Archive for Behind the Image
December 24, 2013

I just found these film scans from my time in Oregon during the summer of 2012.

These images were shot on a Sears Tower 10B Rangefinder that I picked up on Craigslist for $20, an Olympus Trip 35 that I found in a thrift store for $7, and a Holga that I won in a contest.

I think it might be time to dust these cameras off again and see what happens.



I was looking back through the images I have captured so far this year and realized how much I actually suck at blog posts. Or website updates for that matter.


That is how many different sets of images I have piled up on the back burner just waiting to see the light of day. Waiting to be shared with you my faithful blog reader. I’m talking to you, mom. My one and only consistent fan. Actually I think there are two of you. Two consistent blog readers. My mom and someone in Nebraska or somewhere equally random like that.

Anywho. Yes. I have nine things to share with you. And, so I am going to set forth a challenge. For myself really. The challenge is to actually share them. Nine blog posts. Galleries. Whatever they might be. Nine stories. Nine Adventures.


I am not going to post all nine right here and now. That would be overload. You wouldn’t be able to handle the awesomeness that would be contained within nine posts. So, I’ll just tease you. A brief preview of what is to come. Hopefully sooner than later. Hopefully I’ll get my head out of my ass and actually bring these images to the front burner, cook them up, and serve them to you. On a platter. Then, you can look at them. Admire them. Study them. Hopefully be inspired by them. Not just the images themselves, but the stories behind the images as well. Sometimes the story behind the image is worth so much more than the image itself.

So, for now, here is a teaser.

Nine things.


An AT and MST Adventure:

This one goes way back to October of last year.

I spent 3 weeks in October of 2012 hiking on the Appalachian Trail and the North Carolina Mountains to Sea Trail. 300 miles total. It started with a midnight train to Georgia. Just like the song.

Three weeks later it ended with fording a creek 20 times in 7 miles and a ride on the side of a forest road. Everything that happened in between was nothing short of incredible.

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South Beyond 6000:

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This adventure was inspired by part of my AT/MST hike last October. During that hike I traversed what is known as the Black Mountain Crest Trail. It is also known as the hardest hiking trail on the East Coast. The Crest Trail is 12 miles long and has an elevation gain of over 6000 feet. Speaking of 6000 feet, the trail also traverses 6 peaks that are above 6000 feet in elevation. While I was hiking the Black Mountain Crest Trail last October I started to wonder about the rest of the peaks in the South that are above 6000 feet in elevation. That’s when I remembered having once read about a hiking challenge called the South Beyond 6000. After a little research I decided that the SB6K would be a fun challenge to undertake. So, this past January, March, and April I climbed all 40 mountains in the Southeast that are above 6000 feet in elevation. I decided to use one continuous hike (hiking roughly 300 miles in the process) to string all of the peaks together and was able to do so for most of the peaks. I completed this little hiking project on my 35th birthday by climbing Grassy Ridge (6160 ft) in the Roan Highlands. It was a grand way to celebrate my birthday.

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In April I traveled to Arizona. While I was there my friend Emily -an accomplished actress- asked me to help produce some publicity photos for a play that she was starring in this summer in New York. The play’s director wanted images that represented the struggles Emily’s character was going through. After some brainstorming and a little luck, we came up with some really great images. I felt like this shoot challenged me in new ways as a photographer, which is pretty awesome.



The Offner Family | Part I:

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Surely you know the Offners by now. Or, at least know of them. You have most likely heard of them in some form or fashion herehereherehere, or here.

Jon, Miriam, and their two wild boys. They’re the only family that I photograph. Therefore, they’re the only family I ever post images of (except my nieces and nephews, of course). They are two of my dearest friends and their family is amazing. And this Spring they asked me to document their family who was about to grow from a family of four to a family of six. Yep. The Offners were expecting twins and they wanted some before photos. The two boys and I were once again bribed with ice cream sandwiches for this shoot as we always are.

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Humphreys Peak:

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In late May I decided to finally accomplish something that my friends and I set out to do in February 2011– climb Humphreys Peak. All of them had summited the mountain either before or since our winter trip two years ago, but not me. Humphreys peak (or Mount Humphreys as it’s also called) is the tallest mountain in Arizona with an elevation of 12,637 feet. After looking at the summit almost daily for over a month this Spring I decided it was finally time to make my way to the top. To make things interesting, I decided to take the long way up via the Weatherford Trail. Instead of the typical 9 miles roundtrip that people usually take to hike Humphreys Peak, I took a 25 mile loop. Just to make things fun, I camped at 10,800ft Doyle Saddle along the way.

