I would like to start this entry by stating that I am not a writer... I leave that up to my buddy Nate Jackson. I usually just try to let my images speak for themselves, but this time is going to be different. Christmas to me has come to be big hassle over the last few years, and I really wanted this year was for Christmas to just not happen. In that spirit I decided to go to New York City instead of going home for the holidays. My intention was to relax for a few days and get some assignments shot while I was in the city, but what happened was so much better. This is an account of my week while in New York City and a thank you to those who made it so memorable for me.
I stayed with Megan and Nate as I always do... I really appreciate them opening their door for me and allowing me to be a part of their holiday week. On Tuesday I went with Nate to Juliard to do a photographic character study of him for an assignment. Surprisingly, I did not take very many shots of Amaya while I was down there... a complete shock to anyone who really knows me well.
I almost forgot... I got to spend Megan's birthday with them... I got to meet some cool new people... as well as getting to hang out with some old friends... it was a wonderful evening.
Now to the meat and potatoes of this story... the miracle... so to speak (and like I said I am not particularly skilled with words).
On Monday, I went out with Sarah to do a portrait session with her all throughout the city... An adventure to be sure. It was a good photographic day, and we were able to get some really good shots despite the cold and wind.
I have never spent that much time with Sarah, at least not just the two of us. She and I have different views religiously, and it was amazing getting to learn more about her faith. We went to lunch at what is quite possibly the greatest restaurant in the world... it is called S'Mac, and all they have is mac and cheese... I know, right!
Monday night while I was going through the images, Sarah sent me a message asking me if I wouldn't mind doing a session on Wednesday with her mom, little brother, aunt and cousins. The obvious answer was... "I would love to"... little did I know what I was getting myself into.
We show up at the park (if you have to ask what park... take a trip to NYC) and it is raining more than a little bit. No big deal really, except that the girls' shoes have completely soaked through and they are freezing. We were trying to find the fountains (a great idea on a rainy day), but instead we found a dome thing to shoot at (a little relief from the rain).
We finished the shoot and headed to the Shake Shack... almost as awesome as S'Mac. After lunch someone decided that it was a good idea to head to Target (on Christmas Eve)... and me not having anything better to do, I decided to tag along. It was an interesting trip to say the least... fun interesting... I think.
During the ride in the car back to Sarah's apartment (so that I could carry her new shelving unit upstairs) or maybe back to the parking garage after that, there was mention of Pecan Pie (my ears perked just a little)... Dr. Mom, or maybe it was Mimi asked me if I would like to join them the next day for Christmas... Did I mention the pecan pie... of course I was going to join them.
I don't know how to explain it, but I can't remember a time when I felt more like I belonged somewhere (if only for a little while). I really wanted to say thank you to all of you, and this is what I came up with...
You have a zest for life that is infectious... Walking next to you almost makes someone want to skip... Don't let things get you down too much... Things tend to work out in the end.
You have wisdom beyond your years, and that will come in handy... but don't grow up too fast, you will miss out. Don't forget to smile... your smile is beautiful.
The way you are with Kristen, Bailey and Caleb when you don't think anyone is looking is who you need to be all of the time... The tough guy thing doesn't work... trust me, I have tried it before. You are a good guy man, hang in there. If you ever need someone to play guitar hero with... just let me know buddy.
You are one of the cutest kids I have ever met... You can turn a cold rainy day seem like a sunny summer day. Just remember to take it easy on your big sister's back... she is getting up there in her years (couldn't help it Sarah... sorry).
You might possibly have more love in your heart than anyone I have ever met in my life. I wish that I could love unconditionally the way that you do. Thank you for all of the laughs.
Thank you for being so open and honest with me about your faith... your spirit is like a bright light in the night... I only wish I could believe so deeply and love so fully.
Last but certainly not least...
There is an honesty in your eyes and a compassion in your smile that I have rarely if ever seen equalled. Thank you for being a ray of sunshine this past week. And thank you for sharing your family with me for a couple of days.
Thanks to you guys, Christmas and New York City will always have a special place in my heart in a way they didn't before (especially the City). God Bless you all!!
I am finally getting around to adding images to this again... I don't know why I haven't done so recently, but I am going to try to get back into the habit of it. For those of you who don't know the people in these images, let me give you a bit of background info. Justin (the hand in the baseball glove) is one of my closest friends in the entire world... We have been "together" through so many things in our lives (mostly good stuff...). This is his family... Jess (his beautiful wife), Cadence (the adorable little girl), and the latest addition Zachary (he is going to be one studly baseball player). As always, thank you to everyone who is so supportive in my life. I love you all.
Cadence looking oh so adorable.
This shot of Zach is tradition... Justin was a catcher.
Something a little different than I usually do... but I love it!
A barrel racing champion in training...!
Yeah, that is my hat... I am such a proud uncle!
Oh, he is going to be such a smart alec... just like his daddy and uncle john! Sorry Jess!!
I have been feeling really creative and not sure how to express it over the last week or so. A friend and I were out shooting horses near Boston yesterday (fun but not creative). On the way back to Turners we saw some beautiful fog on the Connecticut River and decided to stop. The creative part didn't come into play until today when I got to play with the images. This is what I came up with and I hope you enjoy it. I miss everyone back home and I love you all very much. Two weeks Biscuit (not even a full two weeks).
Recently while I was in New York City for the Photo Expo I took some family portraits of Megan, Nate and Amaya (the Jackson Three). I thought that I would put some of them on here so that Megan and Nate could see some of the finished edits. Yes Megan, they are completely finished. I won't write captions on these images so as to not be distracting. Thank you guys for letting me stay with you. I love you all and am already missing you!
As most of you probably know, I am a current student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. I decided that utilizing a blog would be the easiest way to share the work I am doing here with my friends and family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have been so incredibly supportive of me over the last few months (you know who you are). I could think of no more appropriate way of kicking this blog off than with my images from the Phase I Final Assignment, so here they are...
My self portrait with Joe the horse.
Miss Amaya Rose Jackson in Central Park.
My product shot with shallow depth of field.
Heather and David
Heather looking forlorn... Yes it is intentional.
Hailey in the leaves... I hope I spelled her name right.
Ryan looking all AE for me.
Looking even more AE in this one.
Nate and Amaya playing in Central Park.
Vicki throwing up dirt in the arena.
I will try to stay on top of this blog thing to keep everyone abreast of what is going on with me this year. I love everyone and miss you all so much... especially you Biscuit (you and me+five miles... it's a date).