A New Understanding: 2015 Retrospective

01_guypoy2015_122915Mammatus clouds in the sky over St. Nicholas Church in East Chicago, Ind., following a thunderstorm, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Mammatus clouds are formed by cool air sinking rapidly from the upper atmosphere.

For the past several years, whenever I’ve sat down to begin selecting my favorite images for this year-end blog, I’ve gotten an overwhelming feeling of worry. I’ve always second-guessed whether I’ve shot enough things throughout the year that stand out enough to be featured together in a best-of collection. Typically, my worries go unfounded, and I’m left struggling to narrow down 50 or more of my favorite images to a palatable selection.

This year, however, was different. As I culled my images (iPhone included) from 2015, I realized that I shot significantly less stills assignments than in previous years, and in the end, I was left with only a handful of images that I felt a personal connection to. This was, of course, discouraging. Nobody wants to realize that one of the things they’re most passionate about slipped away from them a bit, and on the surface, this it exactly how it would appear.

I later realized there was a good reason behind having a lesser amount of images to chose my favorites from. First, my stills work in 2015 shifted towards a different clientele. Three or four years ago, editorial work used to keep me busy with three or four assignments per weekend. I found myself this year shooting more for commercial and corporate clients a handful of times per month. While this may seem like a negative thing at first, the commercial and corporate work has proved to be far, far more lucrative for my business. In short, I’m working less and making more.

04_guypoy2015_122915Tazia Williams poses in her makeup and costume for the musical “Cats” at the Hammond Academy for Performing Arts in Hammond, Ind., Saturday, March 14, 2015.

Secondly, the lighting design part of my business saw a dramatic increase in work over the past year. I was happy to be retained by R&B singer Anthony Hamilton as his full time designer, traveling across the United States more than 26 times this year to light his performances in a variety of venues. In addition to work with Anthony, I also traveled to Dallas this summer for a week with the lighting crew from Live International to program and tech at pastor T.D. Jakes’ bi-annual Megafest convention. All that lighting design work was in addition to designing shows for my regular clients back home!

With so much travel and time this year devoted to the craft of lighting for the live stage (which was always my first passion), the downturn in stills assignments started to make more sense. As much as I’d like to be some mutant creature with eight arms and four brains, I have to occasionally face the reality that I can only be in one place at one time.

03_guypoy2015_122915Snow swirls in the front yard of a house at Magoun Ave. and 143rd St. in East Chicago, Ind., during Winter Storm Linus early Monday, February 2, 2015.

Portraits and nature dominate the images I’m most proud of from 2015. From running home to document crazy cloud formations in my neighborhood sky, to staking out lightning in the middle of the night near a 33-foot-tall steel statue (probably not my wisest moment), Mother Nature offered up some great looks for my lenses this year. And, with so much more of my client-based work being commercial, it’s natural that portraits were something I was asked to create fairly regularly too.

05_lyft_griffin_chicago_032415Lyft ride-sharing service driver Angelica Griffin in downtown Chicago, Ill., Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Griffin, originally from Georgia, is studying for her law degree at DePaul University.

My favorite portrait is the one above of Angelica Griffin driving her car through the streets of Chicago (shot on assignment for the ride-sharing service Lyft). I suction-cupped a Canon 6D with a 15mm

2 Responses to “A New Understanding: 2015 Retrospective”

  1. Chris Kerwin says:

    Awesome Photos as always with great lighting…..

  2. Jonathan Moore says:

    Excellent work Guy!