After 17 years at Loyola Marymount, I began an new adventure with Special Olympics Southern California. Two weeks into my new role, I had the opportunity to shoot my first event. The Spring Regional Games in Santa Clarita Valley. It was followed by the Spring Regionals in Pomona and then the San Diego Regional Games.I am not sure words can properly express what I got to see. The spirit. The joy. The determination. A nine-year old stole my heart. A volunteer was a show-stopper. A bocce athlete was just happy to play. A father-daughter combo brought tears to the eyes.Every one had stories of love, perseverance, determination, inclusion and so much more. The imagery was amazingly overwhelming. The people – no words can explain.
The year of 2016 was the year of the camera for me. Those who have known me the longest know Dad threw an old Pentax in my had at around six years of age. So I have had a camera in my hand for quite some time. It put me through school. It defined college and high school. It took a hiatus as my career headed to the world of college bowl games and sunny Miami. But it never left.
The last five years the camera has come back. In a big way and it has become a part of my professional journey, for sure. But it grew to be a part of my every day, defining my adventures. I took more images this past calendar year than any before and as I looked back at what I captured – I have been truly blessed.
From a road trip where the fisheye remained on the dashboard, to thousands of images from the basketball arenas around the country, the camera was at my side. The blue angels never disappoint. Mother nature, truly one of my favorite subjects. The simplicity and peace of the first-ever 14er to the family trek to Miramar.
So many have joined me on this journey with the camera and what a fun ride this year was. I tried to find some of my favorites in MY BEST OF 2016. I am sure I left some out. In fact I know I did… but it is on to 2017. I can’t wait.
For Christmas I decided to put together some photo books for those that mean so much to me, putting together some of my favorites. The theme for this book was my love of nature. And in putting together these books, I realized I have been truly blessed to be in a profession and live an active life that has taken me and my camera around the world. And I was amazed at the images I had taken over the last decade. But one thing became clear – I live in one of the most amazing outdoor places in the world where you can surf and ski on the same day (well, traffic can often say otherwise) and yet, I had not really taken the camera out on an adventure right in my backyard.
Well, I changed that. I am not shy about claiming Colorado as home. But Southern California has been where I have laid my head for 17 years and it, too, has given me great blessings. So I ventured out with my newest gear (thank you loved ones for outfitting me for great hikes) and got some amazing shots of the Pacific Ocean and the ever popular Santa Monica Mountains. Also met some incredible people, too.
Yup, truly blessed. Check-out my SoCal Christmas.
Since I entered college more than 24 years ago, I wanted to work in the industry known as Sports Information. It is not for the faint of heart. Last to leave. First to arrive. Days off – when? But it is what I was born to do and I have been blessed to be in a profession that has taken me around the world, allowed me to see some of the greatest sporting events of today and not to mention the people.
However, the holiday season is the most challenging, especially working in the world of NCAA college basketball. You take holiday breaks when you can and they are rarely on the actual day itself. And this year is no different. I squeezed in a trip back home to Colorado before Thanksgiving, celebrating Turkey Day with my Colorado family the day before Thanksgiving (see the gallery THANKFUL FOR HOME), traveling home to Los Angeles on Thanksgiving day for a triple-header that Friday.
And then this past week… During Finals Week I traveled to the Florida Gulf Coast to visit my Florida family, spending some amazing time on the Panama City Beaches. Returned home to Los Angeles on Friday for a doubleheader of hoops that saw a buzzer-beater and an overtime classic. And then back on the road the next day to take on Colorado State on Monday. The benefit, back home for a quickie to deliver presents and a chance to see my home in a blanket of snow. So to recap. Thursday, Dec. 15 on the beaches of Florida and 72 degrees. Friday, Dec. 16 back in Los Angeles for two inches of rain and about 65 degrees. Doubleheader basketball on Saturday. On a plane Sunday to Colorado where it was 7 degrees when we landed. That is an SID life.
Check-out what my lens caught this past week in AN SID LIFE.