Photography, Retouching, and Life. 

The free-writing platform of Pratik Naik. A mix of curated content and personal writings. 

The Stories Of 2016: Photographers Share Their Favorite Photos And The Stories Behind Them

The Stories Of 2016: Photographers Share Their Favorite Photos And The Stories Behind Them

At the end of every year, I see articles that depict some of the greatest photos of the year. They're always dazzling! They're shot by some of the best photojournalists and people alike who seem to be at the right place at the right time. They show us how the world has moved forward and sometimes also taken a step back. 

I really like seeing them, but I wanted creatives like you and I to also share their best photo of the year and the story behind it. I was curious to see what they would pick and what their reasoning was. How would they wrap up their year and pick out the single best moment?

So I asked them to do just that! 

I find that it's never just about the photo, but every moment that happens around and in between it. Sometimes, those stories are just as beautiful, if not more beautiful. It shines a new light on the photo and brings it into context. 

It really illuminates the heart reading some of these. Feelings of pride for the photographers come out! They are stories that celebrate personal growth, achievements in executing vision, stories of loss and love, and sometimes no story at all.

Some simply shared a beautiful photo that they purely loved for no reason at all or any real story. Rightfully so, you just get lost in some of these. 

We had over 300 submissions! How did I end up picking? 

As I mentioned above, there were photos from all areas of photography. Some had a message, some had a story, and some were just visually beautiful without one. There was no way I could post all 300 of them, so what I did was pick a great selection of all of these three! 

It does not mean the rest were less-than, but hopefully this teaser will get you excited to see more! To see the entire collection, check out the full submission thread here

I learned so much from hearing from photographers, and I hope this inspires you creatively in 2017 and beyond! 

Enjoy and Happy New Year! 

This is my favorite shot. I think I got the lighting just right for this style of image; there was genuine connection from (and between) the guys; same sex couples is a new area for me, so I'm excited to develop this style in 2017.
David Shoukry

I took this back in summer - I had originally photographed their wedding elsewhere but since they were such a beautiful couple (not just looks but also personalities more than anything). I offered to photograph them the next day around 100 miles from the wedding location at a place personal to me.

They absolutely LOVED the idea. This was the result of fun, laughter, and my favourite couple.

If I could have couples like these two I would be in heaven - probably feel like I've retired. I now have 2 more close friends :)
Aden Priest 

In 2016 I found myself needing to evolve as I was almost alway doing the exact same portrait of people. I felt my photographs were missing story so in order to evolve myself I called up a violin maker and asked him to take his portrait, to which he said yes. I knew his profession form his instagram account, and sat down and talked to him over a cup of espresso in order to get a sense of who he was. He is a passionate violin and viola builder, espresso lover and father. It takes 3 to 400 hours to complete a piece and he builds about four to five a year. His instruments are played by many great players among several are playing in Oslo-Fillharmonien.

Personally I feel that I captured the essence of him in this photo as he also went all-in and lent himself to me. Can't wait to see how I can take it up a step in 2017!
Marius Viken-Horsfjord

This is my favorite shot because I miss utah and it was a real treat to go back and capture it. We spent a week driving around Utah with my best friends.
Kyle Ford

My personal favorite photo from this year is probably this simple snap of Lily from a few months back. It's obviously not the most impressive photograph, but I love that it will always remind us of a sweet moment in our day-to-day life. Lily was waiting by her playroom window for ages for Ryan to get home from work and refused to leave her post for any reason. She finally fell asleep on the window sill and was still like this when he got home. It definitely melted both of our hearts and so I'll always treasure this photo.
Tess McCoy

This by far is one of my favourites I've done. Reason why, The emotion I captured from the model tells the story and brings the concept to life. I didn't even retouch this. I shot it tethered in capture one with a bit of contrast added and exported it as it was.
William Clark

Not my best shot, but one of my favourites. It sums up the best year of my life, a year of travelling around the world to 22 countries, growing as a person, collecting incredible memories that I will take to my grave. This was shot at the top of a mountain in northern Philippines, the first mountain I've ever climbed. Reaching here I felt on top of the world. Pretty much the feeling I have had all year but in this photo this feeling is visualised.

