This year has been the most important in my life yet. Not only did I grow by leaps and bounds professionally, but also made life-changing decisions that have resulted in incredible joy and happiness.
Not to say that this year wasn't trying, mainly thanks to the U.S. immigration bureaucracy, reaaaally close calls with possible jobs and, perhaps most annoyingly, non-paying clients (looking at you Maxavenue).
I can definitely say I am a more professional, happier, and overall nicer person to be around than I was at the end of 2013, and I hope to be able to say that again this time next year.
My year started with a full-time grown up job at Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine, helping in all kinds of photo department work and, best of all, doing some sports shooting. While being surrounded by the best in the business was an inspiring experience, I felt like New York was not the place for me at that point in my life, so I decided to move back to Texas in order to shoot full-time and try to make it as a photographer. Thankfully, the relationships I made during my time in NYC have carried on, and have led to some Texas shoots for the magazine:
As I moved back to Austin and started my career as a freelancer, I was able to enjoy some really fun assignments; I attended my fourth Republic of Texas biker rally in a row, hung out with Austin-born NFL stars, shot people taking selfies with Real Madrid players, explored the small towns around Austin and much more. It gave me a taste of the fun that freelancing can be, but it also was a rude awakening to the economics of our business.
The most important part of my photographic 2014 was When In Texas, a crazy personal project in which I decided to drive 7500 miles around the Lone Star State shooting high school football, and which I finished by following Mason High School players, and twin brothers, Luis and Miguel Castillo as they prepared to play in the 2A UIL State Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The project is currently on its final edit, and my hope is to publish a book of the work in 2015.
Most importantly, my 2014 was about family. I spent a week in Kentucky with Margery Baldwin and her family, shared the Castillo family's life in Mason, my mother and brother visited for Christmas and, most significant of all, I started my own family by marrying a wonderful woman: Danielle Begnaud.