2016 Recap

     I know that it has been a long while since I’ve posted anything on this blog… but I’ve got a good excuse.  At the beginning of 2016 Jenny and I created a new business dedicated to Wedding, Portrait, and Family Photography, leading me to shift most of my creative efforts in that direction. It’s not that this sort of work comes as anything particulaly new, but establishing the new brand takes a fair amount of dedication. We’ve aptly named this business Jenny and Jason Photography


If you want to see a more detailed description of the many things that we’ve been up to on the wedding front, feel free to check us out.  We’ve worked hard to constantly create content and update our blog weekly.

     My lack of presence on this blog isn’t to say that this year hasn’t been productive on a personal level.  2016 was the first full year in which I lived outside of my home state of California and a big opportunity to start fresh.  Moving to our current location of South Bend, IN has been a great move, and pushed me to find many new commercial projects and clientele locally.  Throughout this last year I’ve made many new clients and had the pleasure of working with creatives from all around the area.  I’ve met so many people and am glad to say that they are all a part of what made 2016 so memorable for me.  

Like any other year, 2016 had its notable ups and downs.  So for this post I’ve decided that a “2016 Recap” should focus on some of the lighter and more personal moments of the year.  The images follow no real theme or idea, but are all connected by the fact that they documents moments  throughout the past 12 months.  It’s been a long year, and when going through these images I realized that I had forgotten many of the events that I had taken part of throughout the past year. 

I’ll just leave these here to share with you a little of the craziness that was 2016!

Macro Snowflakes.  Being from California I still find myself enamored by the snow.  Loving all things macro I decided to take a few images of snowflakes to try to capture their unique shapes.

Jenny and I lived in Southern Michigan throughout the beginning of the year.  Due to our geographic placement, we received plenty of what is known as Lake Effect Snow.  Many a day was spent outdoors having fun and freezing.  This was one of the lucky days where the sun decided to shine following a liberal snowfall.

Part of rebranding ourselves in the Midwest as wedding photographers was attending Bridal Shows.  These expos, in many cases, were a great opportunity for us to get our names and work out to a local audience.  This photo was taken at the Southwest Michigan Bridal Show in Kalamazoo, MI.

Ice forms upon the surface of a bubble on a cold January Day.  Some days last winter reached negative temperatures or single digits.  This photo was taken on one of those days.

Diamond Lake freezes solid in the winter.  Diamond Lake is a SouthWestern Michigan destination in the Summer.  In winter the area is sparsely inhabited.  The surface of the lake freezes solid for several months and provides a great location for many an ice fisherman.

A large ice sculpture sits outside of the Historic Society Building in Niles, MI.  We discovered this year that Michigan has a love affair with ice sculpting.  This was the first of a few events that we attended that large and masterfully crafted ice sculptures.

Jenny posing between two large wings at the Niles Ice Festival.  Many of the pieces included in the festivals are interactive and help to attract kids and families to the events.

A man sculpts a bird out of ice at the Fire and Ice festival in St. Joe, MI.

An Amur Tiger at the Patawatomi Zoo, in South Bend, IN.  The Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest zoo in Indiana and features large Amur Tiger exhibit.  The Potatawotami Zoo works along side The Columbus Zoo in a breeding program for these animals.

Chinese New Year.  We celebrated the Chinese New Year last February with our traditional Lion Costume.  We didn’t have a full team of people to puppet the costume, so we opted for a golf cart, adding some fireworks to liven up the frame.

The St. Joe River in February.

The Michigan City Lighthouse beyond an ice shelf.  The beaches along the eastern coast of Lake Michigan can be brutally cold throughout the winter months.  The Michigan City, IN beach is no exception.  The lighthouse of the area sits beyond a giant sheet of ice that forms over the winter months as ice drifts onto the beach and freezes in place.

With a substantial portion of the local population having Irish roots, St. Patrick’s day is a big deal here.  Seen here, the East Race of the St.Joe River is dyed green for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration following the local holiday parade.

A red-winged blackbird sends a sound of warning to other birds in the area as I approach.  I found that these birds can be highly territorial of nesting sights and had no problem swooping down to try to fend me off.

