Down on the Farm

I first photographed Ms Felicia Flaherty in 2012 while working on a portfolio of new High School Seniors work. If I recall, that was her first 'real' photoshoot and we had a blast trespassing our way around the outside of some old abandoned hospital buildings. That was definitely one of my favorite locations to shoot near Washington, DC.

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Since then, Felicia's modeling career has come a long, long way. We reconnected recently to work together again and I'm completely blown away at how talented and skilled she's become. Our most recent shoot was at a farm-turned-education park in Maryland. We took good advantage of the warm late day sun and made some wonderful images. 

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Before the farm shoot we'd last shot indoors in late fall.


In Valor There is Hope

"In valor there is hope." These words are inscribed on the memorial wall at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. Also on that wall are the names of more than 20,000 law enforcement officers known to have been killed in the line of duty in the United States since 1791. Among those names is my friend and police academy classmate, Sgt. Hector Ayala. I won't pretend Hector and I were the closest of friends, but we wore the same badge and patrolled the same streets, and in that, he was my brother- as all law enforcement officers are.

A Montgomery County, Maryland police officer, Hector died in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010 when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision enroute to back-up another officer in need of help. In the blur of the days that followed, I was asked by the police department's executive staff to photograph the funeral, so that Hector's as-yet unborn triplets would be able to know how we honored their father. I was unsure of it at first, scared, honestly, to photograph something so personal and emotional, and also wanting to stand in uniform with my academy classmates. Ultimately I agreed to take the photos, knowing it was really the only thing I could do for Hector and his wife at the time.

I've been scared to show the photos to anyone but a few people, worried they aren't 'good enough,' or some other such nonsense I guess. Over time I managed to misplace the files on my hard drives, finally just finding them again this past week. And finally, five years late, Hector's wife can now share these images with their four children, so that they may understand how we honored their father and celebrated his life that day. 

A few of the images are posted here, more can be seen on my main site under personal work, End of Watch


Civil Air Patrol Portraits

Recently my good friend Andy of Andy John Images  contacted me for some new portraits, emphasizing his role as a Civil Air Patrol aircrew member & photographer. Andy and I know each other originally from our day jobs, but quickly connected over both being wedding photographers. Andy still shoots upscale lifestyle weddings and other work in the DC area, whereas I've decided to move on to other things, photographically.

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A 2nd Lieutenant in the National Capital Wing, Andy got us access to the flight line at Davison Army Air Field on Ft Belvoir, just outside of Washington, DC. The Wing keeps their aircraft and facilities at Davison AAF, which is also home to other regular Army aviation units. I thought for sure someone would hassle us being out there near an active runway with all my lighting stands and softboxes and whatnot, but no one even blinked an eye, we had that corner of the pad all to ourselves.

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I was definitely fighting the setting sun for these, typical DC traffic held us up getting down there. And with only my model as an assistant, adjusting and tweaking the lighting set-ups didn't happen as fast as Id like. And, yes, I tripped on the SAME tie-dwon cable three times, once almost dropping an Alien Bee. Not fun. I think what I enjoyed most about this shoot was getting to make some very cool photos for a friend combined with shooting portraits of something totally new. Ive always had an interest in aviation so getting to work around even a parked and covered Cessna was fun for me!

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I joked with him on this last one that he needed a cape and big red S on his chest...

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