Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David,
which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there,
the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and
wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke John 1:12

As we prepare to gather with family and friends I wanted to wish all of you a peaceful and joyful Christmas.
The Records - Chris, Betsy, Alison and Sean

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Home for Christmas

We are so excited to have our daughter Alison home for Christmas. Alison flew in from London Tuesday night and will be here through the New Year.
We haven't seen her in four months and it's great to have her home. After stints working as an au pair in Switzerland and Groombridge, England, Ali will be returning to London to get a more permanent job.
It's so great to have your loved ones home for the holidays!

Ali brought us this cool ornament from Prague

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nutcracker Photos

Seeing the North Carolina Dance Theatre's (NCDT) Nutcracker performance is always a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
This year's show includes a new set and choreography by artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux.
I photographed the dress rehearsal Tuesday night as the company prepares for the first show Friday night.
The cast also includes talented local children who spend many hours practicing and performing.
(As always, click on the photo to make it larger and hit the back button to return to the blog.)
Happy Holidays!

Ellen Hummel as Clara

Drosselmeier, portrayed by NCDT's Sasha Janes, lifts Clara

Addul Manzano leaps

Mia Cunningham and Addul Manzano

Kara Wilkes

Kara Wilkes and Randolph Ward

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chris and Sheryl Wed in Winston

There was a great mix of culture at Sheryl and Chris's wedding in Winston-Salem Saturday.
Both the wedding and reception took place at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.
The magnificent church is where Chris and his extended Greek family worship. Sheryl's family is Chinese and they seemed to have a great time taking part in some of the Greek dancing.
Company photographer Laura Mueller did her usual stellar job working as a second photographer.
We had a great time working with everyone.
Thanks Sheryl and Chris - have a great time in Thailand.

A beautiful setting

Sheryl's brother gets an assist from Chris's good friend Brian.
Laura hung out with the guys

Chris gets ready

Sheryl gets help with her hair

Chris's cousin and Best Man Chris gets his smile warmed up

Flower girl Elise

Just after the service

Laura got me at work

Sheryl and Chris

Time to dance

Friday, November 30, 2007

Jim and Susan's Family at Lake Norman

I first photographed Jim and Susan's extended family a few months back and Susan wanted to get more photos of her immediate family.
They live in a magnificent home off Lake Norman which had been used for some of the filming of the Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Son Colin is awaiting deployment to Afghanistan and Susan wanted more photos of him as well.
We also had to get some new pictures of son Nate and daughter Peyton.
Thanks guys, I enjoyed working with you all again!

Family photo

Jim, Peyton and Susan


Nate and Peyton

Peyton and her pal

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Adventures with Ali (Chasing Your Dreams)

Alison just emailed some photos of her quick trip to Prague over Thanksgiving weekend.
We are so proud of her spirit of adventure and adaptability. She has taken her passion for travel to many incredible destinations.
Ali and her good buddy Amanda had a great time exploring the historic city as they braved freezing temperatures.
The photos are a bit low in resolution so I put them together in a collage. If you look closely you can almost feel the cold.
I know Ali is getting ready to settle down and get a "real" job, but for now she is taking advantage of a great opportunity to chase her travel dreams.
We are all also excited that she is coming home soon for Christmas!

Ali in Prague

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day

There are so many things that I am thankful about and tops on that list is family. I'm thankful for Betsy and our children and for our extended family. We are lucky to have several relatives living close by and we get together often for family celebrations.
Thursday was no exception as we had 14 people at our house for the Thanksgiving meal. We had a pretty serious ping-pong battle with son Sean taking the overall crown. We got to have a long conversation with daughter Ali (in England) before her European "Thanksgiving" trip to Prague this weekend.
We are also lucky be seeing several of our northern family members this weekend.
I hope everyone out there had a great day celebrating with family and friends!

Record house 1:45 p.m.

