Sunday, December 28, 2008

Off Getting Married...

I haven't had time to post any images lately, but I just wanted to let everyone know how I appreciated you sharing in my joy as I approached this day. This day is an answer to prayer. God has brought me an amazing woman; A woman who I have prayed for since I was a teenager. Sandy possesses all the characteristics that I have wanted in a woman. God is so good and has showed me once again how much He loves me by bringing Sandy into my life.

As I'm typing this, I'm listening to "Amazing Love" (You are my King) in the background. This song will be played today while Sandy and I take communion during our ceremony. The song talks about Christ's amazing love toward us. I can't help but think of how He's made one of my biggest dreams come true today. He loves me that much.

I know that me and Sandy's union is a powerful one. I truly believe that God has lots of things in store for us.

Thank You, Jesus.

"I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."
- Psalm 40: 1-3

"...and I will sing, sing a new song"
- U2 "40"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What It Felt Like To Fly

When I was 15, I reached the pinnacle of my jumping ability; I was now able to grab a 10 ft. Basketball goal. It wasn’t “dunking”, but it was the next best thing for this 5’-11” dude. I don’t think I could quite do it right now, but maybe if I got back in shape, I could reach those heights once again?

Above is one of my most favorite images that I’ve taken thus far in my life. It’s very iconic to me because of all the meaning that it represents. For all of my teenage years, I was in love with Basketball. It still holds a dear place in my heart, but those were the intense years. This image was taken at the start of that season of my life, when I was around 13 or 14 years old. As I looked at this image recently, I was inspired to write the following.

What It Felt Like To Fly
With speed, I approach the goal. In one continuous motion, my body prepares for take off as both feet take plant on the ground and my knees bend. Momentum is changing directions. As this happens, my arms swing upwards, thrusting me into the air like a rocket off a launch pad. I’m airborne. My body feels free for that moment. In a split second, my hand is at the rim, my head at the level of the netting. A place that once seemed so far away and unattainable is now within reach. The laws and rules in my own mind are broken.

I grab the rim with authority! The break-away spring action of the hoop gives way. I hang for a moment. As I let go, the rim snaps back into place and creates a thunderous sound that echoes throughout the gym, evidence of where I had just been.

My feet then return to solid earth, the place that is my world. But for a few split seconds, I had gravity defeated. It could not keep me from visiting the space where the hoop lives. Oh yes, the lofty hoop; It stood defeated as well! It no longer could stand in defiance of me, mocking my every attempt to reach it’s height...for I had reached it.

This is what it felt like to fly.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Right Place, Right Time

I captured this image the night before Thanksgiving last week. I looked out the window from Sandy’s house and saw that the sky was amazing. Thankfully, I had my camera (I had just photographed Sandy’s Christmas tree). So, I hurried across the street and went behind her Aunt and Uncle’s house to capture this scene from their dock.

Fortunately, I also had these subjects fishing, silhouetted against the warm hues of orange. I was in the right place at the right time.

The Color of Now

When I got this phone a few months ago, it came with two different face plates. One set of dark blue and one set of red. Since blue is my favorite color, I went with that. But, now that it’s December, the month of Christmas and the month that I’m getting married, I’ve decided to change up the plates to be a representation of the magical month that I’m now living in.

I guess that’s just the way I am, I attach meaning and significance to a lot of things in my life. That’s something that became very apparent to Sandy the first time she saw my apartment. I showed her my photographs that I have on my walls and explained where I acquired different items or why I was displaying this or that. She later stated to someone, “When I saw the way he had his apartment decorated, everything had meaning and purpose behind it.”

I never really noticed that about myself, but when she pointed that out, it definitely rang true.

Monday, December 01, 2008

December 1

A New Time Has Come
This is “The Month”. The month where I will marry Sandy Vasquez 28 days from now. The wedding planning has been going well and God has been providing for us every step of the way. I’m amazed at how He has blessed us.

Soon, I’ll be moving from Lakeland to Kissimmee, changing churches and adjusting to a new way of life. My bachelor days are over…and I‘m glad!