This year has been unforgettable for my life. I have learnt that I no longer need a house and possessions to be truly happy. I’d sooner collect memories then digits in my bank account. I’ve witnessed true poverty with people living with so little but with the biggest smiles on their faces and this to me has been life changing. ...The world is my playground...I have been a free spirit for this a year, I’ve never been happier.
Rebecca Lilith Bathory 

Mine is a little different than the rest here, but it means a lot. It's an image of my friend/bride breastfeeding her baby in her wedding dress. It meant a lot to her and it meant a lot to me that I can showcase a beautiful moment on such a special day. Motherhood takes no breaks, even on your wedding day!
Kathryn Stabile 

Just Married.
Flariden Dela Torre

 It's still one of my favorites to date. I think I'm partial to it because it was the product of pure collaboration and creativity. I think it's easy to get caught up in the grind of "work" so it was nice to just create for the sake of creating. It's also a reminder to myself to take the time to do just that!
Jason Poulin

This is my favourite shot of the year for several reasons. First of all i have been craving this kind of conditions since i found this spot 3 years ago- in march the elements finally aligned and i was abled to "collect" this image i had thought about many times. Then i also love it, because it is in a region (Lofoten islands in Norway, 68°North) where many photographers gather at the hotspots, but here at this place i always have my peace of mind to be creative. Then another reason that i won´t ever forget that day: Exactly while the sun was rising and i was shooting in joy, my wife had to go to the hospital with my son due to an infection at home in Germany. All went well, but after feeling super great while shooting, i felt terrible for not beeing there to help them and beeing in the arctic instead when she called me and told me about what happened... ying and yang...
Felix Inden

I don't shoot family photos anymore.

Portraits is my jam and it's where I enjoy staying. That said, when I was approached to shoot 'family' photos of a woman who is losing the battle to cancer, I couldn't say no. Its a soft spot for me, and what I hope the photos I deliver to her and her family can make her memory a more tangible one.
Casey Cosley

This year I participated in a beautiful project called Radical Beauty, that focuses on photographing Down Syndrome models. This was an absolute highlight of 2016 for me.I worked with an incredible woman,model, dancer and actress,Sarah Gordy. And I am pleased to say it made to Photo Vogue too  I had a chance to see Down Syndrome dancers perform during the project launch and have to say this was a fantastic and most therapeutic experience.This project made me realise how incredibly talented and lovely Down Syndrome people are and that they absolutely shouldn't be classified as any different!

Project: http://www.radicalbeautyproject.com/

- Zuzia Zawada 

My son and I was visiting the Kimball Art Museum one Sunday afternoon. As we approached this installation (the room with the ladder) I see this scene. This gentleman who was a another patron was standing observing the installation but it literally had the look like he had been placed there. In my eye the scene was just perfect.... I started fumble for my iPhone (5) which only had 1% of battery left. I came up shooting. As soon as I got of the first shot he moved. By the third shot my battery died. So I had no idea if I had the shot until we got back to the car over an hour later. I named it "Corporate Ladder" the concrete, ladder to infinity and the guy in a suit pondering if it's worth it..... I was able to take art and turn it into new art...... on a cell phone.
Randy Harris

I love this shot mostly because it was damn tricky to get in position to shoot it. I had to lie on my stomach in an ant bed (in my defense I didn't realize it was there until about 45 seconds later!) and reach out over water. I've actually included a photo of me shooting it in the comments, my assistant was being sneaky. The symmetry of the bride and groom leaning over and the tree bent out over the water. I'd love to say that I planned that, but he grabbed her and went in for the dip without me even suggesting it!
Nicholas Gore

I had a pretty great year, photography wise. This is one of my favorite shots, mainly because it was done with some of the people I really love working with and because the lighting situation was different and fun to work with - and I do love a good challenge :) Have a beautiful 2017 <3
Henrik Adamsen 

