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Double Diamond International Awards!

Double Diamond International Awards!

I really should blog more, there are certainly a lot of people that check it out each day but running a business, making happy clients, and spending time with family certainly takes up a lot of time!  Keep an eye on my facebook and instagram for my most recent work!

I have been honored with many state and national awards but really haven’t taken the time to post anything so I figured now might be a good time to at least mention some recent ones.   I was recently honored with some very big awards.  PPA (Professional Photographers of America) holds an international competition each year.  There are two main categories – Photographic Open and Master Artist.  You can enter up to four prints in each category.  A panel of jurors then judges the prints.  The best of the best are accepted into a “Loan” collection. It can be very difficult to get a “Loan”.  This year all 8 of my entries were accepted as loan  Only four of PPA’s 27,000 members have done this in the 140 year history of the organization.  Getting four loans in any category qualifies one for International Photographer of the Year status.

I am also excited because this year I will be speaking at PPA’s annual convention in Nashville which attracts around 10,000 other photographers.

This first image was from a senior session. Her mother had seen my work and wanted an ethereal art piece to display in their home. We printed this as a 60″ canvas and it looks unbelievably stunning!   If you look closely there are lots of other little elements that can be seen like a V of geese and a small farm and silo in the background.  I love little details that help create a story!



My 2nd International Photographic Exhibition Loan Print. Titled “Turf War” It was originally created for Union Football but as I was putting it together I realized that I couldn’t see the individual players well enough for what the parents were going to want so I ended up using another idea for the team poster. I really loved the uniqueness of this version though so I took some extra time later to really bring the details together.



My 3rd International Photographic Exhibition Loan Print. Helping me achieve International Diamond Photographer of the Year status. The image was titled “The Last Menagerie” I photographed the carousel while exploring an abandoned amusement park alone (it was actually quite scary) The animals were photographed in a zoo. At the time I was disappointed I didn’t get any real action from any of them but they were certainly perfect to use for this composite.



My 4th International Photographic Exhibition Loan Print.  I created this for a bride who had a Vera Wang wedding dress.  For me this image is one of my greatest prides because the entire staircase is hand drawn.  I was jealous of some of the amazing venues in Europe and wanted to see what I could create.  I used an image I found for inspiration and drew the starway.  It took many days but was a great study in light and shadow!



One of my Master Artist international ward winning images. Inspired by the super popular series “Game of Thrones” – I called it “Throne of Games”. In the Master Artist Category they ask you to show some of the elements that were used to create the image. Each element of the throne was photographed separately and then layered together to create the throne. The room and steps are hand drawn. The ref is my father who I added a long grizzled beard to in photoshop. No hair and makeup required! This was originally created for a cheer team showing off all the sports from their school in the throne but they “didn’t get it” so I had to remove the throne – Oh well, whatever it takes to make a client happy!



I created this poster for Bettendorf Swimming last year and it was one of my international award winning images in the master artist category. The elements below are what I used to create the poster. The pirate ship was hand drawn.  I really wanted to draw a pirate ship so I came up with this scene but didn’t figure out a motto until the team actually arrived.  I think “Surrender the treasure, we’re here for the gold” is a pretty great motto!



Another of my international award winning images in the master artist category. I created this awhile ago for the Wilton track team but only four prints are allowed in the digital category and I create many many posters each year so unfortunately some get left behind.  The elements that I use for my posters are generally places and things that I have photographed before on random trips and have stored away in a library of many thousands of images.



My fourth international award winning image in the master artist category. I created this for Bettendorf High School. The poster that I created for them the year before also won many international awards. Need to start my brain thinking for this years poster!

Many of my images are greatly inspired by paintings and drawings both past and present.  I have always had a fascination for “Raft of the Medusa” by Theodore Gericault since my art history days in college.  Giving that a modern, tough, sports twist – I created this sports poster but always wanting to push myself further I decided to add an underwater scene so I added some sharks that I had some images of from a trip to the aquarium then hand drew a pirate ship (I really like pirate ships)

Senior Portraits

Senior Portraits

Well, we are in full swing for senior portraits and have been creating some pretty awesome stuff.  Sam came in last week and we had his portrait session in the morning and then we were able to show him his portraits in the afternoon and place his order.  His mother had also brought her older daughter to us a few years back for senior portraits.  They are a very artistic and fun family!  Sam’s mother is a big blogger and brought along her camera to capture some fun behind the scenes shots.  Anyone interested in a senior session should certainly read over her post to help you get an idea for what you will be experiencing!!


senior guy old red truck country

Sam is a fanatic about old trucks so I took him to a field full of old trucks!

Mini Session Benefit

We are having our first exclusive holiday mini sessions!  I’m excited to announce that all proceeds will be donated to the Help Laura Win Fund! Laura is an awesome girl fighting brain cancer. The date is December 1st.  We only have 6 sessions left!  If you are interested give the studio a call and we can explain more about our Winter Wonderland set.  I spent all weekend building it and it’s looking pretty awesome.  Tomorrow morning I plan on taking some sample images on it.  We will also have a clothing suggestion guide that will help to ensure that everyone looks amazing on it!  Hopefully we see you here!

Watch this cool little video we put together about it!

Only 8 more weeks…

Only 8 more weeks…

Trisha is anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby ???? Since she doesn’t know what she is having we decided on a green wrap because Brian’s a John Deere man. When she came in for maternity portraits with Calli a few years ago we were taking portraits in my living room. Things have changed quite a bit since then. It’s amazing how fast time flies when your busy!!   We’re so excited to watch the Langley family grow 🙂

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We’ve taken the plunge….

into the realm of blogging 😉 We’ve thought about it for awhile but it was always something that was so easy to put off … we kept telling ourselves that we’d do it when things weren’t quite so busy. But for some reason that time just never seems to come. During the holidays 80 hour weeks were the norm… now we’re back down to the regular 60 hour weeks… SOMEDAY we would love to get back to 40 hours. We just can’t figure out how! In these times I guess we should consider it a blessing.

Part of the reason we’re finally getting this blog going is because we’ve changed our website some. Portraits used to be online for viewing & ordering for one month… but we’ve had to change that due to an increase in web hosting costs. We’ve grown so fast that there were just too many portraits online & we were exceeding our storage limits.

So…. many of you are probably saying but seriously I love going in to look at everyone’s portraits! 🙁 You’ll still be able to by visiting this great new blog… we plan to post our favorite pics from each session for all to see. This will be a great opportunity for all to get low res downloads for use on your desktop, digital picture frames, Facebook etc. – which we know many of you have been wanting for a long time!

We’re going to try our best to keep this blog updated regularly… but no promises yet as this is something totally new for us to get used to!