January 27, 2011 Family , Miscellaneous

If you follow me on Twitter it will come as no surprise that I'm LOVING the snow here in Manhattan. I really do love it. We've gotten a TON too. In fact this month has gotten more snow than any other month in recorded history! Since December 26th we've gotten about 57 inches! Crazy. I think one of the reasons I love it is that unlike a lot of people I don't have to commute to work. I don't have a car I have to scrape clean every morning. I don't have to shovel steps or a driveway. I just get to look out the window at the beautiful snow. It's totally magical.

This morning we checked in with Makenzie's school and found out that they canceled school today. Makenzie was so excited. I took her up on the roof to look at the city covered in snow.

Here's what we saw.

Happy snow day! :)

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[January 27, 2011] Tab McCausland said:
LOVE the snow angel!!! I am cold just looking at them :) Great job as always.
[January 27, 2011] jac kaiser said:
love it! also, grace says hi and she wants to come visit :)
[January 27, 2011] amy said:
The weather there may be cold, but these photos warm my heart! We may have lived in Texas too long...
[January 27, 2011] Bri Grill said:
She is so adorable! Yay for snow days!
[January 27, 2011] trent said:
57 inches....that is insane!
[September 12, 2016] cialis_pills said:
I'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.
[September 12, 2016] cia_lis_pills said:
I'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.
[December 15, 2016] Donald said:
This kind of game gives a real experience of
February 8, 2010 Family , Miscellaneous , Travel

I've been away a while. I know. I know. It's been too long. Instead of groveling and trying to explain my absence I thought I'd make a list about what's gone on since I've last blogged... events, trips, gifts, purchases... whatever. If it's awesome and it's happened in the past couple of months its on the list.

(These are not in order of importance, just the order that they came to me.)

Cyndie and I went to New York... again. I don't think I need to explain to you again my love for New York City and more specifically Manhattan. Now I know I haven't seen the whole world, but, I've seen a lot of it and I can say with some degree of certainty that New York is my favorite place. I know it's not for everyone but for me and Cyndie there's nowhere better. The city, central park, the shopping, the restaurants... I love it all. This was actually the first time that Cyndie and I had gone to New York just for fun. Every other time I've had work there and while we always have a good time when I'm not working it was nice to not have anything but fun on the schedule for our trip.

Also it was our 10 year anniversary.


I can't believe we've been married that long! Here are a few pics I dug out from our proofs from our wedding photos. Don't judge, it was 1999! Sorry the scans are so bad.



And here we are now, this was in December in New York.


Which brings us to food. Our favorite thing to do, aside from going to New York, is go to really great restaurants. In the past two months we have eaten some incredible meals.  I could go on and on about them but there's probably only a few of you out there that would care so I'll just list a few of them.

DBGB. Super Chef, Daniel Boulud's less formal restaurant near the site of the famous old CBGB club in the East Village. Incredible burgers, amazing house made sausages, great beer list.

Jean Georges. Wow. One of New York's five Michelin 3 Star Restaurants. Incredible

Gramercy Tavern. I've heard about Gramercy Tavern for years and in December while we were in New York we totally lucked out and scored what is one of Manhattan's toughest reservations. It did not disappoint.

Animal. A sweet restaurant in West Hollywood that is a vegan's worst nightmare. Luckily I'm no vegan.  Pork Belly sliders, chicken liver toast, veal breast, rabbit legs... even the desert had bacon in it! Mmmmmmeat!

A16. San Francisco's famous restaurant that specializes in not just Italian food, but food from the Campania region of Italy. You have to respect a restaurant that is that focused on what they do. Its easy to try to be all things to all people and end up doing nothing well. A16 does and few things and is the best at them.

And finally the culinary version of Mecca... the place all foodies aspire to eat... perhaps the most famous restaurant in the world...

THE FRENCH LAUNDRY! This was Cyndie's Christmas gift to me. I had a wedding last weekend up in the Bay Area and Cyndie thought ahead two months ago and scored us a table. It was without a doubt the best dining experience of my life. Trying to come up with enough superlatives to describe this meal is futile. I'll probably devote an entire blog post to the meal so we'll save the details for later.

Christmas! As I said, we've been married for 10 years now and this was Makenzie's 6th Christmas and we've always been with our extended family. And while that's always been great we chose, this year, to spend it alone and create our own traditions. So this year it was just the three of us and it was awesome. We definitely missed our families but it was so much fun making things up as we went, creating traditions that will hopefully last for a long time.

I got a new camera. Not really that exciting but its always fun to get new toys.

I got a Sous Vide Supreme! This is way more exciting than a camera... at least to me. We've been getting into cooking amazing food at home and this machine has allowed us to take dinner to a whole 'nother level. We had some friends over last week for a dinner party and I made shortribs that had been cooked for 72 hours! Oh my gosh, they were amazing.