Going with this one from a few weeks ago. I think it captures the emotion I strive to achieve in my work (for those don't don't know me, I'm a really happy in the person in the real world, just opposite in photo world 😝). Plus, on a personal level, the idea of traveling farther and father to find more epic locations is something very important to me, and this was a 13+ hour drive in one day to be at this spot in this weather.
Justin Rosenberg

This is my favorite because I was always terrified of shooting babies but this is my own daughter which meant I really could relax and just enjoy the moment rather than worry about a client wondering if I knew what I was doing or not.
Keaton Foley 

This is my personal fave. It was challenging in a lot of ways. We got permission from the owners of the now demolished Desert Sands Motel on Route 66. When we got there to shoot, they said it had been a Breaking Bad location and they'd have to charge us 1500 to shoot a few pictures.

We said that that had not been what they initially said, then they said the deal was off. They'd only let us shoot if we were guests (the place was inhabited by drug addicts). I said fine, rent me a room. The owner said no. Then a lady walked in and asked for a room "only for half an hour". They rented it to her for $5... I protested, and then we got kicked out.

So we ended up looking for a new location just an hour before dusk, and ended up in an abandoned trailer park with this beautiful pool... We put the skates on the model, who almost rolled down to the nasty puddle of water you can see in the picture. Oh, the glamorous BTS of creative teams...
Rebecca Massey 

The reasoning behind this photoshoot was a pretty deep one. 

I wanted to be able to indirectly vent my own insecurities via short stories which were hiding behind these fragile princess like characters. I've been brought up by my mother and nearly lost my sister this Christmas to a serious heart condition made worse by her pregnancy.

I wanted to create shots that not only empowered women in a non sexual way, but also to vent my issues and lastly include something about where the models were at there own lives. Due to learning about these models lives and insecurities they have now become wonderful friends whom I care for deeply. I think this is my best work yet, and also the most meaningful. Bring on Year 3.
Joseph Parry

I keep coming back to this one because I had envisioned the shot beforehand and I think it ended up turning out better than I had imagined it, which is a very satisfying feeling. I'll be doing darkroom prints of it soon.
Jason Kruppa  

This is by far my favorite photo of the year 2016! 

I have been to Ladakh 4 times. This particular stretch is called the More Plains at 15,400 ft altitude. This 40 km of straight stretch at such high altitude makes you think how diverse our planet is. We woke up at 4 AM in minus 2 , crossed 2nd Highest Pass in the world at 6 AM at freezing minus 10 to witness More Plains Sunrise ! Just about reached in the middle of More Plains I saw an Indian Army Truck approaching towards us, the sheer size of the mountains at the back and the size of truck forces you to think how tiny we are in front of the Mother Nature!
Harvarinder Singh 

My favorite this year is this self portrait.

I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember. And despite my best efforts over the past couple years It's gotten worse. I've always taken portraits as therapy but I wasn't shooting much. I was withdrawing. I wasn't taking clients. I was living inside my head more. I had a lot of feelings/idea's but I couldn't bring myself to shoot them. I couldn't calm an anxious mind.

I couldn't stop the public panic attacks or the guilt that came when they happened in front of my children. I kept telling myself I need to do what I'd always done & make something out of these emotions. And when I was finally ready, I did. And I happened to come across the words that fit it perfectly "You stay quiet, while a war happens within you."
Jessica Lutz 

Probably my recent glitter shoot... I just love that it breaks the rules it's technically out of focused, blurred, overexposed, and not a "correct color balance... but it was all done with intent and I like images that's are not "technically" correct per say but still work. Plus I felt the idea fit the type of makeup and make it look it's best. 
Steven Turner

This is a personal favorite bc it represents the growth and refinement of my own post processing techniques this year. (At the beginning of the year I didn't know how to put it together). It is also special because the alignment of the moon and milky way along with the weather and wave conditions is unique and serendipitous. 
Dustin Wong

This is among one of the images I made this year and is my favorite. My kitchen is my canvas and I love my messes in the kitchen. This is a true reflection of why I love food, the colors, aroma, textures and the mess.
- Simi Jois 

This one because I had the pleasure of working with a very talented retoucher. Oh yeah, and I got to play with 100 megapixels for the first time! 
Jonas Jensen 

"Son vs. Father" 13yr old Steven Aghakhani in his McLaren 650s about to go 170mph+ racing his father Armik in his Bugatti Veyron. 
Daniel Schenkelberg

I had a great year. Both business wise and personally. 