A lot of changes are coming my way, but I’m ready for these changes. I’ll be facing them with God and with my best friend…soon-to-be wife, Sandy.

I captured this image of Sandy’s Christmas tree last Wednesday night. We actually put this tree up over two weeks ago. What can I say, we were excited to get this season rolling!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Angel In The Night

The Love of My Life” by Jim Brickman

"I am amazed / when I look at you / I see you smiling back at me / It's like all my dreams come true / I am afraid / If I lost you girl / I'd fall through the cracks and lose my track / in this crazy lonely world / / Sometimes it's so hard to believe / when the nights can be so long / but faith gave me the strength and kept me holding on / / Chorus: You are the love of my life / and I'm so glad you found me / You are the love of my life / Baby put your arms around me / I guess this is how it feels / when you finally find something real / my angel in the night / You are my love / the love of my life

/ / Now here you are / with midnight closing in / you take my hand as our shadows dance / with moonlight on your skin / / I look in your eyes / I'm lost inside your kiss / I think if I'd never met you / about all the things I'd missed / / Sometimes it's so hard to believe / when a love can be so strong / and faith gave me the strength / and kept me holding on / / Chorus: You are the love of my life / and I'm so glad you found me / You are the love of my life / Baby put your arms around me / / I guess this is how it feels / when you finally find something real / My angel in the night / You are my love / the love of my life"

I'm so glad that God brought us together, Sandy. You are the love of my life.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

With This Ring...

This is the very ring that Sandy will slip on my finger on December 28, 2008.

I knew I did not want a yellow gold band, but wanted something modern with a bevel cut. Yesterday, Sandy and I were able to find this great titanium ring. Every time I try it on, it feels surreal that this is all coming true. I can’t wait to put it on for real in December!

As the salesman was ringing up the sale, he said, "You two make a lovely couple, by the way."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lip Gloss Mishap

I couldn’t just show the one image without showing the other and telling the whole story.

Last Friday (August 22) marked 8 months since Sandy first came into my life. On Thursday night, I decided to put together a little gift bag to surprise her with on Friday evening. I first went to “Bath and Body Works” to pick up one of her favorite fragrances, “Japanese Cherry Blossom." They have it as a perfume and I knew that she was out of her old bottle. In addition to the perfume, I also got her some lip gloss that has this cool heart in the middle of it. I had previously given her this same brand, but in a different shade.

Once I got home, I wasn’t satisfied with just giving her these two items, but wanted to gather a few more little things to add to the gift. So, I ran out to Target, where I found some Ghirardelli chocolate, a pack of her favorite chewing gum, which is “5 gum”…because the packaging is so cool, and a small gift bag to put all of these things in.

After I returned home again, I got the idea to photograph the tip of the lip gloss for a possible blog post. When I had taken a few satisfactory shots, I tried getting the camera just a little bit closer to the stick. I had my camera on a small table-top tripod and because it has short legs at this setting, the rig becomes top heavy. I proceeded to set the self timer so I would not need to touch the camera when the image was being taken. (I was working with slow shutter speeds). In the blink of an eye, my camera tilts right into the lip gloss! I catch it before it hit’s the table, but the lip gloss had already taken a hit from the camera. As soon as I see the tip of the rolling stick, I realize that the pretty heart had been marred! …Also to my distain, my camera lens had a gob of the gloss on it as well! I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

I first attended to the camera lens…and was able to clean the mess up with some moist lens cleaning sheets. Once that was taken care of, I figured I’d shoot the jacked-up version of the gloss as well. I knew it would make a great story.

Since the gloss wasn’t the real “center piece” to Sandy’s gift, I still gave it to her. She noticed right away that something had happened to it, to which I replied, “There’s a story that goes with that.”

She still loved her surprise gift from me…even the marred lip gloss stick.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hats Off

On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of helping Sandy’s Dad, Julian, who’s also a photographer, do a shoot with some of his other kids and their significant others.

