"Can we just go ride bikes already?" - Amelia

Over the last two years I've been carrying a camera with me, every day, all day. If you saw me in public, my camera was likely hanging from my wrist, or within arm's reach. I shoot something every day to practice new techniques, to play with light and shadow, and to continue to learn more about the tool I use and what it's capable of. I shoot a lot. A lot a lot. Some images are great, and others will never see the light of day. Because I take my camera with me everywhere, including on my bike rides it was a logical step to start shooting pictures of my friends riding their mountain bikes! These images were fun and playful and my friends who ride really liked what I produced with my camera. This was the inception of what I'm now calling "Active Family Photography."

In the fall of 2020 I had a friend of mine reach out and ask "How much do you charge for a photo shoot? I'd like some pictures of my daughter riding her bike." I was totally caught off guard and had no idea how to respond! My adventurous side took over and I jumped in with both feet.

I scheduled the shoot for a week or so later, right when the fall colors were popping. I cleaned my gear, grabbed my bike and went to the location we agreed upon. I shot. Well, I tried. This is where the "Active" part comes into play. I initially tried to do what I've seen countless other photographers do. I asked her to pose with her bike, look this way, look that way. I quickly ran out of steam. I ran out of ideas for poses. I had thoughts of just pulling the plug, returning the money, and making a suggestion for someone else to take these pictures for my friend and her family.

But then, their daughter, Amelia, looking bored, said to me, "Can we just go ride bikes already?" That's all it took! We went for a bike ride! I stopped along the way and just started to shoot! Just like I had with my friends, just like I had before. We zigged and zagged on the singletrack under a canopy that was on fire with color. Amelia hopped off rocks and jumps, screamed "Hamilton" lyrics at the top of her lungs, and did cartwheels on bridges. All I had to do was keep up and shoot.

We had images. Lots of them! Silly ones, serious ones, posed ones, and candid shots. After curating and editing my favorites I sent them over. I waited for feedback. I waited... That night I get the message I had hoped for from my friend. "You caught Amelia being Amelia and that's all I wanted! These will be used for our family Christmas cards and I love them".

Since that shoot, I have thought daily about what kind of photographer I am and what kind of photographer I want to be for you.

I am the photographer that rides his bike, loaded with camera gear out to your favorite ribbon of singletrack. The one who knows right where you're going to be when you exit that berm and has his camera pointed where your real smile is the biggest. The one who likes the early morning sunrise rides. The one who isn't afraid to stand in the creek with you, waist deep, while you try and trick your next fish. The one that's battling frozen fingers and camera gear while you battle it out with the hardest ice climbs of your life. The one that will paddle into your campsite on the lake and capture those moments that are shared around a quiet fire. That's what I'm after. That's what I can do. So many meaningful moments happen up here where there's miles of trail to pedal and hike and rivers to paddle , big, loud moments and small, quiet ones. I want to capture the moments that go along with your active life.

And that's Active Family Photography.

"Can we just go ride bikes already?" - Amelia