So I was thinking that 2012 was a pretty incredible year for me and what better way to express myself and my new photography business than to recap 2012 with some of my favorite photographs that I shot!
I figured it would be pretty easy to pick my favs since I am very critical, not unlike any artist I assume. However I found it really very hard to pick out what I wanted my year to reflect. You may look at some of the images and wonder why I choose it? I didn’t just choose images based only on the technical aspects of photography, rather how that image spoke to me and how it shaped me and my business for 2012. If you have ever heard me speak about photography you would always hear me say that expression and emotion trumps technical any day of the week. This has been even more true this year as with launching Frievalt Photography, LLC I wanted to make sure that I did fewer sessions so that I could spend quality time with each client, get to know them personally and create a photograph that represents who they really are.
Plus this year I really wanted to challenge myself to push my creative skills and create amazing, epic images with every session. I feel very confident that I did succeed in doing that for my clients and part of doing this post as well is to see how much I push myself and grow each year. I know it will be very interesting to go back each year and see how much I have grown as a photographic artist.
So here are my top 25 images of 2012 along with a little story behind each image. Enjoy:
1. This image my first big undertaking of the year, a dance image for All That Dance. I wanted to really create an amazing image of these dancers. I shot each of them separately and composited them into the image you see below. I added all the rain and water, over 100 layers in photoshop to make this come to life. Shortly after shooting this image I moved in next door to the dance studio and they have become my best friends. This image launched Frievalt Photography and set a tone for the year on what I could do artistically if I put my mind to it.
2. I had this image in my mind for a long time and finally put it all together when Kathryn came in for her senior session. Since Kathryn was into fashion design, I figured it fit her perfectly. I love how it all came together and flows beautifully.
3. More dance, this time Hip Hop was the style. I was so inspired by the moves that Emilie was rocking in her senior session, I created this image try and highlight her aggressive, yet fluid dancing.
4. “Fallen Angel” scored 98 in PPA’s International Print Competition and won a Kodak Gallery Award for 2012. This image spoke volumes to me and my own personal struggles in the beginning of 2012. While it may seem graphic to some, for me it was a rebirth of sorts and allowed me to step into the future without any restrictions. Click here to read more about Fallen Angel and my other Award Images of 2012.
5. I love this image of Maddie. I had so many great images of her during her senior session, but this one really tells the story of who she is and her faith. After meeting with Maddie and her Mom I suggested we shoot in this special spot to tell the story of her senior session. They loved the idea and the image. The bible she is holding was a gift from her Uncle, a nice touch! Maddie also sings in a Christian band called “Wings of a Hero” I suggest you check them out. I have purchased some of their songs on iTunes, they rock!!
6. This image of Brittany is just downright killer! I wanted to create an image that reflected her passion for softball, yet not too hard. Can you say fashion meets sports? I think so! This image was picked up by Larson Enterprises and used in their promotional materials, pretty cool!
7. So what do you do when you agree to shoot for a background company and don’t have your new studio yet??? Call your friend who has a warehouse and ask if we can bring in a model and shoot with his torch of course! This was one of many shots I did with my friend Rachel for the background company Denny Manufacturing. I loved Rachel’s look and knew she would be awesome for this concept. Let’s just say that not much work was being done at the warehouse during the shoot and Rachel killed it! She even posed for a few snapshots with the workers, lol. I am just glad that her hair didn’t start on fire with all the hairspray she had in there, especially since her wedding was only a few months away!
8. Still no studio and you want to hold a workshop? No problem just rent out a hotel for the day. I would have never been able to do a shot like this in a studio and that was the awesome part of doing my workshop in the hotel. I first shot some images in the pool and when I saw the shower in the pool area with glass all around I knew exactly what I wanted to capture. I had one light outside shooting threw the glass and one inside to expose for Annabelle’s face. It was super cold outside that day, like -10 with the wind chill. I used RadioPoppers to trigger my lights, so I could adjust the power from the warmth of inside! I slowed my shutter speed down just enough to have movement on the water and loved the outcome. I love teaching and its not always easy to get great images while instructing, but I love the challenge and love this image.
9. This image is simple and that is what I love about it. I really played around a lot this year with movement both in fabric and hair. While this image looks simple, it is hard to capture just the right expression and hair movement without having it all over the place. This was one of my favorite images that I captured at After Dark Dallas where I was a photography mentor.
10. My new love of dance. Since moving next to All That Dance I am learning more about dance and the dancers next door have been great to photograph. I love the way they gracefully move and pose. This image of Mallory was taken at an old dance studio, the place she first started dancing when she was little. I loved the light spilling into the room and just had Mallory do her thing in front of it.
11. The storm was all around us, but I had this idea for James and his soccer gear, so we risked getting struck my lighting to capture this image….totally worth it!!
12. This image was captured on the same day just before I shot the image of James above. Here you can see the storm was just moving in and it made for some killer clouds. While it looks as though Mary is in a beautiful field of flowers, she really is just in an abandoned lot. Buy using the right angles and lighting, this place looks pretty sweet.
