This shoot took place on a cold Washington D.C. afternoon at the National Arboretum. The Arboretum is somewhere I've only driven through very briefly and I knew I'd like to come back and take some photos. So when Maricris, JR, and I were brainstorming for locations I threw the arboretum in there and I'm so glad that's where we chose to shoot. It was the my first time doing a photo shoot there and I'm certain it won't be the last!
"Smithsonian magazine, the flagship publication of the Smithsonian Institution, announced the honorees of the sixth annual American Ingenuity Awards, and the launch of the inaugural Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival.
Called “the Golden Globes of Intellect,” the American Ingenuity Awards honor individuals across eight wide-ranging categories: Technology, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, History, Social Progress and Youth.
The ceremony honoring this year’s winners was held Nov. 29 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The honorees were presented their awards by special guests, including Laurene Powell Jobs, John Legend, David Oyelowo, Quincy Jones, Josh Groban, Branford Marsalis and NASA’s John Mather.
The honorees were featured in Smithsonian magazine’s special December American Ingenuity Awards issue, available on newsstands Nov. 28, and on Smithsonian.com."
In terms of photography, 2017 has been a great year. I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of great clients shooting a variety of subjects. I want to share some of my favorite photos I've shot this year and speak just a little about each one.
This photo is from a dance show called Distraction from the Contradiction Dance company. Shooting environment was very tricky due to the low light and tight space. I really like this photo because of the composition and formation of the dancers.
This one is from a photo shoot done at Quarter+Glory from their spring 2017 cocktail menu. I took this photo of Kenneth McCoy who is one of the owners making one of the cocktails on the menu.
This photo is from Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. event where the nation capital's best restaurants, bars, and performers gather in one place for a fun and delicious celebration. One of the performers of the night was Eastern Standard Time who bring a very cool jazzy-ska sound which was nostalgic for me because they remind of the music I would hear my older brother listen to when I was a young boy.
This is another photo from the Hennessy VSOP promotion with Liquor.com and this is a portrait of Benny Hurwitz, the head bartender at Jack Rose Dining Saloon. This photo shoot took place in their cellar which was quite dark but it gave off a feeling of exclusivity, almost like it was a secret bar that not many people knew about. I wanted to keep the same vibe while creating a dynamic shot which I was quite happy with.
I took this photo from The Taste of North Capitol at the NPR building. The musical performance was from the band Aztec Sun who rocked the stage. Check them out and if you ever have the chance of seeing them live, you need to do so!
This photo is from a surprise engagement shoot in NYC. Stephen and Sherryn's photo shoot was my first location shoot and it was an amazing opportunity and experience. They are such a lovely couple and I was happy to capture their personalities in this shot.
One week after Sherryn and Stephen's engagement, I shot Eric and Sophia's surprise engagement! A lot of my photography gigs can be directly attributed to this couple and I am forever grateful. This particular shot was taken in front of a huge bon fire at the end of the night which gave me a very cool silhouette photo.
I would like to nominate this baby for The Cutest Baby Ever award. I shot this for some very good friends of mine celebrating their daughter's 1st Birthday.
Another baby I'd like to nominate for cutest ever. I was pleasantly surprised to get an e-mail from Erick, executive producer of The Kane Show, asking me to photograph his son's 1st Birthday Party. I love this candid shot the "monster" enjoying some fun in the sun.
My gorgeous wife celebrated her 30th birthday in 2017 and she wanted to have her own photo shoot to gift herself a photo shoot with the help of yours truly. This shoot took place at the Meridian Hill Park in D.C. on a gloomy Saturday afternoon which lent us wonderful even lighting. I think this photo showcases her undeniable beauty as well as her elegant personality.
This portrait is of Ellie Williams, one of the captains of the Montgomery Blair Pom squad. I used an off camera flash to underexpose the background slightly and make it more of a dynamic portrait. Go Blazers!
Kenton Gugliuzza is bartender at Lucky Restaurant in Roanoke, VA. He was a finalist for the Herradura Legends competition which took place in Mexico. I had a lot of fun at this shoot and I got so many great photos, but this one definitely stood out!
And yet another nominee for cutest baby. This family photo shoot really displayed the love parents have for their child and the adoration the child has for their parents. Matching pajamas was a must!
I photographed cocktails for Quarter + Glory's Fall 2017 menu and as I was setting up this shot, I came up with shot which I thought was quite unique. Since then I've tried to shoot similar shots with cocktails at different bars. I think this has become a signature look for me.
I had the opportunity to be one the few photographers on the red carpet for the 2017 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards where I was able to photograph some amazing people including Josh Groban, Jony Ive, Marley Dias, Quincy Jones, David Oyelowo, and others, but John Legend and Chrissy Teigen stood out. I've been a huge John Legend fan since his debut album Get Lifted. This very photo was shared by John Legend's Instagram page.
I finished 2017 with a maternity shoot at the National Arboretum. It was a cold and blistering Sunday but we all powered through it and came out with some fantastic shots. Out of all them this is my personal favorite mostly because of the mood. Besides the freezing temperatures we were also confronted with another obstacle, people in the background. With a few editing techniques I was able to solve that problem.
Kent was another regional finalist for the Herradura Legends competition that competed last month in Mexico. He is a bartender and at the Lucky Restaurant in Roanoke, VA.
I was booked hired by Liquor.com to photograph the Virginia regional finalist for the Tequila Herradura Legends Competition. One of the finalists was Will Witherow of Live Oak Restaurant in Alexandria, VA.
I had the opportunity do a photoshoot with Chanel Turner, founder of Fou-Dré Vodka. Back in 2009, Chanel became the first and only African-American Woman to own a line of vodka. Last year she put together the first annual Black Owned Wine and Spirits Festival in Washington D.C. Tickets are on sale now for this year's event taking place this Saturday September 30th at The Showroom in D.C. You can find out more information and purchase tickets here.
Chef Brandon Williams has recently opened a fish burger joint in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington DC and I was booked to take some photos prior to their grand opening in the beginning of September 2017. Chef Williams only uses organic ingredients and the freshest fish ranging from salmon to mahi-mahi.