A northern crawfish found in Diamond Lake in Cassopolis, MI.  These crawfish, native to the area sport an olive brown carapace and vibrant blue claws.

A shot through the ground glass of an old “rolleiflex” style camera.  This was taken at another one of the bridal shows we took part in this year at the Morris Park Country Club.

The Roadkill Madonna.  This is a taxidermy sculpture that I bought from local South Bend Artist Karen Nemes.  She is the patron saint of all animals killed on the road.  This photo was taken to great an image befitting of such a title.

Canada geese and a Sand Hill Crane.  These two waterfowl are quite common to the area and are even considered a nuisance animal by some.  This photo was taken in a marsh in late afternoon.

Jenny standing alongside Nararre Cabin in Leper Park.  This is one of the oldest buildings in St. Joe County and was built by one of the original European settlers to the area.

A Sand Hill Crane splashing a mouthful of plant matter in a marsh.  As soon as this crane saw me approach an area within the vicinity of its nest, it began this display.  It emitted a low guttural threatening sound before splashing around to scare me off.  I left, but not before taking a few shots.

Jenny at the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium in Toledo, OH.  This photo was obviously taken within the Aquarium portion of the zoo.

The Toasted Wedding Event in Chicago, IL.  This event was the nicest and most upscale expo we did all year.  Toasted in a traveling bridal show that hand curates all the vendors that take part.  The expo was catered, held within a beautiful art gallery, and even let Jenny and I be the even photographers for the day.

A Lightning Storm over Diamond Lake.  Rising temperatures brought with them many a summer storm.  This image is a composite of 30 minutes worth of lightning from a passing storm

Classic Motorboat.  We took some time to photograph this Custom Milocraft mohagony boat for Jenny’s Dad.  This boat is still for sale is you’re in the market…we can probably get you a deal.

A local cycling enthusiast rides a penny-farthing through a parking lot of Studebakers.

Fiddler Crab protecting his treasure chest.

The Reclining Kevin.  Kevin has been doing well this year, with the move to a new home he has even been able to be the prime inhabitant of our guest bedroom.

Diamond Lake at Sunset.

An Indigo Bunting.  We found this little guy on the ground on a hot and humid afternoon.  We gave him so water, food, and moved him to the shade to recover.

Kevin Takes a Pontoon Boat Ride.  As calm as Kevin looks in this photo, in true cat nature he hates water.  A few minutes after taking this photo he was startled after the boat went over a sizable wake and reacted by pooping on the floor.

Kids Tubing the lake.  Jenny’s has quite the extended family and these are just a few of her cousins’ children as they ride on an innertube.  I made quick use of an extra life jacket to protect my camera from being completely soaked.

Cabin at Indiana Beach.  Indiana Beach is a small lake located within a river system near the center of Indiana.  We rented a small cabin for a night and went to the boardwalk amusement park the next day.

Horse in a Field.  This horse is one of many that live in rural Michigan…that’s all I have to say about that.

A pier into Stone Lake in Cassopolis, MI.

A shimmering June Beetle atop a green leaf.  June Beetle in June.

A firefly pokes its lower abdomen out from behind a leaf to signal for a mate.  This is one of many attempts to get decent photos of a firefly that were thwarted by an overwhelming amount of hungry mosquitos.

A Blacksmith Poses with his Hammer.  A local blacksmith (who I think was named Ron…or Don…I’m not good with names) poses before his anvil while holding a large hammer.  He was one of several people working at the “Log Cabin Days” event held annually in Cassopolis, MI.

Members of the Potawatomi Tribe of Pokagon Indians show off some of their customs and wares at the Log Cabin Days Event. The Potawatomi tribe has a rich and vibrant culture and are willing to share their customs with any locals willing to show respect.

Freedom Eagle.  A 4th of July Portrait that I took in order to combine the most american items I own.

Diamond Lake Triathlon.  A trio of women swim past a boat in the first leg of the Diamond Lake Triathlon on the 4th of July.

