The Year 2023 in 50 Photos

For years, I have published a year-in-review highlighting some of the key moments of the past year. It’s a great exercise and helps you appreciate what you’ve done and how you’ve grown. This year, I’m going to forego the personal blah, blah, blah stuff and instead share 50 pictures. These may not be my best pictures of the year, but they are meaningful in some way. I can’t publish some of my favorite images because they are paid customer shoots, and the individuals wish to remain private. (I suggest you look at these on a computer rather than a phone. You can click an image to get a full version that fully fits on your screen or scroll through the galleries.)


If you follow me, you know that my favorite genre is art nude. I can’t post much of that work on social media, so I use this blog to share some of my work. I have had the privilege of working with some awesome subjects, some of whom have never been photographed nude before. I appreciate their willingness to be vulnerable to create beautiful art. [Above: Ahna and Lorna]

I’ve worked on some awesome projects, including a “Scars of Beauty” shoot where I had the opportunity to do an art nude shoot with nine breast cancer survivors. These are warrior women and they came together as a community to celebrate life. 

Vulnerability has been a theme in my work over these past few years. I started a Vulnerability Project and continue to offer nude photoshoots at no cost to people who have never had that experience. Part of it comes from dealing with my own issues around my body and aging (I turned 60 this year). So, I’ve modeled for several art nude shoots this year, both to continue to develop empathy for others and to see myself in a more objective light. A big thanks to Will Strong and Nikki Breslin for capturing these and to Ahna for being such an awesome collaborator. 

I love film noir and the Hollywood style popularized by George Hurrell. I haven’t shot much of it in the past couple of years. Being inspired by the work of Vincent Peters recently, I’ve decided to explore it again and play with giving the genre a more modern feel. More of this will be coming in 2024. The first image below was taken with giant tungsten fresnel lights (Tara), the kind they would have actually used in Hollywood, while the second image (Madi) was taken with smaller LED fresnels.  

I’m mostly a studio photographer and seldom shoot outside, so I made a real effort this summer to shoot outdoors, showcasing the beauty of the body in this gorgeous environment we live in. I even got a frickin’ rainbow in one of my shots! 

If a woman wants to express her sexuality in a more stereotypical way, I have no issues with that. Given a choice, however, I usually ask for little or no makeup and no high heels or other symbols of female sexuality. My models have agency in the way they are represented, and I truly hope that I’m able to transcend the male gaze and capture each woman in a way that is unique to them and that illustrates the complexity of who they are: Their vulnerability and its inherent strength, resilience, courage, authenticity, emotional depth, creativity, as well as their quirks and imperfections. 

I do photograph men as well, and kudos to these men for coming into the studio and working with me. I’d say that men are a little more fragile than women. There are narrower parameters of what defines a man, and most men can’t be vulnerable enough to get beyond that definition. And because we don’t see men represented in ways other than being angular, hard, and functional, I believe viewers don’t really know how to respond to non-traditional depictions. 

On that note, I was asked by a gentleman who was my age to do a boudoir shoot. As a heterosexual male, I feel I know how to represent sensuality or sexuality in a female, but I don’t really know what it means to be sexy as a male, especially for someone my age. There are a couple of female residents at RAW Photographic Studios who do “dudoir”, so I asked one of them, Nikki Breslin, to shoot me so I could understand male sexiness from a female perspective. I have to say that the whole experience was empowering. She made me feel strong, powerful, and sexy. I stepped out of the shoot on a little bit of a high, and it gave me a whole new perspective on why women have embraced boudoir. 

This year, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for the fashion genre. Next year, I think I’ll take more pictures of people with their clothes on, although admittedly, these images may not reflect that.

A particularly memorable shoot was this “trashion” photoshoot for Musa Mahoney, who creates wearable art out of trash. It was a super fun experience. Her business is Trasherella

Musa contacted me after seeing my take on garbage bag fashion. I have never laughed so hard at a shoot in my entire life. Watching these two trying to pose without being able to see a thing was a comedy sketch in the making. 

I’m just delighted that I have collaborators who are willing to jump into anything I suggest as a “good idea.” I’d rather create interesting images over nice images any day. My struggle is letting convention go and being more willing to fail badly more regularly by doing things that push me in ways that make me uncomfortable. I’m still very much stuck in the concept of the tradition of classic portraiture. I’d love to do more weird shit. And I need to be more daring in my editing process. 

How do I make money doing photography? It’s not what I do full-time and I don’t want it to be a business. That’s no fun. I just really like hanging out with cool creatives and making art. Having said that, I do make money doing photography. Over this past year, most of my income was from doing headshots for companies and individuals. I do editorial work occasionally, like the cover and article images for this magazine, which has a circulation of over 90,000 copies. I do a little bit of work for designers and retailers (some of those images above). Then I do odd jobs, like family photos. Why someone would want me to do that, I don’t know. Have they seen my portfolio!? I just did a family holiday shoot today. One of the images is below. I also do video production. 

What am I looking forward to in 2024? As I’ve mentioned, I’d like to try to get out of my conventional ways of thinking and push myself to fail more. I’d like to incorporate more authenticity into my photography. I’d like to do a lot more art nude work outdoors. Ideally, I’d like to do a larger group nude project this summer with maybe 10 to 20 subjects. In general, I’d like to do some larger group shoots. I’d like to do some more conceptual projects. I’d like to model occasionally. I’d like to shoot more fashion. I’d like to explore erotic concepts. I’d like to try to give film noir a more modern twist. And I’ll continue to produce Meetups and workshops. 

In short, I want to do it all! There is so much to do and so little time. If you want to collaborate with me on a project, let me know. My time is very limited, but I try to do one or two test shoots a week depending on how busy I am with my “real job”. Click here for more info

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has put themselves in front of my camera this year. I’m not sure how to acknowledge you all in this post. Some of you are especially special to me, and you know who you are. You’re awesome, and I love you! I have to thank Ahna, who has been a great collaborator over the past few years. Not only is she willing to try pretty much anything (I’m going to completely submerge you in honey in 2024), but she does ties for some of my shoots and has been super supportive of getting me in front of the camera. MJ has assisted me regularly through 2023  and has been nothing but a pleasure to work with. She has been a great cheerleader (I still need to buy you pompoms!), and she always shows up! I appreciate her unconventional approach to photography and her expressive modeling. Chuck was my mentor when I started out, and I appreciate that he is always there for me when I need him. Total respect for that man! (Additional points for Chuck and now Axel for curating cat videos for me. Axel, that was a racoon in the last one!) Aaron has been tremendously supportive and is one of the few people who challenges me regularly. He changes his Instagram account regularly, so I don’t even know who he is right now. And a shoutout to Rolando, a follower who I’ve never met, but he never misses liking a post, writing a comment, or sending me a message. A note to everybody: Feel free to send me unabashed praise anytime! 

Have a great 2024!