day 1/365


today i am starting a 365 photo blog inside my regular CSP blog. so what’s a 365 photo blog?

a 365 photo blog is a blog where photographers, professional and amateur alike, post a photograph every day for 365 days. it can be of anything – there are no rules regarding content except for anything that’s self-imposed. the only rule is that the photographer must take a photograph every day and post it to their blog.

so what’s the point?

this is an incredibly good exercise for all photographers for the following reason:

1. over time, it improves your photography skills considerably and in an overall manner. you learn flexibility and efficiency while handling the camera, fluent manipulation of camera settings, immediate and correct response to any sort of lighting situation, and more intimate knowledge of the way your camera reacts to certain settings.

2. it jumpstarts creativity and refines personal style. although there are no rules on what you’d like your photograph to be of, it’s helpful to imagine a specific scene in your mind and try to recreate it through your lens. this exercise helps immensely with being able to verbalize posing and position models during shoots according to the vision in your head.

3. a year is a long time to take a photograph every day. after a while you wonder what there is left to take a picture of. however, this exercise helps you look at the same objects in different ways. this comes in handy when photographing weddings so that they all have a unique flair.

as you can see, it is very handy for photographers. it’s also interesting to the readers of a blog and their clients. people can see how you take every day objects in different situations and in different lighting scenarios and make them interesting. it also helps clients see a general sense of your photography style.

so why not just take a photograph and call it a day? posting it on your blog holds you accountable. sure, you might take photographs every day, but after a while professional photographers get bogged down and get “shooter’s block”. they start going through the motions, repeating the same poses, and stop trying to think outside the box. they also become complacent with lighting conditions and photography skills. this blog not only pushes the boundaries of subjects and scenery, but it forces you to strive for the highest quality and most creative image you can achieve because you are accountable to your blog readers.

i attempted to post every day to my blog in the past, but it just doesn’t work. i get busy – very busy – and stop posting. this forces me to post every day.

and what’s perhaps more important than anything is that this allows a very creative outlet for me. i shoot almost entirely weddings and people, but this is not where i started from. i originally started in my teens taking photographs of city skylines and landscapes accompanied by a heavy interest in macro photography. since my business takes up a majority of my time traveling, shooting, editing, creating coffee table books, etc, i don’t have time any more for my original love of taking photographs of just plain random stuff. this will allow me to take photographs of anything and an excuse to post it. :)

PLEASE feel free to leave comments, post suggestions, ideas, or challenges. it’s going to be an interesting ride!

so now for entry 1/365, an out-of-focus me…slightly representative of the fact that i am beginning a new adventure to mold and “focus” my skills for the 365 challenge. :)


october is crazy!

okay, so my promises to update everyday except for friday got thrown out the window lately due to an increasingly intense schedule. doing tons of editing, emailing, consulting, post-office-visiting lately and have been super busy. friends were over, more friends were in from out of town, and family moves on in this weekend. wedding in new york the weekend after, then things settle down for a week… then pick back up again. :) it’s a good thing! but unfortunately my faithful blog suffers slightly.

we have all of our wedding stuff to do on top of this and, more importantly, have to start dragging the halloween decorations out of the storage closet. :) of course, i ran out of printer paper, laundry detergent, and dish washing detergent today. this should tell you something about what our lives have been like lately.

i am on to editing photographs of my lovely friend abby and her boyfriend matt from last week! the first pictures from that will be up tomorrow. i’ll be starting them now and finishing just in time to hike it to pittsboro to visit our reverend!  phew!

in the meantime, i’m also burning a cd of laura’s cats that she’ll be finally receiving this weekend when she comes to visit. :)



this is probably the only pro-deet blog you will ever read. but after i found that a follower of my blog found me through searching the internet for information about the mosquito population on cape hatteras, i decided it was time to educate the public.

let’s back up. for those who aren’t in heavily mosquito infested states, deet is the most common ingredient (chemical) in bug spray. you pretty much take a deet shower when applying Off! to go camping. it’s all good, right?

sure, according to this wikipedia article, not only is deet a pesticide, toxic to fish, and harmful to the environment…it also has severe effects on your health such as seizures, insomnia, mood disorders, impaired cognitive function, and death.

but you know what else gives me insomnia, mood disorders, and impairs my cognitive functions? mosquitoes.

from june to september you are a walking feast for thousands of buzzing blood suckers in north carolina. day in, day out. there is no rest. there is no peace. they are particularly bad near the shore. while on vacation, i counted 16 mosquito bites on my left leg alone.

and that’s just going from the car to taking an outdoor shower (stupid, i know), and running in a panic up the steps to the deck, swinging at all insects in sight. this was, of course, without applying deet.

i have tried just about every organic and deet-free insect repellent out there. and let me tell you my friends, they just don’t cut it. in fact, the more deet the better. we actually went insect repellent shopping and bought Off! Deepwoods Cutter because it contained the most deet out of every other product… and we weren’t messing around.

off-copy“now with more deet.”

beach-404-copy“contains the most deet legally allowed by law.”

while we were at the beach we actually saw large trucks driving around spraying everyone’s yard with what we assumed to be large quantities of deet. i wanted to joyfully run in its mist, but thought the chances of my skin falling off might be a little too real then. afterall, it was probably industrial strength deet.

without the deet, the mosquitoes feasted. and it was horrendous. we were up all night, groans and snarls while we furiously itched our legs. i remember geoff getting up in a stupor one night, running into the living room and spraying his legs blindly with bactine while half asleep. talk about insomnia, mood disorders, and impaired cognitive functions.

with the deet, there was relative peace with the mosquitoes and 100% avoidance from green head flies (another north carolina pest). i have found that no product works better. so bring on the seizures, mood disorders, and death! mosquitoes cause all those things anyway! i’d rather take my chances with the deet.

dad-copydad in happier times: inside. not pictured: giant can of deet just off camera.

in related deet news, while on vacation we found a wonderful surprise in our rented house. there were two journals filled with entries from previous guests and the owners.


besides the obvious hilarity we found from reading hundreds of pages written by strangers, who at the best of times were polite and sane and at the worst of times were pretty much lunatics, we also took great delight in writing an entry ourselves. we gathered what we had learned over the week and wrote several lists of tips for the guests about the house, area, and other stuff.

among the tips was a list of DRAs: Deet-Required Destinations. and, since some poor soul following my blog inquired about the mosquito population in cape hatteras, i decided to repost the list to raise mosquito awareness and aide in the prevention of itchy insanity while you’re at the beach. these are destinations where you will require a heavy shower of deet before you go:


tiny mosquito drawings courtesy of steve scott.


1. the outside shower

2.the ouside

3. the path to the [pamlico] sound

4. the [pamlico] sound

5. the path to the beach

6. the sandy part of the beach

7. all roads in ocracoke (dear god do not visit the ponies)

8. anywhere that you see people running and slapping themselves

9. anywhere that is not air conditioned or underwater

:) have a great friday! see you on saturday.