portrait that month. Driving up to the top of Sunset Mountain we were greeted by a thick layer of fog I pulled over and knew exactly what and how I wanted to photograph the scene. To end this long journey, I went to a place that I’ve wanted to visit since I was a young kid. I grew up a short drive from Duke Estate but never got a chance to go explore it. I ended up going there one rainy day walking through the grounds getting soaked and freezing until finding the Orchid Greenhouse.