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2011 iPhone Favorites (30 Images)

Without a doubt this has been for me the year of fauxtography. Yes, that's right, my iPhone officially supplanted my DSLRs as the carry-about camera of choice for opportunistic shots. Remarkably, I didn't take bajillions of trash-snaps as one might have expected. From my modest collection of just over 300 shots, I present to you thirty of my favorites. Let me know what you think and please feel free to share links to your favorite personal photos from 2011. Thanks for looking! More after the jump...


Orfila Vineyards — Escondido, California (6 Images)






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All Images © Michael Spotts:.
www.riverridgephoto.com

Easter in the Weeds — 31 Images

22 Dec. 2011 — Now that I've updated my computer, I'm going through the old archive to edit personal photos from the past year. Fun at last! These images were taken on Easter with my girlfriend and her bestie, Bee. Speaking of Bee and Ashley, they took the ones of me, and did a fine job. If you would like to arrange a shoot with your friends, please look through my portfolio and contact me for pricing. Thanks. More after the jump...



Southwest Medical: Murder Mystery Dinner

17 Dec. 2011 — It was my enormous pleasure to photograph the 2011 holiday party for Southwest Medical Resources. The company treated its staff to a murder mystery dinner, complete with chalk outlines and a zany troupe of actors hidden among the guests. Capturing the action was exciting, especially since I was as much along for the ride as anyone. My sincere thanks to the generous and friendly patrons who chose my services.

View more highlights from the night below. If you were present at the event you may download the files in print-resolution from these links:

Color Files (220 images, 240MB .zip)
Black & White Files (220 images, 245MB.zip)


How to begin professional photography

This year I am rounding out a decade of work in professional photography. In that time I have trained numerous photographers who are now multi-year wedding and portrait pros. As such, I am frequently asked where to find introductory materials about getting into the business... [Read More]

Death Valley, Part 4—Home by Way of Whitney

If you're new to this series, I suggest you go back to Part 1, Dawn at Dante's View, and check out the other two parts (here and here) as well. But here you are on the final day of our Death Valley trip. I had a horrendous case of food poisoning that caused me to lay on my belly in a deserted parking lot most of the night. This condition somewhat soured my remaining experience of the trip, but I could not restrain myself from photographing some of the views along the way. We made a detour, as well, to the foot hills of the great Mt. Whitney, Eastern door keeper of the Sierras. I wish you could see these images in their original size! See the rest after the link...


Death Valley, Part 3—The Dunes

If you missed part 1, Dawn at Dante's view, or 2, Devil's Golf Course and Salt Flats, you might want to check those out first. But here you are at the world famous Death Valley dunes. Actually, Jake and I only visited the 100' dunes. Much further North East were 600' dunes, the tallest in North America. We tried rather unsuccessfully to slide down the dunes on a piece of cardboard. To make things worse, I had food poisoning at this point and trudging up and down the dunes was torture. At least it was beautiful. See the rest of the photos after the link...




Death Valley, Part 2—Devil's Golf Course & Salt Flats

If you missed Part 1, go check out an amazing dawn at Dante's Peak. Here are some images from our first day in Death Valley. For the record, breakfast on the Golf Course was a weird experience. More images after the jump...



Death Valley, Part 1—Dawn at Dante's View

Way back in January, I took an impromptu trip up to Death Valley with one of my good friends, Jake. Seven hours later we arrived at Dante's View. We were greeted just in time for a phenomenal moonset and sunrise. Man was it chilly up there. Hit the link to see the rest...



Richard & Priscilla — Wedding

Several years ago I met Richard on a flight to Tahoe. We were headed to a mutual friend's wedding which I was photographing. Things have come around and now it's Richard's turn to tie the knot. I was so glad to have the opportunity to be there for him, too, and my thanks go to all the family. Read more to see the rest...

Update:
Richard sent me this kind note:

Thanks Michael! Not only did you take awesome photos, you made the whole process an absolute pleasure. =)



Simon & Heather - Wedding Celebration

This lovely couple got hitched a few months earlier in the Midwest, but asked if I would shoot their post-wedding celebration is California. Of course! Below are some images from their romantic session as well as a few highlights from the setup and event. Enjoy, and feel free to share. Thanks!



Jake & Kristen - A Classy Engagement

Shoots like this make me wish I shot engagements every week. The whole time was fun and my clients were incredibly relaxed. We also had some great Mexican food together. But really, look at those two. They're adorable. Man, I love romantic portrait work!


Hayase Family Portraits

This was my second time photographing the Hayase family. Two years later, it was fun to see the kids getting bigger and everyone still smiling. I hope you all enjoyed visiting San Diego! Here are some highlights from the shoot.

PS: I just received this wonderful note from Mrs. Hayase,

"I have definitely been singing your praises. Now if you just moved to Orange County, I’d have your schedule booked! ;-) In addition to your amazing photography skills, I really appreciate your low-key vibe and the way you put people to ease. It really helps us to relax and allow you to capture our true selves. May God continue to bless you in your pursuits. We hope to keep in touch and look forward to more of your fabulous photo sessions!"
Thanks again!



Joshua Tree National Park

Some images from a recent trip. Enjoy.





























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All Images © Michael Spotts:.
www.riverridgephoto.com

Hand-made cases

I cooked this case up myself.





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All Images © Michael Spotts:.
www.riverridgephoto.com

La Jolla Coves


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All Images © Michael Spotts:.
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Engagement: Richard & Priscilla

6 Aug. 2011
Once again, thank-yous are in order to my friends, Richard and Priscilla, for the wonderful time I had with them in Fullerton, CA, photographing their engagement session. They had noted to me their desire for a hip, retro feel. In addition to the vintage versions, there are a total of more than 120 natural color images, plus their monochrome counterparts. But here's a selection of highlights, enjoy!


Wedding: Peter & Joanna

San Diego, California
I'm very grateful for the opportunity I was given to photograph this lovely couple's wedding, especially as I happened to see many people there from another wedding I shot in Detroit. Three cheers for referrals! Enjoy these highlights, and if you'd like to see more, I've put larger albums up on both Google+ and FaceBook. (G+ is prettier) Feel free to leave a comment or share. Thanks!









 











 







 

 




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All Images © Michael Spotts:.
www.riverridgephoto.com