Pictured above, is Sandy’s brother, Jesse, and his girlfriend, Chrissy. We had these cool hats that were being used as props. At one point, Jesse had thrown his hat back to his Dad. When I saw this, I got the idea to have them throw the hats at me. This ended up being my favorite image of the night.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I believed you would come and now you’re here. What I proclaimed to God as I walked under the stars on many an evening, has come to fruition. My words of faith returned to me as a reality. Longings from my heart to God, not gone unnoticed or unheard, rather, He heard them all and remembered them all. It’s been said that I’m an “answer to prayer” for you and your family. Well, you are just as much an answer for me and my family.

God’s faithfulness in the form of a cute Dominican girl with dark hair, brown eyes and a heart full of love to give me and the world.

To view more beautiful skys, please visit "Skywatch".

Monday, July 28, 2008

The 28th

Exactly five months from tonight, I will be married to Sandy. The girl I love will be my wife and I her husband. It will be the beginning of a totally new life for her and I, but I am completely at peace to be embarking on this adventure with her.

When I’m with Sandy, I feel at home…yet on vacation all at the same time. I’ve been telling her this a lot lately.

Earlier this evening, I received a phone call from her, she was getting ready to have dinner out with her Aunt and Cousin. She had called to let me know that she just bought her wedding dress. She said, “You’re going to love it!” “I’m sure I will”, I replied.

At the end of our short conversation, Sandy said to me, “I’m excited to marry you.”

…I’ve been letting those words sink into my heart all night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My favorite cologne to wear, is “happy” by Clinique. It’s a mix of citrus notes that have always made me feel…well, happy, ever since I first smelled it eight years ago. It’s difficult to figure out exactly what all the scents are that make this fragrance up, but sometimes I can smell a hint of grapefruit in there, if that gives you an idea?

I usually only wear this when I know I’m going to be around Sandy. Her and I are both fans of good fragrances and have spent a few outings testing colognes and perfumes at various department stores for fun.

Another thing that makes me happy, is how all of you who comment on this photo blog have really shared in my joy recently. Everything you have said has touched my heart and I do not take it lightly.

The photo blogging community that we’re all a part of on here is a rare one. Not all message boards on the internet are filled with mature, decent people like you all are. Have you ever taken a look at the comments on “youtube” videos? You’ll quickly see what I’m talking about. In some areas on the web, people are quick to judge, hate and just be jerks.

Thankfully, around here, we support each other and just enjoy one another’s work. If there is critique to be given, it’s given in a mature way to help the other and not to tear someone down.

I appreciate all of you who take the time to enjoy my photography and read my stories. Know that you’re always welcome here.

Thanks again for all your well-wishes to Sandy and I, we both enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


She's my "Bliss".
I got the idea for this image while sitting at my desk today, eating some chocolate. After work, I went to the grocery store, picked up some HERSHEY'S Bliss Dark Chocolates and brought my idea to life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Engagement Story part 3

By that Thursday, I had decided that I wanted to propose on Friday morning (July 4th) and get the weekend started with a real Bang! So, on Thursday afternoon, I emailed Sandy and suggested that we have breakfast out on the boat dock behind her Aunt and Uncle’s house who live across the street from her. She replied and said that she thought it was a good idea.

Later Thursday night, while on the phone with Sandy, I suggested that we bring her iPod player with us to the dock on Friday morning. My secret idea was that I would play a set list of “our songs” and for the last one, I would have her stand up with me and once the song was over, I’d go down on one knee! The tune I picked for that is a song by Mark Schultz that talks about going the distance for her. (Click here to hear it.)

When I arrived at Sandy’s on Friday morning, I could feel myself shaking a little. This was the day that I was going to ask my future wife to marry me. It was a huge deal what I was about to do, but it felt right and I was ready.

As Sandy and I headed across the street and down to her Aunt and Uncle’s boat dock, she asked, “So, what about breakfast?” Since neither of us had mentioned anything about “what” we were going to eat for breakfast while at the dock, both of us had assumed that the other was taking care of it. I replied, “Well, I guess we’re not having breakfast, but can we still go down there and just sit and listen to some music for a little bit?” Sandy, being very gracious, agreed to my request.