I chose this image because it represents the last 3 years of a personal journey. (I don't know if you remember this Pratik.. But we sat in my hotelroom in Amersfoort 3 years ago and I told you about a special journey I was about to embark on).

This image tells that 3 year journey. And also because its a personal project and not just another commercial image.
Dennis Møller 

This is part of the Naked Yoga Series, one of the new FIne Art Portfolios I developed this year, after returning from the Art and Meditation Retreat in Thailand.
Jorge Parra 

This is literally from yesterday and probably will become my favorite one of 2016.

Why? With this photo I gone back to my roots, unusual concept photography. It was quite time consuming, but I will remember this as a 'easy one', no stress, no problems, etc. Model was very good and managed to pose brilliantly. Concept made in 10 minutes. Background made in 6 hours, but without any issues. Setup (lighting etc) done in about one hour, but again - without any issues. Overall very pleasant journey to, I believe, quite eye-catching results.
Marian Wodzisz

 

Portrait of my father.

I love photographing my father for two reasons. One, I can never buy my father a gift that he will ever truly appreciate or want that I can afford to get him. So, giving him prints like this mean a lot to him.

Two, having an image of him like this will provide to future generations what he stood for and hopefully tell his story in just one frame. Photography is the only thing I do that seems to make him proud of me, so I will continue to ask him to model for me and capture these moments of him.
Jon Erlien 

This one possibly takes the top spot for me. Except for the fact that I like how the image turned out, it definitely represents a turning point for me. It was taking this image back in July, and looking at it today, that makes me realise that this is definitely the way I want to be spending my time in the future.

I was always very focused on just getting a "pretty image", to the point that I'd not even enjoy the whole process behind it. For example, after going to Iceland in February 2015, I realised that I couldn't even remember taking certain images; I had a bunch of pictures, but little recollection of the experience linked to them. It was this summer, especially after taking this image, that I started to give value to everything else that comes with landscape photography: the journey, the friendships, and admiring the landscape in silence with my own eyes, rather than through the camera's viewfinder alone.
Davide Maligno 

These 2 of my favorite. They were from a personal project where I was doing stills and also directing as well. My main goal was to make the video look like the still and in my style. It was a lot of work but I got some decent images out of it.
Alexis Cuarezma 

This photoshoot was very important to me because not only did it hold immense personal meaning in relation to things I've experienced the last few years, but it also represented a transformation in my artistic style to progress even further from being a heavily post processed artist to creating powerful surrealism in completely real scenes.

This shoot was a collaboration between various artists including a body painter, all 18 models, and the designer. This shoot has reinvigorated my artistic senses and excited me for my visions to come in 2017.
Rob Woodcox 

This is my favourite shot of the year.  Two different people coming together; the light side, the dark side. She's a Disney princess and he's a Comic book geek. 

I captured this shot earlier this year, two of the most wonderful people I know and they are finally married. It's always an honour to photograph those special people who you admire! #love
Francesca Hughes 

This 8 years old burmese guy is a "bird hunter". I had the opportunity to met him in my last trip to Burma in a remote region of the country. My guide was the translator. The guy explained us that he spend his life hunting birds in the morning to have something to eat every day. His parents consider a waste of time to send him to the school because he will not need that knowledge in his country in the future.
Victor Gonzalo

This picture puts together what I have tried to accomplish since the very beginning. It includes precision lighting, technical, combined with daylight to give it the power of flash yet atmosphere elegance of ambient light. Make up well done not too much or too little. Retouching, not much of anything needed, is why it also meets the criteria of one of my best. More importantly is the power of the portrait that transcends all other. Beauty still has the
ultimate power over me, but I am there to capture a bit of its essence when presented.
Neil Snape

This Deadpool shot is one of my favourites this year. Deadpool is a character with a huge personality. From serious to complete idiot. In this shot we took the mick out of some marvel super heroes.
Steve Thewis 

 

Earlier this summer I had the fortune of capturing the super sweet and beautiful Ella Grace Denton. We shot this picture in a paddling pool in my garden one summer's day.

