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....

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...

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] ...

BASIL LANING

Basil died on Thanksgiving Day. When we found him, I knew he was dead before I even reached his body.  Son of a rancher.  I’ve seen lots of death.  His velvet puddle of a face lay cold and still in my hands.  All I could hear is Hannah wailing in sorrow, occasionally managing to push out his name between the heaves, “Basssssill.”  Despite whatever I thought I might think or feel when then day came, I thought and felt nothing at first, nothing but tearing inside myself.  No thoughts would come to me.  It was as if I didn’t move, didn’t accept the moment it wouldn’t be real.  After a couple minutes my mind lurched forward through the haze, and my first realization was that it was Thanksgiving Day.  My boy died on Thanksgiving Day.  That’s when the memory hit me… You see, it’s not the first time Basil has brushed up against death.  His stomach flipped years ago and was saved because I knew what to look for and we got him to the vet with but a couple minutes to spare.  So fast did it all happen that I helped put him up onto the operating table and stayed in there throughout the entire surgery as they released the trapped pressure then sewed his stomach to the abdomen wall so to prevent it from ever happening again.  Last year he came within an inch of death, again.  A virus ravaged his body, and for days he shook with fever and pain as the vets gave him IVs and meds to give him a chance at fighting it off.  At one point, in between trips to the vet, I just lied down next to him as he shook and trembled.  One of the greatest joys in my life over the last decade has been to come spoon my big mammoth son of a dog.  Every time I would do so I could feel endorphins and joy and happiness coursing through me.  Not this time.  He was my boy, and it ripped my guts out as my fingers tips fell in the ever deepening valleys between his ribs as his body wasted away.  The longer I lied there with him the more the darkness grew around me.  I was spiraling under a wave a horror, rage, and disgust at the thought of losing him.  Hannah, watching me with concern from our bed,...

Under Construction

Man, I have to be honest.  I did not expect tot enjoy this process of rebuilding my website, but I am.  For months, I have put this off due to my fear of getting going on it, of tackling something not really inside my wheelhouse of talent.  The process has been arduous and often mind numbing, but that is due to the pushing that has occurred within me.  Sorry has been my word of the year and I have thus far failed at it mightily.  It will be based out of here.  This will be home base.  So, for now, I am sitting here up at WELD tapping this sucker out.  I often hate showing enthusiasm because it is so often coopted by fakery and flattery, a gimmick wielded to sell.  Well, tough crap.  I am straight forward and been called blunt my entire life, and I am not going to withhold my enthusiasm any longer just because others warp its use.  I am pumped about this site, about telling Hannah's and my story.  God is doing a lot.  There are places, friends, experiences all waiting to be shared, and my ENFP self cannot wait to do so....

Chinese “Friends”

So, Hillary Clinton and I share more in common than I once thought.  For one, turns out we've both been hacked before.  So, that's funny, and that's fun.  Not really.  In truth, I have been procrastinating over the much needed reboot of my website for some time now.  Many things have changed over the last year, and our website has not stayed up with those changes.  For one, as pertaining to weddings, our style has evolved and indeed become much more refined.  So, please be patient as we undergo these web changes.  Thank you so very much.  We are super excited to show you the changes we've made to out photography.  A new day is coming....