You know, I’ve been putting this blog post off for weeks…. I want to be able to look at this post twenty years from now and say ‘that was one of the best years of my life’. But - I want to do it properly to really show how this year was visually and emotionally. So, here I am, cozied up home alone next to the fireplace at my parents house; raindrops are gliding down the windows while Princess Mononoke is playing in the background. This feels like the right time to really dive into this year and how I changed as a photographer and as a human.
Now that I’ve re-written that intro 100 times, let’s go into the actual post, shall we!
2018 started off on a note that I’ve been waiting for my whole entire life….
Three words: Golden. Retriever. Puppies.
After the best shoot of my entire life…I went to Hawaii and whale watched from the beach w/ my Mavic. Going off the last few years prior to 2018, I knew it was going to be an amazing year.
Brief intermission for some colorful photos after I got back from Hawaii
After Hawaii I got an email regarding one of the coolest shoots EVER! I got to shoot Tom X Lee’s birthday party where he invited all of his friends from around the world to Seattle where we would then take a vintage train all the way to Glacier National Park. Also - they dressed in 40’s-50’s garb. So. Cool.
Also, I experienced dog sledding for the first time in my life. SO COOL!
After a few weeks of being home, I was on my way to NYC and then Iceland then all over Europe!
After a few days….Andrew and I were off to Iceland.
After we got completely wrecked by the snow/coldness of Iceland….We flew into Oslo then road tripped 4,000+ miles in ten days throughout Europe. One thing I forgot to mention is….We went during a Siberian cold front that made the temperature about 15-20 degrees colder than it normally is. Everywhere was around 10 degrees, it was a nightmare. But - we did get some cool photos!
After we got back from Europe, I went on a little trip to Arizona to watch the Mariners for spring training and also visit my grammy! Oh yeah, I did a little shoot for LIGHTBOX NYC during my layover back to Seattle from Europe!
This is where my life took a full on 360 FLIP! Once I got back from AZ, I had an interview with Starbucks Reserve to be on their social team as a photographer. Also - I forgot to mention, I was brought onto the MLB team to cover the Mariners during their 2018 season! I’ve been a fan my whole life (depressing, I know) and knowing that ICHIRO (my freakin’ childhood hero and idol) was playing this season….It was meant to be.
Random story time: When I was like 12 (?) years old, I went to Spring Training w/ my friends Kenta/Tomo. Their father, Hide, was a scout for the Mariners and was close with Ichiro. One day while we were there, Hide asked me “Do you want to play catch with Ichiro?” I pretty much died at the thought of it honestly. The next day…We played catch and it was by far one of the coolest experiences of my entire life.
So - right as I got back, I had my interview with Starbucks and then got offered the job! On my first day, before I even had a chance to sit down, I had my first shoot! So. Fuckin’. Cool.
This is Ann Traumann, she’s a coffee buyer for Starbucks.
I’ll save my other Starbucks work for another time - there’s a lot to go through…. so - let’s get back to the timeline.
Before going to the Sony Kando Trip in Cali, I shot a Mariner’s game and took one of my favorite photos of ALL TIME. This photo was essentially the reason I shot the Mariner’s this season…I wanted to take a photo of Ichiro that I could cherish forever and I think I did just that.
After this - I went to the California Coast for Sony Kando 2.0.
A brief intermission of some PNW photos before going to Australia.
Next up is the best trip of my entire life (no offense to my other trips, I’m sorry ok) - I had the opportunity to go to Northern Territory, Australia with Sony! We were there for two weeks and went literally everywhere within that region. To this day, I’m still in awe of the places I was able to go and the people I was able to meet. Unreal.
Also, something worth mentioning is the fact that I almost cancelled this trip. I had just got hired by Starbucks and I thought it would look bad if I got hired on and then immediately took two weeks off to go pursue my photography overseas. But - through much deliberation and my family essentially telling me “hey, you dumbass, go to Australia, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. In twenty years, will you remember sitting in an office for two weeks or being in Australia having the time of your life?”
Brief intermission w/ some photos of my bug! These were outtakes during the Speedhunters photoshoot !
One of the main reasons for being hired onto the Starbucks Reserve team was to go to the launches for the Roasteries that would be opening over the next year/two. We went to Milan to gather assets for the launch of the first Starbucks in Italy!
Remember Tom from earlier? I went to upstate NY to photograph their wedding, it was beautiful!
I did a timelapse of Mt. Rainier w/ the Milky Way and…..Got absolutely soaked. It was supposed to be clear but you know that’s never true - there was a ton of fog which made for a very unique pair of timelapses!
My best friend, Brett, got married to his highschool sweet heart, Hannah. I took both of their senior photos and their proposal/engagement photos. So - it was nice to watch them get married without having my camera. But - I couldn’t actually do that….I brought my drone and what you see below is the result.
You may have noticed the haze in the photos above and that’s because of the mass forest fires. The air quality got so bad in Seattle, no one was going outside. It was seriously nuts….But - Seattle looked cool as hell, I had to document it somehow.
Once the smoke cleared, my niece needed some Senior Photos so we went out to Snoqualmie!
Here’s an aerial from Gold Creek Pond that isn’t part of any set but…. It’s my first time using the new Mavic Pro 2! I have a hyperlapse from here but I’m not sure where it went…..So here’s a photo instead.
I went on a hike to Twin Lakes and had no idea that it was going to be one of the coldest mornings of my life????? I’ve been to a lot of cold places but when you forget your gloves and try to use your camera when the temperature is in the negatives, it’s not a good combo. I got rekt. But - I got some pretty neat photos out of it…So, here they are.
Up next is a really big milestone in my photography career. I was asked by Sony if I would like to host a photo walk at their Be Alpha Seattle Community event! I had the opportunity to lead a group of around 40-50 people and show them my process during a shoot and how I see through the lens. It was extremely nerve-wracking and I’m really glad I did it! It gave me the chance to slow down and realize that I do have good information up in the ol’ noggin’ that I can pass on. I have a lot of internal battles in my head regarding my work/etc, and it was nice to see people enjoying what I had to say. Thank you everyone who came out! Here are some shots from that day.
Off to Petit Le Mans w/ YAER for the 4th year in a row! Going to Atlanta and shooting Petit is honestly one of my favorite shoots every year. We just get to hang out all day with race cars and be creative, full creative control. I love when clients trust our vision, makes everything so much easier that way. You know you’ll produce something from the heart and that’s when the real magic happens.
I don’t know what’s going on with this year but it seems that hot air balloons are a thing. I was contacted by Vicky & Mai (who I’ve worked with a few times over the years) to photograph Vicky’s birthday up in a hot air balloon! Obviously, I said yes. The day was perfect and the weather was unusually nice, it was meant to be.
Following the unusually nice weather, a huge wall of fog moved in creating a pretty insane visual from West Seattle.
We’re almost at the end of this 2018 post so here’s two little photos before my favorite drone set of ALL TIME.
My buddy Matt Kuma and I went out to the Ice Caves area in hopes to find some cool low fog to photograph and well….. I’d say we found what we were looking for, to say the least. I’ve never seen anything like it. My heart was racing the whole time making sure I captured everything that was happening because it was all happening so quickly. The fog was moving and the sun was pushing through…Seriously unreal.
This was by far, the longest post I’ve ever written and if you’ve made it this far, thank you. 2018 was the best year of my life, I’ve had opportunities I never thought I would have and I’ve made strides in many different aspects of my life. Thank you to everyone who’s followed along so far, can’t wait to see what’s next!