I’ll start with this: I have such a profound sense of gratitude for everyone who trusted us behind a camera this year. Whether it was something as large as a wedding or as small as sitting around your kitchen table, you all have entrusted us to capture the moments of your lives. It’s been an honor.
Choosing one photo from every month of the year is like trying to choose a favorite child.
Looking back at all the couples, families, places, and faces we’ve shot over the past year, photos of ours I used to love now have lost some of their luster and photos I thought were boring when I took them and then left dormant in some forgotten folder of the computer I now see in a brilliant new light.
This whole art making thing is humbling.
Whatever it is that you’re making, the act of making improves your skill. This renders what you’ve already made a representation of a former self, not where you are now. If there is even a hint of perfectionist in your system, that fact can be incredibly frustrating, as what you’ve made is never as good as what you could make now. Looking back though, excites for me for all the things to come. To all you creators out there… Take the lessons you’ve learned, brush off the mistakes you’ve made, and continue to innovate, create, and grow.
2016, I got an all new bag of tricks in my back pocket and a camera in hand. Boy, oh boy, I’m ready for you.
January – We made a makeshift portrait studio in a forgotten corner of Urban Yoga Spa in Seattle. We’d find whomever we could to hop in front of the camera and experimented with shadow and light. The premise was always simple: a face, a camera, and a window.
February – Our dear friend Kendra and her baby Henry. More proof that the in-between, the quotidian, and not the grand, can make for the best images. This was also one of the last images taken in our apartment before we sold everything and hit the road.
March – We had to work for this one. Two miles of switchbacks in cold late-winter rain is nothing to scoff at. This is also our first photo featured in a print magazine! When they featured the image, Rangefinder Magazine said, “This shot was born out of an anniversary session amongst freezing rain and steep cliffs on one of Seattle’s most popular hiking trails. The end result is a breathtaking image which, in the words of Laura, describes the couple’s personal dynamic: ‘This is him keeping a firm grip on her as she played in the rain; their balance is the perfect metaphor for marriage.'”
March – Chip and Karyn in Tulum, Mexico. These two got engaged just before flying off to Mexico. Bottles of Mezcal, thatched-roof cabanas, and crashing waves set the scene for this most amazing couple, and kicked off our first international tour of the year.
May – Havana, Cuba. Drying laundry in some long forgotten palace.
June – This was our first shoot on the road in Chicago. Oliver here couldn’t seem to keep his pants on over his diaper. He was racing over to join his fam for a group shot, and his struggle here I think represents the struggle of all mankind… Or something. Point us, diapers are tough work.
July – This year wouldn’t be a complete with a shot of my new nephew David. Here’s my Pops holding his first and only grandson. Welcome to the family, little champ.
August – Maybe it’s just that we made this our banner image on the website, but this shot, for me, is our most iconic image. When Brooke, an artist by trade, married James and asked us to come along and take photos, it led to perhaps my favorite day of creating shit of my entire life.
September – Jesse casually mentioned to me that morning of the wedding that he had a surprise that even his wife didn’t know about — he was going to sing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” with Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme, Seattle’s finest funk band. The usually reserved Jesse came out and NAILED IT. He had a room full of all his nearest and dearest chanting his name, and a bride that knew that this guy will never make her life boring. There are a lot of moments in 2015 for us that felt like something out a movie, but this one might take the cake for most filmesque.
October – We had the great good fortune of being invited into a hilltribe village in Thailand to shoot a local wedding. Being greeted as friends and family still makes us emotional. Not everyone at the wedding looked quite as badass as this woman here, but they weren’t far off.
November – We got the chance to run around Chiang Mai with Corrinne and Zach during the lantern festival. We never would have met these two had it not been for our cameras, and now we have plans to visit them in Okinawa in the new year.
December – To end the year, we’ve used every form of transportation available to hop all around Asia. This was taken on a slow boat down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang in Laos.
I've spent countless moments of my life staring at a blank instagram caption box. Try something - delete it. Put a quote in there - delete it. But I had a secret weapon... I'd just hand the phone to my wife. She's is a witty and wise firestorm of a woman and I love her for it. Apparently, so does instagram. Her irreverent, meandering, and poignant-as-hell captions have created a sense of community in our lives so that everywhere we travel, there’s usually someone willing to show us around (not to mention insta alone has literally put thousands of dollars in our bank account). So I made her sit down and explain what goes through her curly little head whenever her thumbs click away at her phone keyboard. Put your email below for her free guide on how to write insta captions that people actually care about and make the whole process (dare we say it) fun.. -Tim
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