Married on a Horse Ranch

When considering the best locations for an outdoor wedding, definitely put a horse ranch on the list. ESPECIALLY if the bride is a jockey and the groom works with horses for a living.

This wedding in Wesley Chapel, Florida was absolutely lovely. And with half of the bridal party being Puerto Rican, it's no surprise that the dancing was amazing. 

Congratulations again, Kat and Jose!

Touch a Truck at Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A in Fair Lakes hosted an awesome event for kids this summer called Touch a Truck. There were firetrucks, a moving truck, a garbage trucks, police car, school bus, race car and many other fantastic vehicles. The event was sponsored by my wonderful church, Community Bible Church of Fair Lakes.

Enjoy some photos from that day!

Fusion Exercise

Over recent years, I've had the pleasure of working with Rhonda Kaufman Malkin, a woman of many talents. She is the owner of Fusion Exercise, a "combination of dance, Pilates, yoga and massage, all rolled into an incredibly energizing one-hour personal workout that is tailored specifically to your fitness goals" (excerpt from Fusion Exercise website).

I've been privileged to photograph Rhonda individually (she's gorgeous, people!) and also to use my camera to capture the two sides of her business: Personal Training and Professional Dance Coaching. Here are some of my favorite photos from a couple dance coaching sessions in New York City. Enjoy!

Grounded Coffee

I am loving my time in Huntsville, Alabama, collaborating with Raeley Stevenson Photography. We've been teaming up to photograph local signature businesses in the area. Here are some of my photos from one of our favorite clients, Grounded Coffee.

Find out more about our collaboration (and see Raeley's photos of our Grounded shoot) HERE

And here's a big shoutout to Betsy and Jared, who were fantastic models, excellent joke-tellers, and inspiring queso enthusiasts. Mark my words: we've got a future together. 

IMG_5594.jpg
14-IMG_5752.jpg

Mother Knows Best

She is a mother first, a hunter second, but that does not lessen her love for hunting. Now that her two boys are old enough to use guns safely, Jaime Covert teaches them how to hunt.

            Jaime Covert has been hunting since she was 19 years old, but her sons had the privilege of starting much sooner. At ages 8 and 10, they are already experienced with their first guns.
            The Coverts live on a family-run dairy farm in Prattsburgh with roughly 1,350 cows. Between the four immediate families that work the farm, there is a crew of 15 to 20 that deer hunt together, and Jaime is the only woman. “Not a lot of people approve of women hunting, but I love it and if I didn't do it my boys would not know how to hunt,” Covert said.
            Her husband, Joel, doesn’t shoot, so Jaime is teaching her 8 and 10-year-old sons how to hunt. One of the ways the boys are learning is by shooting pests around the farm. Starlings eat the cow feed, raccoons kill the chickens and groundhogs dig holes in the field that can wreck the farm equipment. Jaime has also had to shoot coyotes and foxes to protect the livestock.
            More than just hunting, Covert is teaching the boys gun safety. “My boys know that guns are deadly weapons,” said Covert. “They won’t just pick them up and play with them. They won’t even touch them without me being around. That’s one of the rules.” Safety rules in the Covert house are strict and taken very seriously. The guns are locked and stored separately from the bullets. There is not a loaded gun in the house.
            Being a mother has strongly influenced Covert’s stand on gun control laws. Family is her first priority, and she believes the upcoming regulations will limit her ability to protect her children. She says the new gun control laws in New York are an infringement on our constitutional rights. “People who misuse the guns are ruining it for everyone else,” she said.

It was such a blessing to photograph and get to know the Covert family. Enjoy the photos!

"Not a lot of people approve of women hunting, but I love it and if I didn't my boys would not know how to hunt."
-Jaime Covert

"It's important to know how to hunt because that's part of how we feed our family," said Jaime. 

Aside from pests and predators on the farm, she doesn't shoot anything they won't eat.

Athens

From November 16-18, 2012 my photojournalism class traveled to Athens to photograph Greece in crisis.   
 
Athens is a city in turmoil. Greece is at the heart of the Eurozone crisis with high debt, high poverty and almost palpable political tension. The recent elections were well-documented and the austerity measures placed on this country by the EU have been trumpeted through the news, but I hoped to capture more than that. I wanted to capture the face of Athens. I photographed the political tension, the anger and despair. I photographed the desperation and heartache felt walking down the streets. But I tried to make my photos go deeper than spot news, to the heart of the issue. 

These pictures do not show Athens as a crumbling block in the European Union, they show men with crumbling resolve. These are not images of fire being thrown at policemen, of livid mobs yelling. They are photos of the people behind the fire, of the anguish behind the anger. Policemen with eyes full of fear, instead of threat. Backs bent with exhaustion. Tradition being desperately clung to. But most importantly, these are photos of the resolve that the people of Athens still possess. Because the people of Athens have not given up. Despite the pain and the anger, there is hope. There is strength in their eyes. There is faith. 

I hope that as you look at these photos you see more than a political and economic crisis. I hope you see the face of Athens. Anguish, heartbreak and desperation, yes, but a people who refuse to give up.

Translation: When peaceful revolution becomes impossible violence is necessary. 
(Followed by the symbol of the anarchists)

Toto's Newsagent

This was a photography project where we were each told to find a "corner shop" and photograph it for several days. It was a project intended to show the shop throughout a normal day. For the record, opening time was 4:45AM. (The sole reason for me telling you that is so I can publicly complain about being outside taking pictures at 4:45AM.) In these photos you'll see the manager of Toto's Newsagent, a sweet lady from Northern Ireland who is responsible for almost everything that goes on. You'll also see the delivery man who comes twice a week and stays for an hour to chat with the manager and have tea and digestives (that means cookies, Americans), a local boy delivering the morning papers and some of the regular customers. I loved seeing how such a strong community was built by this tiny corner shop. I also loved remembering that I don't usually have to wake up at 4AM. Enjoy!

Elbridge Fire Department

Last semester I had the chance to photograph Syracuse elections for Democracy in Action as a photojournalism project. I teamed up with a great reporter named Drew Roberts and we visited two Central New York locations.
(Read his story here: http://www.dia-cny.com/electionday/?p=3522. )

One of our locations was attached to the Elbridge Volunteer Fire Department. We met several members (and some family) of the incredible volunteer staff. These photos have nothing to do with the project, but they're worth looking at.

We owe volunteers such as these an enormous debt. Thank you all for what you sacrifice for our comfort and safety.