I think that’s what 2011 was about for me when it comes to my journey with photography. I spent more time in study and practice than ever before, I became an active member of a world-wide community of passionate and generous photographers who inspire me to keep improving, I enjoyed some special travel and developed a deeper appreciation of my world close to home. And all of it reinforced my belief that photographs matter.
It was a privilege to help tell the stories of the many talented people in town through artist features on Albany Patch. It was a joy to help people record who they are right now through portrait sessions. It was a thrill to have an essay published online and in print by Rear Curtain. And — always — it warmed my heart to spend time with family and friends just doing what we do.
Moments are fleeting, but moments tell our story. If I can capture the moment so that the story can be repeated for those who were there and enjoyed by those who were not, I think I have done something of value.
Here’s a look at moments I treasure from the year gone by.
Looking ahead, I wish for you a new year full of stories of joy and growth, laughter and love.
Happy New Year!
When you live with someone who likes to take pictures of people, the camera is pointed at you a lot. My family is used to it. Sometimes they ignore it. Sometimes they play to it. That reaction in particular can be challenging for the photographer. For instance, Grace and Hilary can go from zero to smile-for-the-camera in no time flat. Only problem is, their cheese-y faces aren’t my favorite. I consider it a win when I get past that to the authentic moments and the genuine goofiness that I know is under the facade. Sometimes it takes a quick shutter finger, or patience, or just letting them laugh at me. It’s worth it when I’m rewarded with their beautiful laughing eyes.
Here are a few favorite images that remind me of the year gone by.
It’s fun to review the year in pictures and to find the ones that really make me smile. When you find those keepers in your archive I hope you take the time to enjoy them, share them, back them up, and maybe even print them out. Photographs have the magic power to bring back those favorite moments and make us smile all over again.
On Saturday afternoon I joined Harold Davis and about twenty other photographers on a photo walk along the Berkeley Pier. The hazy light of day turned into a brilliant sunset. It was a great vantage point to view the iconic San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge.
I have been fortunate to do quite a bit of traveling with my camera this year. It is so exciting to see a new place and try to capture the magic of those first impressions in images. But I find it is also deeply satisfying to be able to see what is near at hand and all-too-familiar with fresh eyes. Heracleitus is quoted as saying you can’t step in the same river twice. It’s like that with light. Every sunset is different. Fog, haze, mist . . . they all change the view from the pier.
It was fun to play with this group of enthusiastic photographers. But let’s face it: that’s a lot of tripods.
I will be returning to the pier. There is a lot to learn there.
Hilary and I spent the day in San Francisco, joining hundreds of other goofballs who were getting their merry on, Santa-style. We started at Civic Center at noon. Santas appeared from every direction and eventually “assembled” (that’s far too organized a word) on the steps of City Hall. It was quite a sight.
There was quite a crush of Santas and at one point Hilary and I got separated. I didn’t panic, but instead reverted to the tried-and-true techniques of yesteryear. “Marco!” I shouted. Several nearby Santas kind of answered “Polo?” when out of the crowd strode Hilary with purpose in her stride. A lady Santa exclaimed with wonder in her voice, “Wow. That totally worked!” My favorite moment of the day.
After that, Santas scattered to spread cheer throughout the city. We headed for Union Square. What a silly day. You can see the rest of the gallery here.