Weddings in San Diego, Hollywood and Dallas and San Francisco. Those blogs are coming up soon, I promise.

Finally, I got a book that is so incredibly inspiring. Its not a photography book, or a business book, it's about a chef named Ferran Adria who is, by many accounts, the best chef in the world. What's inspiring about this book is that it takes you through a typical day with him. He's someone that has dedicated his life to being creative. Not just making food, but creating something that's never been made before. His restaurant is only open 160 days a year because he needs the rest of the time to create. Every day the restaurant is open the first 9 hours of the day is dedicated to creating new dishes. His diners are served between 28 and 36 courses and every course a diner is served is put into a database so that if they come back to the restaurant in the future they will not be served the same dish. The have hundreds of notebooks filled with thousands of dishes they've created, not one of them something the diner will have ever seen or been served before. The 205 days a year the the restaurant is closed is spent developing new processes to make food. Inventing machines and tools if necessary to facilitate the making of whatever dish the have in their heads. That kind of commitment to creativity is just astounding to me and is really inspiring as well. I want to put that much effort into being creative for my clients.

So now you're caught up! I promise it won't be 2 months before I blog again! :)

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[February 8, 2010] Rachel Perry said:
I was going through my blogroll and was surprised to see one from you! It sounds like you've had a great couple of months!
[February 8, 2010] Sarah Smith said:
What is the name of the book that you mentioned? My husband is an avid cook and it sounds like something he would LOVE. NYC is my favorite place in the world and I am lucky enough to live only a 2 hour train ride away :) Next time you visit be sure to visit the Spice Market in the Meatpacking Disctrict - get the sampler - it will blow your mind!
[February 9, 2010] jenberry said:
so excited you're back. i think a refreshing break is needed at times. sounds like you opened your senses up to new awesome things. Basically i'm jealous.
[February 9, 2010] Natasha said:
I love it! Welcome back! SO cool to know another photographer who is as much of a foodie as we are. :)
[February 9, 2010] Brad Peters said:
good to see you back on the blog! Thanks for not giving it up! Glad to read you're doing well.
[February 11, 2010] caroline said:
We missed ya! Also, I'll be heading to New York next weekend for a portrait lighting workshop (at least, if weather allows). Been looking for some things to do/places to eat recommendations. So thanks :D
[February 11, 2010] chipgillespie said:
Dude, I'm so dang proud of you for rocking the requisite 1999-hip-young-minister gotee!! You're my freakin' inspirations! Nay -- you are the wind beneath my flippin' wings, man!! : ) And congrats on 10 years!
[February 14, 2010] marco said:
duuuude the sous vide... I wan't one just so I can be a Voltaggio brother.
[February 14, 2010] Heather Kloster said:
Congrats on 10 years!!! And OMG, Chef Adria's book sounds delicious. Must check it out.
[February 18, 2010] Hayley said:
your wedding was cutting edge for '99. and now with all your fancy cooking skills, i'm not sure if we want to have you over for dinner. i wouldn't want to make you anything ;)
[February 21, 2010] Karli Tanner said:
Glad you are back and everyone is doing well. Tell the girlz I said hi! Congrats on 10 years of happy marriage!
[February 25, 2010] HARRISON STUDIO said:
awesome! congrats you two!
October 30, 2009 Family , Portraits , Travel

I love New York. I might even go so far as to say that its my favorite place on earth. Luckily, several times a year, work takes me there and Cyndie and I always take a little time for ourselves as well. We've spent a good amount of time there and don't really do the touristy thing anymore. We just spend the days shopping, walking the streets of Manhattan and planning out where our next meal will be.

A couple of the days we went up to Central Park. It was so incredible. All of the leaves were turning, the weather was perfect and crisp and there was even a jazz band playing one day. Could there be a more quintessential fall day?

I don't always bring my big camera along but this morning I did and I took a few shots of the city, park and even a few of Cyndie. Here are some of my favorites.

