A day after catching up with good friend Mark Estes over some good coffee at the Local Cafe in Piedmont and seeing his well done 11×14 Wedding Book, an inspiration came to me while driving on the 880 in Oakland on the way home to Alameda. This often happens to me. A good thing I think, that when I’m not thinking about anything related to our work, suddenly a good idea pops up. So I’m driving and up comes this idea that we should do a book as well. One that would showcase a personal project Sandy and I have been working on for as long as we’ve known each other, and even before that. One that as long as I can remember we have loved doing — photography of our families during reunions, BBQ’s, camping trips, day outings to the beach and on hikes, ordinary daily and routine activities & moments at our home, and of other families too. One that just feels so good when we’re doing it — our ‘Days of Bliss’ project.

When I was a college student and as I got older, some of my favorite photographers included their family portraits as part of their books, and that made a big impression on me….of how people like Eugene Smith, Robert Frank, Wayne Miller, Sally Mann and my photography teacher at Moorpark College, our friend John Gray, showed that of course, personal work can and does merge with commercial work.

Which leads me to the Creative Process…..what I’ve learned about the Creative Process is that it’s happening right now, new experiences and stimuli are all around us, as we are going about normal day. Writing this blog entry is part of the Creative Process. I don’t think there’s a magic moment when it suddenly starts. I just think it’s about being open to new opportunities, how we process and interpret them for our art, portfolio, and during our commercial and editorial projects for our clients. Seeing Marks’ new book got me to thinking about the opportunities that are in front of us that we choose to pursue, and those that we let pass.

We’ve often thought of how to show these very intimate and natural family photographs as part of a portfolio presentation, and have never really figured it out….seeing Mark’s book brought home the idea that showing a ‘Days of Bliss’ book along with our Print Portfolio of Portraits and Lifestyle images could be a beautiful and effective presentation at a Portfolio Review. All very exciting! Now I’ve gotta get to work, and design this thing.


'Lost Coast Camping Trip'

'Family Portrait'

'Standish Hickey Camping Trip'

'Big Basin Camping Trip'

'Bryce and Sandy, two weeks before Micah's Birth'

'Mary, Joe, and Mary Stone'

'Bryce at 3 Months'