The George Family by Zach Boylston

It was a cool fall morning when I met the George family for photos at The American Tobacco Campus.  The old tobacco plant has been turned into an almost theme park of the restored factory trend, with beautiful brick, painted smoke stack, and an NPR headquarters to boot -- A fantastic backdrop for family photos.

When you meet the Georges, you immediately know they are one cool family, rocking a "girl power" shirt and all. I could feel the free, bold spirit of their two little girls, and Nanette and Dave's love for them.  I tried to capture this in the photos, letting them express themselves and capture the memory.

As a side note, taking pictures of younger children is always a joyous puzzle.  Around the age four or five, they're more annoyed/shy of the camera than anything else.  However, once they get to around six, children become more aware and start to actively pose for pictures.  And although these photos may not appear to be as "candid" on the surface, in a lot of ways, they are.  As a reflection of their development, and hopefully something they can look back on and get a good laugh from.

With a mix of family photos and 'wild child' moments, I would say it was a pretty successful day in Durham.  And, as always, I was grateful for the opportunity to be there.

Jillian & Jesse | Sept. 30th 2017 📷 by Zach Boylston

Set on a beautiful late September day in Asheville, NC, Jillian and Jesse’s wedding was an intimate celebration of their commitment to one another, surrounded by family and close friends.  Before the early evening ceremony, Jillian spent the day getting ready with her mother, her sister and maid-of-honor, Lindsay, and her future sister-in-law, Valerie, in a top-story room inside the iconic Grove Park Inn overlooking the town of Asheville and the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. 

 The beauty of the day only grew as Jillian and Jesse shared their sweet first-look moment, Jillian gently tapping on Jesse’s shoulder, prompting him to turn around and see his beautiful bride in her stunning gown for the first time that day. 

If you know Jillian and Jesse, you know that they care deeply for their families and share a close bond with their siblings and parents.  The ceremony was a wonderful representation of this closeness. Jillian was escorted down the rose-petaled aisle by her father; her sister and Jesse’s sister made up the wedding party; and Jesse’s brother, Paul, officiated beautifully – with heart and with humor, that only a brother could accomplish so effortlessly. 

After Jillian and Jesse said their own touching vows to one another and said “I Do”, it was time to move the celebration indoors at The Golden Fleece, where both the ceremony and reception were held.  Upon entering, there was a sense of romance in the air, created in part by the autumn bouquets of rich reds and oranges, the antique picture frames and décor, the candlelight everywhere.  The venue was warm, rustic, romantic, and well, rather perfect.

Toasts were made, steak was eaten, wine was drunk, and dancing was done.  I am grateful to have known Jillian and Jesse for a few years now, and their celebration felt authentically them and the perfect way to begin married life. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Michel, I hope these images bring you happiness and remembrance for many years to come.  Cheers!

I Didn't Respect 'Sound & Color' Enough, and I'm Sorry. 🎶 by Zach Boylston

I, like every other NPR hipster, loved The Alabama Shakes' first album, 'Boys & Girls'.  It was energetic and hip yet accessible.  The album felt old yet new and authentic... A classic.

With their sophomore album, I missed something.  I wanted it to be something that it wasn't - bigger, badder, more rock n' roll than their first.  But that is not what they delivered, and it was my own loss for not recognizing its brilliance.  The good news is, no one cared what I thought, as the Grammy Awards nominated it for album of the year and awarded it in a few other categories, including engineering.

In my selfishness, I missed an impeccably produced, engineered, and conceived album - a deeper album than their first, something that took time and attention to appreciate.

From the first hollow kick of the kick drum, to the guitar fuzz chorus of Future People, the gong ring hidden in the Sabbath esque end of Dunes... it's all so subtle yet masterful that, as artisty appears, you don't notice the effort.

Now tie it back to photography.  It's the best photography (art) that takes time to appreciate.  That isn't instantly consumable, but that requires more thought, reflection, and appreciation.  And honestly, sometimes for you to mature and change until you truly 'get it'.

Enough rambling, time to listen.  Make sure you're wearing headphones or your car stereo is cranked up.  And pay attention to the tones, details, and fabric of sound created when good songwriting meets good producing.

 

Have you heard of Ron Gallo? by Zach Boylston

The end of 2016 has surfaced plenty of good music, and Ron Gallo's Audio Tree Session is at the top of that list.  Their sound harks back to 1970s british rock/ bands (Rolling Stones + Zeppelin+ The Clash)... but with a sound all their own that comes off as genuinely rock n' roll.  Anyways, hope you also find a favorite for 2016 :)

Have you heard of Christian Scott? by Zach Boylston

I've listened to this concert 5 times in the last 2 days, so I wanted to share it in hopes that someone else out there would enjoy it as much as I do.  It's a bold and admittedly fairly uninformed statement, but I believe Christian Scott is on his way to being one of the jazz greats.  His blend of rhythms, energy, and thoughtful solos is nothing short of spectacular.  Also, his band is incredible in their own right. Hope you enjoy :)