TRIP TO ENGLAND & SCOTLAND

One of my lifelong dreams is about to come true.  My family is embarking on an international trip together.  This alone would be incredible, but we are heading to Scotland and England, which, from family trees and now DNA technology we can confirm is where our genetic heritage hails from.  So, I am excited about some of my family members experiencing what I have experienced before, which is going to a place that all at once foreign and new and yet familiar, home. As a thirty-six year old traveler I am seasoned.  My patience is high.  Things will go wrong.  We've built in down time and alone time so that people don't become overwhelmed by being around the same people 24/7 for two weeks straight.  I am holding the ideas of what I want to do lightly, knowing that with a large group of people that there will be a mixture of wants and desires that are ever shifting and to express my wants but to enjoy things others want to do. I am also apparently six and never been on a trip before because I am over this week already.  My mind is that of a senior in high school after spring break.  I know I have things to do, but my mind is no longer here.  I have senioritis big time, only the prize isn't summer break, it is the cool, rolling hills of England.  It's pubs with low ceilings with dark, wooden beams that were hewn ages ago.  It's rivers and forests, and glens.  It's architecture that spans before 1800.  It is time spent with loved ones.  I wan it to be friday now.  I am up for the slow torture of the airport and flying.  That's the right of passage that makes arrival so grand.  This pre torture torture though is killing me. I have purchased a dozen rolls of film, cleaned all my lenses and filters and cameras.  We've packed and repacked, and the only thing missing is you.  We may not be able to take you physically, but you will be on my mind.  I will be showing you what I see in the way that only I see it....

Wade & Brittani

We met Wade on a missions trip to Tanzania.  One of my best friends, Yusuph, led a trip to a remote island on Lake Victoria, Kome (Koe-may) Island.  It was a beautiful trip, but a brutal one too.  Half of the team got sick, myself very much so included.  Wade seemed to make it through the trip unscathed.  He even waded (pun intended) into the waters of the lake to perform baptisms.  A couple days after I proposed to Hannah in the Serengeti, Wade proposed to Brittani in the Atlanta airport with great fanfare.  He had organized for his and her families to be there.  All seemed perfect, but a month later Wade became deathly sick.  After several wrong diagnoses the culprit was finally discovered to be a very powerful parasite.  So devastating was this parasite's effect that the original diagnosis was thought to be some sort of cancer.   That turmoil became a lightning rod, a catalyst for growth for Wade and Brittani.  Over and again, their story was recounted at the wedding of how they fought there way through such a terrifying circumstance. When Wade hired us photograph his wedding I was elated.  I love photographing weddings in Georgia.  Texas and Georgia have some commonality, but there are distinct differences.  There is a true southern and colonial charm that Georgia has.  I always delight in the hills in the pines mixing with that architecture and mood.  I mean, who is not going to be excited about photographing a wedding at a vineyard in the hills of Georgia?  I have photographed a couple there and I cannot wait until our next one. SaveSave...

Michael & Paige

I believe that it is an act of God that brings us all together.  That said, it is rare that a legally defined act of God brings us together.  The story that brought Michael and Paige together involves an actual tornado as a catalyst and turning point after years of friendship.  God gave each of them time to grow in their own time and ready themselves for one another, and their wedding was beautiful, set in the industrial warehouse turned wedding venue deluxe, the Hickory Street Annex.  The sun set behind the skyscrapers in downtown Dallas during the ceremony.  Hannah and I are so very thankful for the honor of photographing Miachael & Paige Delgado.  May their household be forever blessed. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave...

The Brothers Martens

Nothing flatters more, nor pressures more, than having one of best photographers there is asking you to take his  and his brother's photograph.  When Bradford asked me to photograph him and his brother Henry (who is a phenomenal wedding video producer) for some shots for their website I was elated but definitely felt my gut tighten.  All of it was perfect timing for me, because this year more than any other year as a photographer my sense of confidence is growing, that voice I have I am listening to more and less form outer voices.  When I say this, I am not talking about not learning nor thinking I have all the answers.  Only a fool believes that.  I invite criticism often and I crave it.  I need to be pushed and to learn.  All that is about what to do with that voice, how you take that and carve into meaningful images that convey your vision.  This task was exactly the challenge for me I needed and it has been a turning point for me in many ways.  It was even the beginning of my series I've been diving into using extensive black background as my tool for achieving what I see.  Take a gander at these below and then go take a look at my buddy Bradford and his brother, Hank's work.  Also check out their instas @bradfordmartens or @thebrothersmartens   SaveSave...