Once we got down there, I said, “I’m going to take you through a musical journey of ‘Chad & Sandy’.” I then sat beside her on a bench swing while the tunes began to play. About half way through the set, I heard someone whistle behind us. I looked up to the house and saw a man who appeared to be Sandy’s Dad waving his arms at me. After I acknowledged him and waved back, he turned around and disappeared. Sandy, not having looked back to see who it was, asked me if I knew. I said, “I think it was your Dad?”

A few songs later, I looked back to see Sandy’s Dad and step Mom walking towards the dock. Her Dad, who has a passion for photography as well, had his camera around his neck. To keep things from being blown, I told Sandy that I was going to go talk to her Dad real quick and would be right back.

As I approached them out of hearing range from Sandy, Mr. Vasquez asked me, “Chad, how are you doing?” and proceeded to greet me with a hug. I said, “I’m doing wonderful, but I haven’t ‘done it’ yet.” I then explained my plan about standing up for the last song and then proposing at the end of it. He said that he was going to pretend to be photographing nature and would capture “the moment” when it happened. They then headed back up to the house as I returned to Sandy. “What did my Dad want?” she asked. “Oh, he’s just going to be photographing nature.” I cleverly replied.

When the last song was getting ready to begin, I stood up and asked Sandy to stand with me for this one. I held her close as we took in the lyrics together. When the last set of verses came, her head was resting against my chest and I could tell that she was crying. At this point, I was crying too.

Once the song ended and all was silent, I pulled back and proceeded to go down on one knee. As I knelt before her, Sandy’s crying turned to sobbing as she covered her mouth with her hand. I then dug in my right pocket for the ring box and pulled it out. I looked up at the woman I love and with tear filled eyes, said, “Will you marry me Sandy?” She said, “Yes”.

I got back up and embraced her. We then heard a collective cheer and clapping in the background. It was her Dad, step Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, and both her sisters all coming down the dock to congratulate us. Turns out that word had spread quickly through the house while we were out there and a lot of people just happened to be in the right place at the right time. They all had watched from a distance and got to share in our very special moment.

Sandy and I have been flying ever since.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

An Engagement Story part 2

Once inside the “Lakeland Square Mall”, Sandy and I soon found ourselves standing beside a glass case of engagement rings. As we waited for a clerk to help us, we looked at each other with big smiles on our faces. Our relationship had brought us to this place and the reality of it was surrounding us there in that store.

After looking at a few “prospect rings”, we moved on to another jewelers. It was the place that I had purchased the amethyst pendant for Sandy a few months ago. A sales lady named Anna, helped us and began showing Sandy the rings that caught her eye. Before long, Sandy was trying on a ring that the store referred to as, “The Paris Ring”, because it resembled the Eiffel Tower. Sandy has been to Paris, so I was anxious to see what she thought about this one. At first, she didn’t think she liked it, but as she spent a little bit more time with it, she began to become very fond of the ring. By the time we left the store, she was declaring it one of her favorites that she had seen thus far that day.

As I realized how much she liked “The Paris Ring“, I knew more and more that that was the one that I wanted to get for her. We looked at one more store, but I said before going into it that we weren’t going to find anything that compared to the ring she liked, and I was right.

The next day after I left work for the evening, I went back to that jewelers. Before I knew it, I had purchased the ring that Sandy raved over the previous day. I now had in my possession the very ring that I would ask Sandy to marry me with! When I got in my car and closed the door, I shouted “WHOOO!” a couple times at the top of my lungs. Much like I did at the end of my first date with Sandy, once I was in the quiet confines of my car.

All I had to do now was figure out when to propose. Immediately, my thoughts went to the upcoming 4th of July weekend. We could celebrate all three days and Sandy could show off her “BLING” to everyone the whole time.

There was actually one more thing left to do first though; I had to let her Dad know what I was planning on doing. So, that same night, I emailed him:

Mr. Vasquez,
“…I would like to meet with you briefly sometime on Friday during the day...if your schedule allows. Sandy can't know that I want to meet with you though, so maybe we can make it look spontaneous as if it was your whole idea? Whatever will provide a way that I could get a few minutes to talk with just you. …Please don't let Sandy know that I emailed you or wanted to meet up. It has to do with surprising her later.”

