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The Capitol

Nick, Alex, Eric, and I planned a trip to Key West at the end of September, but due to Hurricane Irma, we had to change it up last minute. We found some cheap flights to DC and stayed in an awesome Airbnb near the Capitol Building.

I recently started using a new editing engine called DVLOP...and it is changing everything for me. DVLOP opened shop a month or two ago and they have redefined what I've known presets to be. I've never been a fan of buying presets, but this is different. The DVLOP profiles have evolved my work in very subtle, yet powerful ways. I've noticed a significant improvement in skin tones and the overall crispness of my images. I truly feel these profiles compliment my current style rather than define it. Currently I'm using Jeff Newsom and Sam Hurd's collections. 

Anyways, here are some of my favorites. All in chronological order. 

We started at the Arlington National Cemetery. 

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Then we made our way to the Washington Monument before heading to the American History and Natural History Museums.

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The giant necklace above is the Hope Diamond. Fun fact - the Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats and is surrounded by 16 white diamonds and suspended from a platinum chain bearing 46 more diamonds. Approximate value: $350 million USD.

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Next day we started at the Newseum. The photography gallery in there alone was worth the admission fee. Below are a couple pictures of the Berlin Wall. This might be the only piece in North America. 

One of my favorite places in DC was this museum - The National Portrait Gallery 

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Next stop was Mount Vernon - George Washington's home 

After Mount Vernon, we went back into DC for dinner at Founding Farmers. After dinner we went to check out the monuments at night. The Korean War Memorial was spectacular.

Our last day started at the Capitol Building. We took the tour. Fun fact - as of last year, the entire outer wall of the rotunda is electrified so that birds don't land on it.  

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One of the last places we had time to visit was the National Botanical Garden. Definitely a highlight of the trip. 

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Brett + Bri

I had such a great time taking Brett and Bri's Engagement photos. Props to Bri for finding this awesome little park near downtown Orlando. I'll definitely be coming back sometime. I wish you guys the best moving to India. How exciting!

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikon 24 1.4, Sigma 50 1.4 HSM, Nikon 45 tilt shift

City of Light

Nick and I traveled to Paris for a week in early May. I don't think I've ever walked so much in one week before. According to my iPhone, I walked 74 miles and climbed 289 flights of stairs around the city. My good friend Chris flew from Italy to meet us for a few days. Thanks Chris!! We did a lot of the big tourist traps like the Louvre, Orsay, Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame, Sacré-Cœur, and more. It was a trip of a lifetime. Paris, I hope to see you again soon.

All images were taken with the Nikon D810, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 24mm 1.4, and the Nikon 45mm tilt-shift. There's also a couple iPhone 7+ pics. This blog post is definitely too big, but there is just so much I want to share. Below you can find 272 pics from the trip (sorry, it might take a minute to load). For the most part the photos are in chronological order. I'll do my best to narrate :)

We flew from Orlando, FL and arrived in Paris at 8am, roughly 12 hours later. We couldn't check into our Airbnb till noon so we dropped our bags off at Chris's place and explored for a few hours. Here are some random pics around Le Marais. A few photos down you can see a truck lifting stuff through a window on the 3rd floor. Not something I see in Orlando.

First friend I made in Paris....

Notre Dame Cathedral was only a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb so naturally we walked by it a few times throughout the week. Later on you will see the view from the top of the towers :)

Next stop was the Luxembourg Gardens. This huge garden is filled with hidden gems and huge square trees. Not sure how the city maintains them, but they're everywhere. 

While exploring the city, we came across a bridge covered in locks. I know this exists in other cities around the world, but I've never seen one so big. I wouldn't be surprised if there were over a million locks on this bridge. 

and here's a couple clowns...

The Airbnb we stayed at was pretty sweet other than the steep and narrow stairwell. It had a nice view down a street in Le Marais. One thing I liked about Paris was how the door handles are in the middle of the door lol

Next stop was the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe. The view from the top of the Arc is unforgettable. To get to the top, you have to walk up this incredible stairwell that never seems to end. From the top you can see almost all of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, Notre Dame, financial district, and more. After walking down the opposite side of the Arc, we found ourselves in the middle of what seemed to be a memorial for the police officers who were shot in a terrorist attack a few weeks prior. I quickly snapped a shot and left before I was told to leave by a french soldier. 

We started the next day at the Louvre. Although the line wrapped around the pyramid, it only took about 30 min to get in. This place was a total zoo. Thousands of people and 700,000 sq ft of exhibits. We walked around aimlessly for an hour and then decided to go find the Mona Lisa. I remembered the Epic Portrait that Sam Hurd took of the Mona Lisa a few years back, so I couldn't resist but re-take it myself. Overall the Louvre was amazing, but it definitely was not a highlight of our trip. I much preferred eating and drinking wine in the Tuileries Garden right outside :)

After the Louvre we went to a wine tasting down the street. It ended up being in this crazy cool building underground. I learned a lot about French wines, but forgot all of it by the end of the tasting :P

Not sure what happened after that but the next pictures on my camera were at the Pompidou, a modern art museum. I thought the building was vastly underused, but it was definitely one of the most unique buildings I've ever been in. 

Here are a few shots from inside Notre Dame. Oh yea, there are also french soldiers that patrol around the city. Kind of sad its even necessary.

I personally enjoyed the Orsay Museum over the Louvre. The Orsay had a lot of work by Van Gogh, Monet, and other famous artists I can't remember. The building was very intriguing, especially with the giant glass clocks built into the side of the building that have an incredible view of the city. 

Nick wanted to see the Musée de l'Orangerie at the edge of the Tuileries Garden. So we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a cafe in the garden before heading in the Orangerie. 