My mum actually assisted me here by shifting the flowers around her body with two kitchen sieves! It was a really lovely funny moment. Me capturing a water goddess and my mum laughing in the background helping me pull off the shot!
Bella Kotak

The road to Mt. Fitzroy and El Chalten, Argentina in Patagonia is my favorite photo of the year but for personal reasons more than the photo itself. To be honest I took the photo from a moving bus going 120kph thru a window, but the photo is a symbol. It representative of the direction of my career. I've been blessed to shoot lots of different things, but after catching the travel bug a few years back I nearly ruined my career by traveling way more than shooting.

I decided that I HAD to get paid to shoot travel and with zero idea how to do it I put it out into the universe as an intention. The next year I got paid to shoot in over 20 countries, and this year I went to another 12 countries. I've never been happier to be on the road of life and photography than I am right this moment. Cant wait to see where I go in 2017.
Albert Manduca 

This has been a very difficult year for me in a lot of ways. I struggled creatively, financially, went through a bad break up, and questioned why I even shoot.

I normally bounce between fashion, commercial, and a little bit of wedding work, and all those have a lot a guidelines, (not that guidelines are bad) but there is a lot that comes with that. And although I love what I do, that work wasn't satisfying me in some way. So I started to shoot subject matter that seemed to feed my soul. I didn't have to please anyone with these images, I didn't have to please an agency, or a client, or a bride. With that, there was no expectations of the images.

These 2 images of some friends of mine are close to my heart because they were created on a whim, with complete freedom, and were unencumbered by any outside influences. 

I have a few images I shot this year that I really loved because of technical reasons, Lighting, post work, etc. But these 2 images seem to stand out to me because they express my freedom as a photographer.
- Thomas Ingersoll 

I did a series this year on elderly people doing things little kids do or acting young. This is Stanley, and he was great.
Chris Loupos 

I'm not good with words so I will just let the photos speak for itself. The following 2 photos I will be posting where my most popular photos of 2016. They won me many contests and I'm the most proud of creating. I also did all the hair,makeup, styling and retouching. It was shot with a Lensbaby Composer pro II with edge 50 optic which is not really a lens most people would use for beauty but I think it was great for my concept.
Angela Michelle Perez 

This is probably my favorite image of 2016 due to the fact that it meant the world to him to finally become real ghostbusters with his daughter! 
Terrence W. Blanton

This image is from my personal favourite shoot of this year. Favourite because, first of all, this is my wife and this felt like our best shoot ever (creative energy was strong and there was absolutely no arguing). Second, as a former dancer myself, I always resisted the idea of being dance photographer just because I used to be a dancer. Felt like a cliche. Stupid, I know. But after this shoot I re-discovered my love for shooting dancers and, most importantly, I realized how I want to do it. 
Sasha Onyshchenko 

This is my other favorite snapshot from this year. Just a late summer evening on our front porch, hanging with friends, and the light coming onto the porch fell perfectly to highlight my friend Jessie Felix's tattoos.
Anthony Ryan Tripoli

This photograph is from my study of the moment when wishes and dreams mix and blend together with reality in a visual way. For me this state of mind is close to being in love. The photograph is pure reflection - there is no montage nor multiple exposure. I appreciate this photograph a lot because it is from my few truly personal projects.
Ondrej Michalak 

One of my favorite portraits from this year is this portrait of Eric. I always appreciate people who know history, who don't mind speaking their mind and who are constantly dropping knowledge for others to learn. Eric is one of those people. Every conversation I have with him, I always learn something new. 
Bryce Chapman 

This is my favorite shot of the year. I ran into my friend here on her horse surrounded by a crowd. I had 2 shots left on my roll of film. I asked if I could take her photo and for one second, the crowd happened to be out of the frame. A magical moment for me.
Whitney Minthorn 