Inner Basin, Mount Humphreys, Arizona


Kristen and James:

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I was excited when James told me he was getting married. I was honored when he asked me to photograph the wedding. On their wedding day, Kristen (who looked quite stunning) and James (who looked quite handsome) were surrounded by roughly 30 of their dearest friends and family as they exchanged vows in the shade of an oak tree in the North Carolina mountains.

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Go Forth Go North:

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A grand adventure from North Carolina to Maine, and back, with sweet Emiline.

We decided to call it Go Forth Go North.

12 Days • 14 States • 3,053 Miles Driven • 25 Appalachian Trail Miles Hiked • 4 Lighthouses Visited • 1 Rock Launched At Canada – with a slingshot

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Go West:

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  • On Wednesday I received a phone call.
  • On Thursday I flew to Las Vegas.
  • On Sunday we drove to Death Valley.
  • On Monday we drove to the Eastern Sierra.
  • On Tuesday we drove to Yosemite.
  • On Wednesday we drove to San Francisco.
  • On Thursday we saw the Pacific Ocean.
  • On Friday I flew to Arizona.

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The Offner Family | Part II:

Arizona Baby Photography, Twin Baby Photography, Flagstaff Newborn Photography

Two sweet baby twin girls who are tiny and beautiful and healthy and at home. The Offners welcomed these precious girls into the world in July. In early September the entire family was at home in Northern Arizona- Jon, Miriam, their two wild boys and two adorable girls. Family. The faithfulness of the Offners is amazing and awe inspiring. Just as the faithfulness of the Lord is amazing and awe inspiring. He is a miracle maker.

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There it is.

Nine Things.

Have you been sufficiently teased now?

These are a glimpse of what is to come on this blog. If I don’t follow through with these posts and updates in the upcoming weeks then you (I’m talking to you mom and random person in Nebraska) have my permission to call me up and tell me to get my head out of my ass. And then tell me to give you a free print because I’m a slacker and you deserve it.




Feel free to share the post or the images with your friends by clicking the link below or leaving a comment:






In the Otchipwe language (the language spoken by the Chippewa Indians) this word means house or fortress.

Wakaigan is also the formal name of the old cabin my Great-Grandfather Stoneburner bought in the 1920s on the coast of Virginia.

We have always just called the Cabin, though.

My grandmother spent time there every summer throughout her life. My mother grew up spending time there every summer. I grew up doing the same.

When my great grandfather passed away, my grandmother and her four brothers inherited the cabin.

These days a great uncle and his son own the cabin. The stipulation when my grandmother and a few brothers sold their shares some time ago was that they would always be able to bring their families to the Cabin.

I spent last week at the Cabin with my family. There were twenty of us in all. My mom. My brothers and their families. Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. It was a grand time.

The word on the street is that this may have been our last trip to the Cabin. Now that my grandmother has passed, my family’s time at the Cabin has moved down the priority list.

We hold hope that we’ll return to the Cabin, but we made sure to enjoy every single minute of our time there this year just in case. The Cabin holds so many memories for so many of us. Lifetimes of memories.

One evening after dinner we were blessed with a double rainbow. A promise of things to come.

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My last night at the Cabin the moon was big. Almost full. Almost supermoon size as they call it.

I spent some time out on the dock, looking out across the water. Thinking about the memories I’ve made at this place. The life lessons I have learned. The time spent with family. The smiles and laughter shared.

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On Saturday, my last morning at the Cabin, I awoke in time to see the sunrise. The overcast sky didn’t allow me to see the actual sun crest the horizon across the river. So, instead, I sat at the end of the dock with eyes closed and waited for the world around me to slowly come to life with a new day.

Although I didn’t get to experience the grand explosion of rising sun that I was hoping for I did see a small sliver of light, which holds just as much hope.

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A two-minute exposure

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One last chance for reflection at the end of that dock overlooking the North River.

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If I am ever fortunate enough to have a Cabin of my own I may name it Apenimowin.

This is the Otchipwe word for hope.