MARFA

When my buddy Bradford invited Hannah and I to join him and our friend Mo to trek out to Marfa I wasn't initially that thrilled. I heard everyone ooh and aah over Marfa for years and I just assumed they liked things I didn't.  The thing is, my mother is from Midland.  My early formative years, the ones where my memories feel like vaseline has been smeared over the lens, were spent there.  I have this thing where I pretty much crave water, rain, and trees insatiably.  Still, I was excited to experience something new and spend time with my friends. Looking back on that time now I am surprised by how refreshed being out in that far west Texas.  I hadn't been there in twenty years but it felt like home in many ways, and the open skies and crisp air gave my mind and soul room to breathe.  I often get this feeling living in Dallas where I can imagine all the feelings and thoughts of the some seven million people surrounding me are all crashing in the air and the sound can be lively and fun but also cacophonous and emotionally discombobulating. I am extremely pleased with the entire process and results of photographing this trip.  I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I do.  You are welcome to come check out prints of Marfa for sale. Thank you and enjoy...

Karsen 1

For the past three weeks the black backdrop has been set up over and over again.  Moving our furniture in our house has become completely passe at this point.   We don't even think about it nor hesitate.  When your living room double as your studio you do what you have to do.  Everytime I do this shoot I end up tinkering with my edit of the shoot even though the lighting doesn't change all that much.  I am still working out what exactly it is that I am wanting to do.  Do I even want it to be narrow in definition?  I think I want it to be narrow, but perhaps not singular in definition and boundary for a season.  We shall see.  For this session with Karsen I used my favorite 3D Look Up Table to get the teal orange look I enjoy.  It's subtle, but I love the balance between the warmth and purity of her skin tone juxtaposing against the cool blue in the shadows and her hair. [caption id="attachment_51831" align="aligncenter" width="1638"] Karsen photographed by Nicholas Laning, the HYLNDR of Laning Photographer.[/caption] SaveSaveSaveSave...

Maisome: Part 1

Hannah and I went on a missions trip to photograph a group of Americans and Tanzanians joining together to share the hope found in Jesus Christ to the people of Maisome Island.  There's no electricity nor running water.  We had a generator than lit a single lightbulb strung in the middle of our tents so we could recharge our phones, which didn't work as a means of calling, but were reduced to cameras and walkmans.   [caption id="attachment_51765" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Maisome Island, Tanzania[/caption] ...

RICHARD & KIM

When I returned to Northern Ireland to photograph my buddy, Richard's, wedding I was very concerned about the weather.  The Mourn Mountains, which usually adorned the horizon from Richard's family home in Rathfriland were hidden behind a thick haze in the air.  The wind seemingly never ceases to harass Eire, but of course, when I want to photograph a wedding, that's the moment the wind relents.  The haze stayed all week.  I prayed that God would give us clear skies the day of the wedding.  That night, as I lay my head down to rest, the breathless air whipped up into a howling gale.  I awoke and peered out my upstairs window out to the horizon to see the Mourns for the first time since my return to Northern Ireland.  My heart was so thankful to God for such a wonderful gift.  The day was amazing.  Photographing Richard and Kim in Tullymore Forest was the highlight for me, as it is a magical place. ...

Eric & Heather

The Promise.  That was the name of the song they danced to during their first dance as a married couple.  The Warwick Melrose Hotel's ballroom set a gilded, turn-of-the-20th century scene that something to behold.  A decade of wedding photography often means few things surprise me.  That's part of why we are exceptional at what we do.  We a re prepared and know what is coming and nothing is going to shake us.  We are ready.  Yet, in a good way, every now and then, I am surprised by an emotion during a wedding, and that is the case with Mowry wedding during their first dance.  At first I thought it was Johnny Cash singing but no.  Once the dance was over and the couple were taking a break I was so moved by the moment I had to ask who the singer was of the song.  Sturgill Simpson.  Go give it a listen and you'll be as surprised as I was.  It was a special moment to remember.   Nicholas L. Laning   ...