13. One of my favorite wedding images of they year. It was a gorgeous day for an outdoor wedding at North Shore Country Club, well until thunderstorms blew in and the tornado sirens started to ring! So the wedding had to be moved inside, that’s just how it goes somedays. Luckily Erika and Ben were easy going and the weather broke for the afternoon and evening so that we could get some epic shots and enjoy the fireworks. I love this one just after sunset!
14. I shot this image at the WPPA convention on my birthday! I wasn’t going to shoot, but at about midnight I was talked into shooting by some of my photographer friends from Illinois and Iowa. They wanted to see me in action. I decided to shoot and style three girls and only take one hour for it all. A great challenge and this was my favorite image of Shannon that night.
15. Is this location in Wisconsin? Yes it is. One of the challenges and adventures of starting a new studio in a new area is scouting and finding new locations to shoot. I happened upon this killer location and timed it just right to get the beautiful light to stream into the image. It worked out perfect for Mariah’s senior session.
16. I wanted to challenge myself on how many ways I could photograph all the dancers that were coming to me for their senior pictures. While having the idea to photograph Kennedy covered in baby powder and tossing it all over while she dances seems like a great idea, the clean up after was not. It really wasn’t too bad and it was all worth it just for this shot!
17. Put out artistic images and those who appreciate art will seek you out. This image from KC’s senior session was inspired by an old photograph her mother liked. This session was super amazing since KC opted for my newest creative session that includes a clothing stylist and hair and make up to create one of a kind senior portraits that nobody else is doing. I loved that when I met with KC and her mother they were super excited and really wanted senior pictures that were artistic and not boring. This was one of my favs for its vintage feel. KC’s session also included some pretty killer custom made gowns with long, flowing fabric. I think her images had the most variety of any senior session I did this year, from vintage to high fashion.
18. One of my gifts from my Dad at my open house was this vintage sattee. It didn’t take me long to haul it out into the waterfalls for Sam’s senior session! The funny part about this session is that we had Sam all set up and after I took a few shots I when to my camera bag on shore to change my lens. While Sam was just chilin’ in the falls a few mountain bikers came along the scene and didn’t see me. They were pretty puzzled by a girl was setting in the middle of the woods on a piece of furniture. When they finally noticed me with a camera, it made for a great laugh!
19. The Kopke family. Shawn and Jolene are my best friends and this fall I had a chance to photograph them and their lovely family. It was a pretty chilly afternoon and as we were walking back to the parking area I noticed the super saturated orange sunset on in this area. I said we have to do one more shot. They quickly tore off their jackets and I positioned them in just the right spot. I told Tristen to point at the “deer in the woods” and I had the shot! The light was gone just a few seconds later.
20. I was in sports in High School and when I think of how I didn’t get any cool senior pictures it makes me come up with shots like this for Alex.
21. Here is another image from After Dark where I was a mentor. This was a session I did with the amazing photographer Amy Parrish from Ohio where we each photograph the same model with our two opposing styles. Here was my favorite from our pod.
22. I love dogs and wish I had more than just one. So instead of getting another dog, I decided to help out a local no-kill shelter called Happily Ever After. I donated my time and talents to photograph these doggies to help them find a home. Amanda and the crew at HEA do so much for these animals, I was glad to help and hopefully some of these guys get adopted.
23. Sugar Skull Allie. I shot this image at a photography event called Models, Monsters and Motors put on by my friend Mark Anderson. While most of the photographers were outside I decided to be the only one inside shooting all day. I when with the intention of shooting images to composite later in photoshop, but as the day went on I tried to push myself and create something out of the items in the area. As I looked around I saw an old red piano and some mirrors. I love the makeup Allie had on so I had her boyfriend and another photographer hold up the mirrors to get this shot of her and her reflections.
24. Dancing with our Stars for the American Red Cross. I have been a supporter and volunteering my time for the American Red Cross for a few years now and I even was a star dancer a few years ago. This year I wanted to take the shots of the dancers to a whole new level and really make an impact for their poster. I shot all of the dancers at different times and did this composite in photoshop. The event will be this Feburary and Donald Driver along with his wife Betina will be one of the dancers! If you would like to donate or vote for a favorite dancer make sure to click here. I also did all the head shots for them and gave them my own fun twist.
25. Back to my roots as a photographer. When I first got into photography I loved to shoot landscapes especially waterfalls in the Fall. I love the colors here in Wisconsin and when Fall rolls around I still find myself wanting to capture some of the beauty that is surrounding me. Their is just something even about the smell of Fall that I love, so I had to include the cover image that I shot this year for the Town Planner Calendar. This image was taken up at Dave’s Falls. If you have never been there, please check it out one day. It is a short drive from Green Bay and well worth the trip. If you take a look at a map you will also find other waterfall gems close by that are lesser known. I have shot them all, most of which with slide film back in day!
Well that is it, my year in review for photos. I originally wanted to only do a top ten, but that was way too hard! If your session wasn’t listed here don’t worry I do plan on writing a blog post about every session this year. I started to do that earlier this year, but I just got too busy so I will be adding to where I left off in the upcoming months.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what your favs are and why.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for an amazing year…Dan