The next night, I called her Dad, by his request, to set up “a time to meet”. Since I wasn’t completely clear in my email (because I was wanting to talk about it face to face), he asked what it was that I was wanting to do for Sandy? I said, “well actually…I was wanting to ask her to marry me!“OH, I see!”, he replied. After we chatted for a few moments, I had received his blessing.

That was Tuesday night, it wasn’t until Thursday afternoon that I had begun to get a clear picture as to “how” I was going to do this.

Monday, July 07, 2008

An Engagement Story part 1

For a while now, I had known that Sandy was the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. With each passing week, our love grew only stronger and the commitment in my heart grew only deeper.

Originally, my idea was to propose to Sandy on Christmas day later this year. As we talked about the prospect of marrying each other and what the future would look like, I dropped hints that a proposal was still a little ways off, although my love and commitment to her was already very strong. I just thought that Christmas would be such a special time, especially since it’s my favorite holiday. That and the fact that it’s three days after our first year anniversary of meeting each other (December 22).

It was a great idea, but I soon began to realize that Sandy and I were already engaged in our hearts. I even told her that’s how I felt. All we needed to know, we already knew.
So, two weeks ago, I had decided that I was going to make our engagement official within the next two months. All I needed was to find the type of ring that she would want.

Two Sundays ago, Sandy and I went to the Mall after church to look at engagement rings. It was in the understanding that she would tell me what she liked, then I would surprise her “some day”.

That morning in church, my pastor spoke about the Christian life and how what we’ve experienced in our hearts by the work of Christ, we live out of. When I heard that, I related it to my relationship with Sandy as well.

As we walked through the parking lot up to the entrance of Macy’s, I told Sandy about how I related what my pastor said to our relationship.

“Out of what we’ve experienced in our hearts, we live out of. That’s why we’re getting ready to look at engagement rings right now, because we’ve experienced this in our hearts.”

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Past Present Future

Today marks six months for Sandy and I. The image you see above is of a 14k white gold pendent that I got her for this our half year anniversary. The significance behind this necklace is that the amethyst stones you see on it are my birth stone (February)…but it doesn’t stop there. The two diamonds you see in between the amethyst stones are Sandy’s birthstone (April). So, this necklace represents her and I both together.

This is a “Past, Present, Future” pendent. Her and I have a shared past that has been amazing, a present that is exactly that and a future that is looking brighter as each day passes.

I presented this to her yesterday and she LOVED it, especially all the thought and meaning behind it. I was so excited to finally give this to her (I bought it two months ago) and her response to it was all that I’d hoped it be.

I’m so blessed to have her.

I love you Sandy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This past Saturday, Sandy and I ventured into historic downtown Kissimmee. As we walked by shops, I kept an eye out for interesting things to photograph. The late afternoon sun was beating down and was as bright as it was hot. Before too long, we came upon an antique store that I had driven past many times on my way to see my girl, but had never gotten the chance to explore. So, we took a break from the heat and went in to see what treasures awaited us.

Once inside, an older gentleman behind a counter, calmly greeted us and said that if we had any questions, just to let him know. We thanked him and began our journey through the narrow path created for shoppers to browse this storehouse of human history. We saw many things, mostly objects that we wouldn’t necessarily want, but were just nice to look at. As we made our way through the maze, I began to realize that this place was bigger than I imagined it would be from the outside and was filled to what seemed capacity.

The best find for me was a shelf that held a number of antique cameras. I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to photograph them with the digital camera that was conveniently around my neck. One of the old artifacts that caught my eye was this 1948 Brownie Target Six-20. If you use your imagination, it kind of has a face. Do you see it?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Love In A Bowl

I know I’ve been writing a lot about my girlfriend Sandy in my commentary here on my photo blog, but it’s because she deserves to be written about. I write about what I'm passionate about and what inspires me. So, here’s another love-fest for ya…

This past week, I got hit hard by a bad head cold. It started with a painful sore throat that began late on Monday night and only got worse on Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon, the cold began to progress and before I knew it, it body-slammed me and I had to take off work on Thursday. I went into work on Friday morning only to finish up a project by dead-line, then went back home to continue to recuperate.