Tubing Misadventures.  My sister in law and Jenny’s sister and her fiance experience sheer terror before inevitably falling falling below the water’s surface.  Luckily they all survived, and with minimal long lasting effect.

The Bean.  A Chicago tourist destination. This image is a stack of several exposures to remove as many of the thousands of tourists present

A young boy spins emotionless on the “Himalayan” ride at the St. Joe County 4-H fair.  He was not amused.

Candlelight Vigil.  A Candlelight Vigil was held in response to several killings of unarmed black people throughout the country.  Tensions were high throughout the gathering, but overall this was a peaceful meeting of a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Livestreaming the March.  A member of a peaceful protest march livestreams her walk around downtown South Bend, while one of the marches organizers looks back toward the masses taking part.

A horsefly sit upon a leaf in summer.  Large insects always make the best subjects, especially when they have eyes like this.

Fireflies and Thunderstorms.  This photo was taken while heading back from Goshen, IN from a shoot.  We stopped off for a few minutes so I could take a series of photos of the fireflies, after having noticed the distant thunderstorm.  68 mosquito bites later, I got this photo.

Interactive Butterfly Exhibit.  This was at the Elkhart County Fair in Goshen, IN.  The exhibit travels to different events around the nation to let children feel monarch butterflies and teach them about the migratory patterns of the butterflies.

Rodeo.  It doesn’t get more rural Indiana than rodeo.  I bought a cowboy hat, got kicked out of a better vantage point, and got only a few decent shots.

Horsefly on glass.

The first photo I took of our new home.  It’s nice to have a place to call our own located within the South Bend City Limits.

Coco the Doggo.  We found Coco at the Elkhart County Humane Society in late July.  She was very calm and good natured at that time, although after taking her home we realized this was just because she was sick.  She is now full of energy and more than willing to chew all of Jenny’s things.

Potawatomi Dancer.  A member of a group of Potawatomi Natives dressed in full regalia displays some of their traditional dances at the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration.

St. Joe River Paper Negative.  I sensitized a thick piece of paper with photosensitive chemicals and placed it directly within an old 1920’s Kodak Camera.  The camera was left to itself for 8 hours on the banks of the river, and was luckily not swept away when the bank rose several feet.

Jenny Riding and Inflatable Horse.  This photo was taken at Amaizeing Acres, corn maze and farm activity center.  This photo was taken seconds after her sister’s fiance attempted the same maneuver, only to split the crotch of his pants.

Winston the Cat.  This is a portrait I took of our friends cat Winston when we were watching him for a few days.

Daring Jumping Spider.  This is one of many larger species of jumping spiders found in the Midwest.  Jumping spiders are great photographic subjects as they tend to remain relatively still and look somewhat cute.

MRI Head Coil.  So this one was for a job, but I haven’t put any of these photos anywhere before.  One of the great things about being a freelance photographer is that you never know what you will have the chance to photograph next.  On this shoot I learned more about the MRI’s and their components than I ever thought possible.  Neat shot, fun experience.

Halloween at the New House.  We had fun decorating the house to make things spooky scary.  In an attempt to keep costs down we used many dollar store decorations and recycled paper to make the door face and attic window eyes.

Studio Space.  It is great to have a studio space with decently high ceilings.  We can comfortably fit several lights, modifiers, and a 9’x13’ backdrop to cover most needs. We also have a sweet couch.

Shetterly Park Christmas Tree Lighting.  Neighbors came together to officiate the lighting of the community Christmas Tree late last November.  Having been out of commission for many years, an outlet at the base of the tree was replaced a few days prior to the lighting.  News was lean on a Sunday night, so the local news organization even showed up.

Long Exposure Images of the St. Joe river including The River Lights, Century Center, Firekeepers Sculpture, and the tallest building in the city, The Aloft Hotel & Residences.

Christmas Decorations. We decided to go a little minimalistic with the Christmas Decorations for this year.  A few lights, a led projector of colored snowflakes, and a few window lights added some color to the house.

Coco in the Snow.  Coco hates rain, but we’ve found out that she is rather fond of snow.  We got her a little fleece jacket to help keep her warm since the greyhound side of her means she is basically skin and bones.

Using Format