On Christmas I got insanely ill. We’re talking really, really sick. I don’t even remember the two days after Christmas. Nothing at all! So wierd. It was back and forth between big chills and even bigger sweats and my body sending stuff out of all ends. I got really dehydrated, as well. For some reason I couldn’t even keep liquids down. Thursday was the first day I was able to actually drink just water. It almost fascinated me how the body can tolerate such sickness. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really want to get that sick again – but it was kind of cool to experience something like that. I know, I’m a little weird :)
All that to say that I’m so sorry to all that I took a while to get back to. And to those I did respond to with abnormally short responses – I swear it wasn’t me :)
This was an awesome shoot for me. Paulo Fernando runs the Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and has been teaching one of my best friends for about three years. He asked me to come in and take some photos for the parents, and some portraits of the teachers. One of the teachers is none other than Master Carlson Gracie Jr., son of Grandmaster Carlson Gracie and Grandson and great-nephew of the creators of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos and Helio Gracie. I was so excited to take his portrait. Here it is!
Master Carlson Gracie Jr.
I’ve been doing brazilian jiu-jitsu for a couple of years now. It’s truly one of the finer pleasures in life! Andy (one of my best friends out from Phoenix) and I rolled a good amount this weekend. At one point he went for an armbar but I got a swift heel to the mouth instead. As you can see from the picture, he feels terrible about the whole thing :)
So a close friend of ours threw her husband (also a close friend of ours) a surprise party. His birthday is just before Christmas, so birthdays usually get skimmed over. Well, this year his wife planned a surprise. James (the b-day boy) thought he was going to the beach for some business meeting, or something. When he got there everyone screamed “surprise!” and all that good stuff. Then Andy and Ryan (two of James’ best friends) surprised him again. Ryan lives in Jersey and Andy lives in Phoenix. He was sooo surprised. It was awesome.
Anyhow, we all are extremely close so we did nothing but hang out all weekend long. From xbox to poker, the Barrel (local mexican food place) to In-n-Out (local burger place), we had a great weekend.
I had a few weddings to shoot in Thailand in Aug/Sept so we decided to turn the trip into a little extended holiday. It is such an amazing place – one of our favorites to date.
Anywho, I decided to make a little slideshow for both of my moms (blood and in-law), as I thought they might like to see some photos of their babies, so I thought I’d also share it here. I must admit, when I watched the whole thing I couldn’t help but feel extremely grateful for the life that I have been given. With so much pain and agony that takes place in this world, I am no fool in knowing that I am extremely privileged and lucky. Privileged to have been born in an incredibly giving country to parents who gave me such a great childhood and even greater wisdom for life. Lucky to have happened upon my wife – who enriches my life in an immeasurable way – when I wasn’t really looking for her.
Bottom line – I go to sleep in a warm bed next to my favorite person every night while many struggle to sleep in the cold. I don’t ask myself “will I eat today?” I get to ask myself “what do I want to eat today?” I don’t need to be extremely well off to acknowledge the difference. Take all of my traveling away. Take my work from me and stick me in a factory in Michigan where I make way less money. If my family is warm and fed, I am rich in comparison to the rest of the world.
Sorry for the speech and I hope you like the slide!