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[October 30, 2009] Brad Peters said:
sweet shots!
[October 30, 2009] jenny haas said:
[October 30, 2009] jamie delaine said:
i think central park is MAGICAL. love these photos: wow. but gotta say, definitely not a fan of NYC in general.
[October 30, 2009] ashley said:
Gorgeous photos. Your wife is beautiful! =)
[October 30, 2009] audrey said:
I love East Coast in the Fall. My hometown is MD. Wouldn't it be nice to have our pictures taken there huh Michael? Maybe in the Future we all can fly there for photo shoots. Audrey
[October 31, 2009] Kristine said:
Love these! If it's okay for me to ask, what were the NYC pictures shot at?
[October 31, 2009] Amy Hofschroer said:
Love the shots of Cyndie... stunning!!!
[November 2, 2009] chipgillespie said:
Love it, dude! Cyndie, you look beautiful!!
[November 2, 2009] Bri Stine said:
We have some of the same shots from our trip in August. Minus Cyndie and the changing leaves of course! Glad you two had fun!
[November 2, 2009] Yvett Mosqueda said:
Love the fall colors of Central Park! Thanks for sharing =)
[November 4, 2009] Rebecca Hoehne said:
BEAUTIFUL!!! And... your wife is HOT!!
[November 11, 2009] Cathy and David said:
Gorgeous shots man!!! Where's the food post you promised me? :-D
[November 16, 2009] Cameron Ingalls said:
Beautiful my friend! You rock always.... Much love
[November 19, 2009] Dennis Bullock said:
That last series rocks!
[November 22, 2009] Drew Renner said:
Mike I love these pics of NY. I love that time of year when the leaves change and begin to drop. It was fun being around you and edmund last night at the wedding.
[December 17, 2009] Chelsey said:
Such cute pictures of your wife! She's such a cute girl.
[February 3, 2010] Robert J. Trenske said:
Way to completely rock Central Park, there is no place better especially in the fall!
September 17, 2009 Family , Travel

A few weeks ago Cyndie, Makenzie and I went camping up near Yosemite. We spent one of the days in the Yosemite valley and I can't tell you how inspiring that place is. Every time I'm there I'm amazed. It's so incredible it doesn't even look real. Man I would do anything to shoot a wedding there!

After taking an afternoon swim in the frigid river we took a few pictures. I've posted plenty of images of Makenzie but Cyndie's a little more camera shy. Its time she made an appearance on the blog! :)

It took a little work getting this image... self timer, no tripod, using rocks and sticks to hold the camera in place, haha. Here's my beautiful family!

I had a tourist offer to take this picture of us. He was sure that because he had a Nikon D40 that he knew what to do with my camera. He took like 6 pictures and got one in focus, haha.

Cyndie took this one. She's never cared too much about it but I'm slowly getting her into shooting. She's getting pretty good. Maybe its time to put her to work?

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[September 18, 2009] joel rivas said:
great pictures buddy...love the one you and makenzie.
[September 18, 2009] jamie delaine said:
SO cute to see photos of your fam!
[September 18, 2009] Anonymous said:
They're all beautiful, of course. I LOVE the close up of Makenzie with the mountains in the background! :)
[September 18, 2009] Ian Andrew said:
Wow, what amazing views! great images. The first one with the rock texture in the background is incredible. Seems so massive. Nice work man
[September 18, 2009] chipgillespie said:
*skinny* capitalist... And, hey -- don't knock the Nikon shooters... ;)
[September 18, 2009] Joe Latter said:
Cool pix. Love Yosemite, I do a family trip every spring with the family. Just one question, who's the skinny guy with your family.
[September 18, 2009] Victor said:
love the family pictures, you're daughter is so cute! I was wondering, what lens you used throughout your trip?
[September 18, 2009] Rachel Perry said:
Very cool views. I've always wanted to go!
[September 18, 2009] Cait said:
Awesome! I always forget my tripod and end up propping the camera up on stuff. Love that last shot: so cute!
[September 18, 2009] Candy Howard said:
Looks like an amazing trip. Everyone looks like they are having so much fun!
[September 19, 2009] jenberry said:
very cute. what a beautiful family. and yosemite isn't so bad itself.
[September 21, 2009] Stacey Gresham said:
Thanks so much for sharing these great photos of your family! The last one is so awesome, I'm glad you got to be in a couple of them!
[September 21, 2009] Bethany Fegles said:
Hi Michael! Love your blog! Beautiful family shots at Yosemite. I'm from out of state and flying in to shoot a wedding at Yosemite in October. Since you've been there, what lenses would you say are a must? Thanks! :) Bethany
[September 27, 2009] Elizabeth Witt Walters said:
The first picture is great!
[September 29, 2009] Amy Russell said:
These shots are great! Makes me think of when we go hiking/camping with Nathan's family in New Mexico or Utah. It's wonderful to see the whole fam as well. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful family!
[October 3, 2009] Kirsty-Abu Dhabi said:
Absolutely gorgeous - family and scenery - it's always nice to see the behind the scenes stuff and people
[October 5, 2009] kristin @ The Treasured Petal said:
You guys are an adorable family! Yay for quality time!
[October 13, 2009] JENNIFER SKOG said:
Such awesome family pics! Your daughter is so beautiful!
[February 2, 2010] Michele Rutherford-Brincefield said:
Cyndie & Michael, next time your in the area give your cousin a call. Absolutely amazing !!Michael you do wonderful work.