During this ordeal, Sandy did a great job checking in with me to see how I was doing. She would call on her breaks at work and express her concern for me. As the weekend approached, I knew the chances of being able to spend time with Sandy were looking dim since I was still getting over my cold. She lives in a neighboring town and I just didn’t think I would be up to traveling yet.

On Thursday night though, Sandy let me know that she was planning on making a special chicken noodle soup recipe that she had tasted once and wanted to bring it over to me on Saturday! She had talked about how delicious this recipe was on numerous occasions and I had been looking forward to trying it one day too.

So, on Saturday afternoon, Sandy showed up with a container of the soup she had slaved over the night before. The soup was as great as she had always said it would be and the rest of the day was as beautiful as I could had hoped it would be. She even went to the store with me and helped me pick out some more medicine…after asking the pharmacist for advice…which is something I wouldn’t had done on my own.

I’m feeling a lot better now and am ready to face the new week.

I just had to share this story with you and say what a wonderful woman I have.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Night at the Opera

This past Saturday evening, Sandy and I went to the Polk Theatre in downtown Lakeland for a live performance of Mozart’s comedic opera, “Cosi Fan Tutte (translated, "Women are like that"). The opera was performed by Southeastern University’s “Southeastern Lyric Theatre” and featured Sandy’s cousin, Justin, as Don Alfonso, one of the lead parts. Neither of us had ever been to an opera or the historic Polk Theatre for that matter, so this gave us an opportunity to experience something new together.

Upon entering the beautifully restored, 1928 theatre, you could feel yourself go back in time a little. My thoughts went to some of the scenes from the films, “The Illusionist”, or “The Prestige”, where similar settings were portrayed.

The opera opened with a musical introduction by a live orchestra. We were sitting just a few rows from the front and the amazing sounds that were coming from the instruments of these well trained musicians impressed my ears. It was hard to believe that the sound I was hearing was being played live. The next two and a half hours would be accompanied by this pleasant sound.

Once the performers entered the stage for the beginning of the first act, I quickly discovered more of what the evening was going to be all about. One…much to my liking, the words were in English and two…the scene was being played out as a play, but with every word sung! See, going into this, I had no idea what to expect. So, these revelations were positive ones for both Sandy and I.

As the night progressed, I was amazed at how each performer would sing every single word of conversation. I was equally amazed at how they were able to remember every single word of conversation. It was certainly a concert and play combined, but almost could be looked at as a two and a half hour song. Much skill, talent, and training was exercised by each cast member.

Looking back, it was definitely a unique experience to take in and share with Sandy. As we were about to leave the parking lot at the end of the night, I reminded her of how we were just talking about wanting to be more creative with our dates…I said, “We definitely were this weekend”. She agreed.

I captured this image almost a year ago...I finally found a reason to use it in a post.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Love Letter In The Sand

When my Dad and Mom were down here in Florida to visit me a month ago, I went out on some nature shoots at Lake Parker with Dad as you have seen in previous posts. The first morning that I joined him at the lake, I found myself walking near the boat ramp and treading near the edge of the sandy bank.

It wasn’t a far venture for my mind to quickly figure up something special to do for my girl. When I saw the “sandy” area beside the boat ramp, I immediately got the idea to write a “Love Letter In The Sand” to my lady, “Sandy“. Once completed, I photographed my message. After I returned home that morning, I downloaded the image and emailed it to Sandy at her job. Needless to say, it was a nice surprise for her.

This message of Love may be written in the sand, but I know that the foundation of our relationship is built on a solid rock, which is Christ Jesus. I see my relationship with Sandy as a house that is being built by God…with His materials. This is something that I have prayed and I believe God is doing it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

With You

There’s a song on the current Pop charts that talks about how I feel when I’m with Sandy. One line in it says, “You’re like ‘Jordans’ on Saturday”. I had to chuckle when I first heard that lyric, because I “get” what he’s saying since I’m a big sneaker fan myself.

