Best Photographs of 2014

At the end of every year I see my friends post their top albums or movies that impacted them, changed their perspective, enlightened them, or made their year a lot more fun and enjoyable. I thought it would be a cool idea for me to look through all my photos I've taken in 2014 and pick 10 photos that were my best and to write a short explanation as to why. The photos below are listed in no specific order.

I judged these photos by these aspects : 

1. What memory did I have while capturing this photography?
2. What does this photo mean to me?
3. How much "power" does this photo have? Whether by their facial expression, lighting, subject matter, etc. 

Here is what I came up with. Leave a comment below and give me your opinion as to if I chose the right photos and if not, show me what should be on this list. 

This has been one of my most joyous moments in working on my concept, "Strangers." My wife and I were in downtown London to meet my wife's sister after work. After waiting outside her work for a couple minutes I looking to my left on the street to see this taxi driver smoking a cigarette and waiting for a customer. He had no problem with me taking his photo, but when scanning this photo I was absolutely shocked with how natural this photo is and how I capture it exactly how I hoped for. I am so happy this guy now has a portrait of himself from his everyday work. 

While browsing through a popular flea market in Amsterdam, which I have forgotten the name of the district, I came to this man's booth to see what handmade journals he had to sell. As with every Stranger portrait I come across I don't realize why I wanted to take a photo of them until I see the film scanned onto my computer. I absolutely love his white hair and wrinkled face. That's his van behind him and it gives a sense that he lives out of this vehicle since he travels a lot to sell his notebooks. 

I met Scott in Morocco at the hotel I was staying at. We briefly got to know one another through playing ping pong and water polo almost everyday. I paid a lot of attention to his sleeve of tattoos and that was my main reason of wanting to take a photo of him. This is a very simple and easy posture to place a model or subject but I feel that it was fitting for Scott and his personality. 

This guy, which I totally forgot his name because it's a Norwegian name, attended the same wedding as me in Balestrand, Norway. The backdrop is of a little church that was built by Vikings in year 700 I believe. There's nothing much too this Stranger portrait than me liking his style and I tend to always grab a few strangers from weddings to photograph them because they're supposedly looking their best on the day. 

This portrait was one of my first portraits of 2014. Matt is an amazing guy and tattoo artist and I was so honored to get my first tattoo from him. It's always exciting for me to see different artists in their studios working. Some studios are very clean and pristine, while others are artistically chaotic and decorative. I just enjoy see Matt in his studio that he's worked in for years. 

For me this is a surprising pick to add to the Top 10 list. It's the memory I have with this photo along with the conversation I had with TJ. My first day meeting TJ we went out for a beer and talked about so many subjects; war, religion, personal faith and beliefs. Unfortunately this was the only few hours I got to spend with him before he went off to his next location upon traveling the world. But I'm happy to have this keepsake and portrait.

I attended a business conference in Lyon, France in April 2014. Took a step out of the lecture to use the restroom and noticed this guy doing exactly what the photo shows, staring above into something I couldn't see, nor did I want to interrupt. I had to go back to get my camera from my seat and as this guy noticed me I told him to just continue doing or thinking about whatever he was, took the picture, and said thank. This is one of my most aesthetically shot Stranger portraits I've taken.

What an honor it was to be alongside the photographer of Corey and Heidis wedding. No, I did not photo steal this shot from the photographer. She was really kind and allowed me to take a roll of film of the couple as she took a small break. I wrote a blurb about this photo in my past blog post, but I feel that this photo could tell a thousand tales.

This was another unexpected photo to be added to my top 10 list but it's on here because of the friendship and memories I hold with the person shown. I don't always love pregnancy photos but when I was asked to take photos of her this was one of the only poses I think I could achieve without being "cute" or "cheesy". It's the lighting that does it for me. I love the harsh shadows, and how the edge of her belly and hands have the greys and some whites from the lighting. A photo representing the birth of new life should feel dramatic and timeless. 

To finish off my Top 10 list, I will finished with my color film fish eye photo. In no way did I expect this photo to turn out this good. We were driving 100km on the highway and I guessed and hoped that I had captured the photo of the sun behind the wind turbine. Come to find out I had good timing and I label this as my "Endless Adventure" photo. Every single time I look at it I'm filled with the need to be traveling and go on an adventure. It's how I want my year 2015 to be.