In August I proposed to my now wife and shot this photo via intervals on my tripod as I proposed. 6 weeks later we got married at this exact location. I shot our entire engagement day adventure with my tripod and camera on intervals.
Tanner Wendell Stewart 

Just about everything went wrong on the day of this shoot and we'd spent an hour driving round looking for a new location as we were unable to shoot in the planned location (I'm so lucky to have such patient friends). Eventually I spotted some flowers peeping above a wall, so we snipped a few, rushed back to my house and set this up in my back garden. I nearly gave up and told my friend we would shoot another day and instead I persevered, didn't give up, and in doing so created one of my favourite photos ever.
Ellie Victoria Gale

After a long day of wandering around Tokyo, I'd come back to the flat all knackered. Passed midnight, I put on my pjs ready to crash out when I realised it started to rain. And as we all know, rain makes for magical photos, so I thought as tired as I am, I'll just shoot a few outside the flat...what harm can it do?

So I threw on my coat and went out. What started off as a few minutes...turned into a few hours. It was 2am when I realised I'd followed the neon lights all the way to the red light district in Shinjuku in my zebra onesie. Yes, I did look a bit dodgy. But I think this shot was worth it. 

P.s: Pictured isnt yet the red light district but rather a side street in Shinjuku along my journey.

Raquel Aly 

Inner Journey

A trip to my inner self , These are images that I see when I dream. Then I have to remove them from within.

Nothing extraordinary but the extraordinary power that represent bringing your dreams to life. And nothing complicated, just a little imagination, patience and a small light source.

Light painting is the technique that I used for the shot; A long exposure shot (1 minute) and a small LED lantern to paint the scene with light.

You don't need tons of gear to tell stories. In fact, you just need a camera, a tripod and a lantern and yes, some imagination.
Felix Alejandro Hernández Rodríguez 

This single image stands out for me this year. It's been such a winding road, photographing some amazing people. I've grown so much as a person this year I feel this image says a lot about that.

This journey is much like a road trip, with small stops along the way, but we are always looking forward and rarely reflecting. During reflection I found things I was proud of, things I wasn't proud of. It gave me the insight to know where to steer the car next. I know a lot of people say don't look backwards, only forwards, but I feel that sort of mentality makes improvement unknown, almost random. With reflection and realigning, improvement is only a matter of time.
Derek Heisler 

This was from a wedding, where I'd already packed up my gear, said goodbye to the couple, left the party and was looking forward to bed after 13hrs of shooting that day. Then I saw a bazillion moths flying around a street lamp on my way home.

After debating whether I go back and 'bug' the couple - it was late, they'd had a big day and maybe they hated bugs, but I sheepishly went back and asked and surprisingly they said yes even though I'm sure they were wondering how a tonne of bugs would make a good shot. It was almost midnight too, and I'm sure they would have much rather gone to bed! 

I love that my couples, no matter how tired and over photos they are, still put their trust in me.
Anna Tenne 

I worked on a very personal series - it shows the stages in which I feel my mind unraveling. So I'm clinically Bipolar, and have been diagnosed with a few other co-morbid mental health disorders. These came around to me at the time I found photography in my life - way before I dedicated my life to photography.

Photography has been the one solid constant through all the dramatic ups and downs I've faced in the past few years, and I've often taken to this medium to talk about all the things I'm usually afraid of talking (or I don't know how to talk about). So this series, I wanted to show how - when I feel a manic episode set in - everything seems so much more magical that it really is to me.