I originally took this image almost two years ago of my own pair of "Jordans" and posted it along with a writing about my interest in sneakers. Two weeks ago, I added the blurb to the photo and emailed it to my girl.

I just felt like posting this image again and talking about my love for Sandy. She’s much more than “Jordans on Saturday” though.

“Baby, you’re the best part of my day.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Color Pot

I’m on an “archive” kick this week! I just keep finding older images of mine that have new life to them for me. So, I’m sharing another one with you.

Today at work, I happened to glance over at an image of myself that someone placed on a “Sonny’s BBQ” print-out poster that reads, “Worlds Biggest BBQ Lover”. I think the template originated from Sonny’s website and one of my loving co-workers placed an image of my face on it. This advertisement exists on my friend, David’s white board at the edge of his cubicle and has been there for at least two months…maybe more.

Anyway, I said all that to say this, the image of myself is from the trip I took to Boca Raton almost exactly two years ago for business…and a little bit of fun too. As I looked at my smiling face looking back at me, I thought about some of the prayers I was giving to God during that trip…and how He has been answering those prayers and proclamations lately!

Looking at the bright colors of this flower pot that I photographed outside of the Boca Raton Resort and thinking of what God was working in me back then and is doing right now, makes me feel really good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jet Stream

I captured this image of a Chevy Belair’s hood ornament, two and a half years ago at Old Town’s “Saturday Night Cruise” in Kissimmee, Florida.

I gave this image (and the one in my previous post) as a gift to my friend, Bryan, as a house warming present a couple years ago when he was still a Bachelor. The framed prints are now featured in Bryan’s “Man Cave”, an area of his house that his wife, Autumn, has agreed to let him display these more “masculine” images.

This is actually the second time I’ve posted this image, but the first time that it’s gotten it’s own post. It was featured with a few more of my “Auto Art” images the first time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fly Me To The Moon

Another image from my Old Town archives. I had posted a different view of this car a while ago, in a post entitled, “Come Fly With Me”. That particular image is one of my most favorite ones that I’ve captured of a classic automobile and this one is not far behind it.

This is a classic Ford Victoria. I love the shade of teal that graces the body of this car and the way that the hood ornament jet plane, in all it’s chrome glory, looks as though it’s getting ready to fly strait out of the earth's atmosphere.

One of the times that I was photographing the front of this car, an older woman walked up to me and said proudly, that she had a car like this when she was younger.

So many memories seem to be tied in with the automobiles that share our lives.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Green Machine

Here’s an image from my archives, taken three years ago this month. One of the many images I’ve captured at the classic car show at “Old Town” in Kissimmee, Florida.

I had thought about posting this image about a year ago, but never did. I decided to tonight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Chance Encounter

As the evening photo shoot at Lake Parker began to near to a close, my Dad was photographing an egret on the banks of the lake. About 60 yards away from where he was shooting, was a concrete dock that I had ventured out on to take in the peaceful view of the massive body of water. The air was cool and crisp and there were only a few small waterfowl in sight. There weren’t many humans in sight either, except for Dad and I.

As I stood there, looking out on all the glorious nature in front of me, I began to pray under my breath to God. I was thinking of all that He has been doing in my life and all that He has given me. I began to tell Him of how He was the “Master Creator and Artist”. “The Master Writer of True Stories”, for He has been writing my story and I asked Him to continue to do that. Little did I know that God was about to write something very surprising into the script of this particular evening for Dad and I.

It wasn’t long until my Dad finished photographing the egret and we started the journey back across the park to our vehicle. Not far into our walk, we began to hear a man shouting something. At first, I didn’t think that he could be shouting at us, but then I noticed his hand motions to get our attention. We soon realized that he was saying, “Hey, there’s an eagle over here!” He kept on repeating this and waving his hands like a mad man at us while hiding behind a tree. As we approached (with caution), the man kept on saying, “Do you see it? It’s right over there!” I was beginning to really wonder if this guy, who was around my age, was crazy. We soon noticed a bird on the ground though, behind some trees in front of the lake, about 20 feet from where the man was standing behind his tree. His “eagle”, was actually an “osprey”, as my Dad quickly realized and pointed out.