Then we hopped on the double decker bus and rode around the city until we got to the Eiffel Tower. Before we talked around the Eiffel Tower, we went in the Paris Aquarium. The jelly fish exhibit was the most interesting thing there by far. After 30 min we left and explored the Eiffel Tower. 

It was perfect timing walking around the Eiffel Tower during the sunset. When the sun went down we went on an hour long river cruise. 

The neighborhood that we stayed in just so happened to also be a Jewish area. I never realized that they make phenomenal breakfast. Nick and I started the next day with breakfast at this quaint Jewish bakery down the street. After breakfast we headed to a massive 5 story art gallery called 59 Rivoli where over 30 local artists display their work. This place was one of my favorite spots we visited and totally surpassed my expectations. Like many other buildings in Paris, this building was a piece of art itself. I met a very talented artist named Francesco who showed me his work. After I took a few pictures of him, he began drawing me on the back of a small painting I bought from him. 

After 59 Rivoli, we picked up some wine, cheese, bread, french strawberries and made our way to the Tuileries Garden which is right outside the Louvre. We sat there for a couple hours enjoying the food and wine.  

Here are a few more soldiers walking around Notre Dame....

The view from the towers of Notre Dame.....

After Notre Dame we picked up some street food from a nearby market and made our way to Sacré-Cœur. Similar to Notre Dame, the view from the tower of the Sacré-Cœur Cathedral was incredible. After that we walked down the street to the Paris Dali Museum. WARNING...there are two original drawings by Dali below and they are NSFW.

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Thanks for making it to the end! I hope you enjoyed the photos. It was certainly a trip I will never forget. 

Accion Photo Tours 2016-2017

For the fourth year in a row I had the amazing opportunity to work with a large non-profit company called Accion. Over a few weeks we traveled across the state of Florida, the Boston area, and NYC to photograph some incredibly passionate small business owners. 

This is one of the most challenging jobs I've done. Even though I'm in awesome locations like NYC or Boston, I'm often confronted with not so inspiring spots such as parking lots, dark rooms, or a random truck yard in Miami. This job has pushed my limits of being able to make awesome pictures at any location, in any light. 

Here is a mega dump of 96 images (hopefully it loads), starting with Boston. Enjoy. 

PS...I just got back from Paris, so expect another blog post soon :)

Now for the small business owners from NYC...

Miami, FL:

Orlando, FL:

Jacksonville, FL:

Family Session

I hope the first month of 2017 treated you well. Here is my last portrait session of 2016 and honestly one of my favorites for the year. Hopefully I'll get around to sharing al off my favorites soon :)

Location: Delray Beach, FL

UCF Fall 2016 Graduation

December was a crazy busy month. Thank you everyone who chose me to photograph their graduation. It was an absolute pleasure. I wish you all the best of luck in 2017 :)

Lindsey + Mike + Hershey

Had an great time working with these guys in Baldwin Park last weekend!

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikon 45mm tilt-shift, Sigma 50mm 1.4

Laura + Daniel

Laura and Daniel were the lucky winners of a free engagement session giveaway that I announced a few weeks ago. We were all so pumped up for this session, but ended up being disappointed due to the swarms of mosquitoes at this nature trail. I've lived in Florida most of my life and have never experienced such a thing. The mosquitoes were so bad that we had to exit the nature trail early. We ended up walking back to our cars along this random road where there were less bugs. Half the shoot was taken along this road, and we ended up finishing the session early. I felt really bad, so I plan on meeting up with Laura and Daniel again soon to finish our shoot right. In the end, I'm pretty happy with the shots I did manage to take, even though they cost me about 20 mosquito bites on my face.

Lessons learned: Things may not go as planned. As a photographer, you must be ready for the unexpected and be able to perform in any situation (especially when you have clients relying on you to create awesome work). Try to embrace the situation you are in, instead of getting upset and giving up.  

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 24mm 1.4, Nikon 45mm tilt-shift
Techniques: Prisming, Ring of Fire

Kera + Travis

Shout out to Sam Hurd for having me as his second shooter for this amazing St. Augustine wedding. Sam's been a 'photography hero' to me for quite some time now, so it meant a great deal to work with him (and for the second time this year!). I hope we have an opportunity to hang out again soon! If you haven't heard of Sam, you should do yourself a favor and visit his website

Ceremony: St. Augustine Lighthouse
Reception: The Treasury

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikon 24mm 1.4, Nikon 35mm 1.4, Sigma 50mm 1.4

Graduation Mayhem

Two weeks ago I graduated with a masters degree, marking 6 years that I've been part of the UCF community. I'm not going anywhere though.

I generally don't like shooting in any location more than a few times. That's not the case with UCF. I started offering grad sessions about a year ago and I've truly come to enjoy them. UCF is such a diverse campus that every single grad session I do is different. Here are some of my random favorites that I've taken so far this year.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 24mm 1.4

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DC

Went on a 15 hour road trip from Florida to DC with my family this summer. This was my first time in DC, so I did all the touristy things. I ventured through countless museums and walked over 40 miles that week. There was way too much to see and too little time. DC, I hope we meet again soon. 

Special thanks to my amazing parents for making this trip possible :)

Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 24mm 1.4

Boston

I've been to Boston twice in the past year and both trips have been jam pack filled with photography. I got a chance to hang out with one of my best friends, Alyssa. She showed me around. Between the two trips, I walked over 30 miles around the Boston area. 

Here are some of my favorites. Most of these photos were taken in Downtown Boston, Cambridge, and Marblehead.

Cameras: Nikon D810, D800, D700
Lenses: Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 24mm 1.4, Nikon 20mm 2.8, Sigma 70-200mm 2.8, modified Nikon 50mm 1.8D for free-lensing