My first years as a freelancer seemed to be consumed by the necessary evil of “the hustle” and, while I’m so thankful for that time, this year was the first year where I felt that I was able to take a step back and really enjoy it a bit. In 2018 I tried as hard as I could to give myself permission to turn off and enjoy the slowness. December 2018 marked the start of my fifth year as a full-time photographer and while I didn’t always do the best job of slowing down this year, I did do better, and I’m proud of that. I’ve learned that I find value in being busy and looking busy, but it’s incredibly unsustainable and I was burning myself out. In 2018 I took on a lot less (but hopefully a lot better) work. Enjoying the flexibly and privilege of freelance life has been hard for me to allow myself to do - there’s a guilt that looms for me when I’m not working that tells me I should be doing something productive and I’ve spent most of this year working to unlearn that.
I’m so thankful for all of the time I’ve had with my family, both at home and on the road, this year. It’s been a really special year for us. So, as always, if you’ve played any part in my journey up to this point - THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m so grateful to get to make pictures for a living. If you’ve encouraged me, kept up with my work, shared my work with anyone, and especially if you’ve hired me along the way - thank you, thank you, thank you. Looking forward to another year of learning and growing!
I first worked with Collective Retreats in 2017 but this year I had the pleasure of shooting three more of their properties - Governor’s Island, Vail, and Yellowstone. I love working with Collective because it combines my love for hospitality work with travel and lifestyle imagery all in stunning and diverse locations. It’s amazing to see what they’re able to do in these [sometimes] incredibly remote locations and while it was technically work, this was such a refreshing and fun project for me.
Photographed in New York, Colorado and Montana.
By far the biggest and longest project I had the pleasure of working on this year was with Park MGM and it was an absolute blast. We shot for three to four days each month this year working on everything from lifestyle imagery to interiors, exteriors, food and beverage. Making photos for a project of this scale makes for quite the challenge due to an ever-changing range of subject matter and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have seen and documented this property as it came to life throughout this year.
Photographed in Las Vegas.
For me, it doesn’t get more exciting in Orlando than working with Rifle Paper Company. Anna and Nathan had me come on to make photos for their partnership with Keds. They launched a handful of new designs and the big focus of this campaign was the debut of their kids shoes. This was such a fun shoot and I’m thrilled with how the images turned out.
Photographed in Winter Park.
Ok, so technically I photographed all of this late in 2017 but it wasn’t approved and live until early 2018 so I’m counting it. Regardless, this is a project I couldn’t have geeked out more about. I was brought on to do stills alongside one of my favorite videographers/filmmakers, Josiah Sampson, who was DP’ing and capturing the video on this shoot. We worked for three days at Kennedy Space Center to capture their upcoming attraction, the Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) for their marketing/advertising roll-out.
Photographed in Titusville.
Ever since first stumbling into the original property in New York I’ve been a huge fan boy of The NoMad Hotel. There’s so much attention to detail and though each of their two newer locations differ slightly in design they’re equally romantic and considered. Throughout this year I had the pleasure of photographing each of the three properties and I think the work speaks to how inspired I feel when in these spaces.
Photographed in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
If you know my story at all you may know that Real Thread was the last place I worked before going full-time with photography in 2014. Since then they've continued to have me help on occasional photoshoots and because I know the brand so well they provide me a lot of freedom. This year was even more fun than years past because my good friend, Chris Ladwig, art directed and produced the studio work we did and I’m really happy with the images we made. Chris built out some really fun and surreal sets and I couldn’t have done any of this without him.
Photographed in Orlando.
When I first began venturing into photography in the hospitality industry I would think, "If I could ever work with Soho House, I've made it." Well this wraps up my third year working with them and I'm still loving every opportunity I have there. Soho House just does everything right - from the design, to the service and the experience, it's all done thoughtfully. We end up doing anywhere from three to five shoots a year together and they're always a bit different - sometimes food and drink, sometimes interiors and vignettes, sometimes lifestyle but always fun. I think I do some of my best work with Soho House simply because it gets me so creatively excited to be there.
Photographed in Miami Beach.
Ok, now for the cheesy part… Moving on from professional work, more than anything else, I’m grateful this year for the memories I made with my family. A good number of my work trips were flexible enough to allow for me to bring along my family and, in most cases, we added a handful of vacation days on the front or back of those trips. This year Ansel turned one (1.24) and Harper turned five (9.26). Kimberly and I also celebrated our sixth anniversary! Finally, in April we brought home our newest Chin family addition - our golden retriever, India. She’s an absolute joy and fits right in with our little clan.
Photographed in Big Sur, San Francisco, Yosemite, Yellowstone, New York, and Winter Park.
In January of 2018 I spent close to a week in Kentucky with some friends picking a few private barrel selections for the Orlando Whiskey Society. While this may seem very random in this collection of highlights from the year, this was a dream come true for me. I’ve been a long time bourbon fan and finally getting to be a part of the barrel picking process at a distillery was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. The warehouses were absolutely freezing but, as you can see, that didn’t slow us down one bit.
Photographed in Bardstown and Lawrenceburg.
And last but not least, here is a completely random collection of portraits I made this year that I was really excited about.
Photographed in Orlando, Las Vegas, and New York.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! Please feel free to share this, if you feel so inclined, and if you’d like to keep in touch, please sign up for my mailing list below.