As we came up on the scene, we readied our camera’s and began shooting this rare sight. The osprey was just sitting on the ground on top of some nesting material. After a couple shots, I moved in about five more feet. Then, I decided to get a different angle and went around the trees to the opposite side of the osprey. At first, I was 15 feet away…then 12...then I laid down on the ground about 7 feet away to get an even better angle of this raptor. My Dad was still firing with his camera on the opposite side of the bird, about 20 feet away. Soon, I carefully got back up from the ground and began to make my way in front of the bird, placing me about 6 feet away from him. Before I could get a shot off though, I saw his massive wings begin to spread open. Upon seeing this…I ran, for fear that I was about to be attacked by an osprey at Lake Parker. As I passed by my Dad, I heard him say, “it’s ok, he’s flying the other way”. With this action, the male osprey was saying, “enough is enough” and took to the skies, leaving his nesting material behind.

My Dad then said, “at least we now know he wasn’t injured”. We thanked the man who had gotten our attention after seeing us with our cameras. He knew that he was probably going to look crazy, but he took that chance anyway. We were glad he did. As we headed back to the car, we knew that we had shared a very special moment that night. Why the osprey sat there so long while we photographed him is beyond us, but it wasn’t long until I remembered what I had said to God moments before that event; He is “The Master Writer of True Stories”.

He wrote a good one for us that night.

…you can see my Dad’s side of this story by visiting his photo blog, Country Captures“.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Reflecting Ibis

As my Dad and I continued our photographic journey along the banks of Lake Parker, we came upon this white ibis. When I saw it’s head turn to the right, I knew I had a chance to make an interesting photograph. “Click”. I was pleased with what I had captured…another one of my favorite images from that evening.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Watchers of the Lake

Readers of my Dad’s photo blog will know that him and my Mom were down to Florida recently to visit me. I had taken three days off work to spend with them and we all had a wonderful time.

Dad ventured to Lake Parker a couple of times to photograph birds and I accompanied him on two of those outings. It was on our last visit to the lake that I captured my personal favorite images from those adventures. Above is one of them.

It wasn’t long after Dad and I left the parking lot and started over a foot bridge that we came upon this scene. We quickly and quietly set up our positions and began to fire away at these three friends.

They are wood storks, and to me, they look like something out of pre-history. What drew me to this shot was the formation that they were standing in and the reflections that they were casting on the water beneath.

I loved what I was seeing…I hope you enjoy it now too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Girl

I captured this image of my girlfriend, Sandy, this past Saturday at Hollis Garden, here in Lakeland. We were on our way to my church’s Valentine’s Couples Banquet, and stopped off at the gardens to grab a few shots beforehand. This was the first shoot that I’d done with Sandy.

I didn’t have enough time to really get warmed up behind the camera and she didn’t have enough time to get completely relaxed in front of the camera…but, we both agreed that there would be many more shoots to come.

Sandy came into my life in December and from that came Spring.

She is a beautiful, lovely woman who loves God with all her heart. I thank Him everyday for bringing her into my life. She is a rare gem, a treasure that is hard to find.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Rose

As I went to the store to buy this single rose on Wednesday night, I had already envisioned photographing it. So, once I got home, I set up my shoot and began firing away.

I will be presenting this flower to my lovely girlfriend on Thursday evening for Valentine's Day. She’s an amazing woman and I’m thankful to have her in my life.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

For The Win

As I pondered over the approaching new year, my imagination took my thoughts to the game of pool. In “8-ball“, the game is won when all your targeted balls have been pocketed and you successfully pocket the 8-ball last.

I like to think that I’m on the verge of some great things in my life this year. 2008 will not be like 2006 or 2007, but will be a year of “new beginnings” for me. I’ve placed these hopes and dreams into God’s hands and with His help, I believe it will indeed be a great new year for me…and I hope for you too.

As I’ve said before, this photo blog of mine has been built to be my portfolio. I’m not sure how often I will be posting, but I will post new images and commentary from time to time. Please feel free to dig deep and explore this site to view my photographs and stories.

Until next time…