Record house 4:30 p.m.
(We're missing a few in this shot but you get the idea)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Warm Memories of a Cold Day

Seeing the Carolina Panthers return to Lambeau Field to face Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers Sunday brought back some cold, yet fond memories of my former life as a newspaper photographer.
It was January of 1997 and the Panthers were an upstart expansion team that had fought their way to the NFC Championship game. I made the trip to Green Bay with fellow Charlotte Observer staffers Jeff Siner and Bob Leverone.
The conditions in Green Bay were brutal as a strong breeze combined with freezing temperatures put the wind chill at 22 degrees below zero. (That's cold!)
I remember we were still shooting film in those days and I had to change the batteries in my Nikon F5 at halftime as the conditions caused them to drain very quickly. Loading and unloading film in three camera bodies was no picnic either as we fought with many layers of clothes, gloves and the hand-warmers in our pockets.
Leverone, now a staff photographer with The Sporting News, did his usual stellar job on the action and Siner edited the photos in a trailer behind Lambeau.
The Panthers gave a good fight but were outclassed in a 30-13 loss. Green Bay went on to defeat New England in the Super Bowl.
The Panthers had nothing to be ashamed of as they had gone farther than most anyone had expected.
Linebacker Sam Mills perhaps best signified the overachieving team. Mills was an undersized middle linebacker who gave his all on every play.
I ran onto the field after the game and Packer receiver Andre Rison gave Mills a quick pat on the helmet to recognize his effort. I was right on top of Mills with a wide-angle lens and caught the moment.
Siner and the editors back at the Observer selected the photo for the front page because it summed up the feeling of loss felt by the Panthers and their fans.
Mills was a class guy who was later diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He inspired the team on its run to the 2004 Super Bowl as he continued coaching during his cancer treatments.
Mills died in 2005 and there is a statue of him outside of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The Panthers trip to Green Bay this year didn't go much better as they lost Sunday and this season looks pretty much shot as they fell to 4-6 on the year.
It also made me glad that I didn't spend the day watching the game. My buddy John called and we got in 18 holes of golf on a beautiful, warm fall afternoon.

Andre Rison, left, and Sam Mills

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cover Photo

Just got a copy of the Fall 2007 Davidson Journal, which has my photograph of new college president Tom Ross on the cover.
Following many, many years of seeing my work on poor newspaper reproduction, the beautiful glossy stock of the magazine was a real treat.
One of the many bonuses of having our studio in Davidson is getting to know some of the fine folks at Davidson College. Meg Kimmel, editor of the Davidson Journal, and media relations head Bill Giduz have been wonderful to work with.
Ross is a former Superior Court Judge and he becomes the 17th president of the 170-year-old college. He has a engaging style and it was a pleasure spending some time with him.
Here is the cover and a few other photos from the session.

Davidson College President Tom Ross

I wanted to mention an incredibly interesting talk I got to attend last Friday night at The Studio at the Cedar Street Design Center in Charlotte.
Our friend Nanine Hartzenbusch, who has started a children's photography business in Charlotte, organized a gathering to hear David Hobby, the creator of the Strobist photographic lighting blog.
David also comes from a newspaper photography background and I was glad to get to pick his brain a bit. I would encourage anyone interested in better, simpler photographic lighting techniques to check Strobist.
While I think many at the gathering were expecting to get some new lighting techniques, Hobby focused his talk on his blog and how his niche site had turned into somewhat of an international phenomenon. So much so that I would be very surprised if he ever returns to newspaper work.
He started small with his ideas of how to use off-camera flashes to improve the drama and quality of your photographs. As it gained popularity, Hobby's job has changed into more of an administrative role as he funnels the huge volume of ideas he gets from his readers.
One of his main concepts is freely giving information and knowledge.
Much like David Jay's Open Source Photo, Strobist encourages everyone to share knowledge for the common good. Hobby proved to be an incredibly smart and humorous speaker and his ideas gave everyone food for thought.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Photos of Beautiful Fall Day

It's been a strange fall here in Charlotte with a prolonged drought and warmer-than-usual temperatures, but a cold front moved through Thursday bringing some rain, colder weather and then a brilliant afternoon.
I had a few things to catch up on at the studio so I headed up to Davidson. I love fall and the conditions prompted me to grab my trusty Nikons to record some of the intense colors around the Davidson College campus.
It's somewhat ironic that I used to hate so called "wild art" assignments like shooting fall color when I was a newspaper photographer at The Charlotte Observer. But I think it's good to keep your creative juices flowing with many types of photography and I thoroughly enjoyed my personal assignment.
I feel so blessed that my passion for photography remains so strong and I get so much enjoyment out of my job.
Here's what I saw Thursday - enjoy!