There is a certain energy and chaos waiting to unravel at the end, but that delirious feeling of looking at everything around me and I see a magical aura around it! This photo represents the close to the beginning of the journey. (Posting a second one to represent the end). I'm probably biased about why I love this so much hahaha - because it makes me a stronger person. 
Likhitha Muralikrishna 

RALPH NADER I found out about three hours before taking this shot that Ralph Nader was in town, on tour for his latest book. I contacted the library and wrangled up an assistant. I had 45 minutes to setup and about three minutes to shoot. We did the shoot while the library was doing his introduction. I have such great respect and admiration for this man. His advocacy for automobile safety has saved more lives than we can possibly imagine. - Kevin Patrick Robbins 

RALPH NADER

I found out about three hours before taking this shot that Ralph Nader was in town, on tour for his latest book. I contacted the library and wrangled up an assistant. I had 45 minutes to setup and about three minutes to shoot. We did the shoot while the library was doing his introduction. I have such great respect and admiration for this man. His advocacy for automobile safety has saved more lives than we can possibly imagine.
Kevin Patrick Robbins 

One of my "there at the right moment" shots this year... I just got a new lens, "Cannon" 100-400, and was playing with it at the bird feeder! One hummer was sitting there minding his business, when the bully, self proclaimed owner of the feeder, decided to ruff up the competition and drag him off the perch by his beak.
Michele Cheeseman 

I got inspired by a painting I saw during an exhibit, came out as I wanted.
David Benoliel 

This one is another best shot I did this year, but in different category and for the same reason. It represents me and my style the most. It has everything I stand for in my photography and retouching style. I think I managed well to show the purity of subject, dreamy light and softness in colors and retouch.
Irina Jomir 

This is my favorite picture from this year. Here's the story and the reason: I had an idea and vision for a watch shot. So I ask for a nice watch from a friend. I shot the hall image in my small living room, used only one small cheap speedlight. I put together 37 images to create this final image. And than I uploaded it to my social sites. I used a few hashtags and tag the brand of the watch on instagram.

A few weeks later the watch company found me, they loved the image. We started talk and a few weeks ago I created 4 pictures for them for this year's holiday season. So this picture made my year. It will always remind me to do personal works and create things I love and passionate about.
Márton Botond 

 Beyonce and Blue Ivy walking into the Madison Square Garden for the MTV VMAs. 
Why?

Because... Beyonce
Noam Galai

This one was also another one of my most popular 2016 photos where I also did all the makeup,styling and retouching as well. I'm really proud that the images were I have done most of the work on my own seem to be the ones who resonate the most with most viewers.
Angela Michelle Perez 

This is one of the three frames I created this year as my personal project: Midsummer Embers. One of my goals for 2016 was to invest time for educating myself more and also create more personal work.

The idea to photograph and retouch these embers just came to my mind first by accident but after shooting these frames I understood that my subconscious had picked up a lot of inspiration from Phase One's video of Isamu Sawa's project (https://youtu.be/W2KttX0WutM).

I have too often neglected creating something of my own without any "boundaries" set by client. Luckily I managed to make some time to think about the concept and actually execute it with help of my friends and shoot the project at their cozy cottage. What I learned from the shoot was that by creating something own, whether it is low or high budget production, you create images that you eventually want to do for your clients. Those own "experiments" refines your personal style and gives proof to your clients that you can create something unorthodox/personal even from a plain wood.

P.S. We also learned that you should avoid at all costs to inhale too much of carbon monoxide while pulling logs from the fireplace!
Otto Turunen 

My favorite shot of the year that I took about a week ago. It's for a series I'm starting, but this shot made me feel something on a deeper level.

This past year I've been trying to "find myself" as an artist, and I recently learned that I just shoot what I want according to how I'm feeling. It was like a lightbulb finally went off. :) So, like this photo, my art is black, white, and everything in between with no real pattern or hint as to what it will be or what I will create next.
Calah Gowdy 

I'd have to say this one because this year I've been so focused on client work I've not done much for myself that wasn't just a "quick-shoot-whilst-I'm-in-the-area" type thing. I had time to just sit, play with lighting and crops and no real restrictions or rush to get the images out. I'd almost forgotten what that was like. 
Lel Burnett 

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The Marketing Photos Of This Lens Is So Bad That It's Good!

The Marketing Photos Of This Lens Is So Bad That It's Good!

Watch: "Photoreal" Shows Us What A Photographer With A Superpower Looks Like

Watch: "Photoreal" Shows Us What A Photographer With A Superpower Looks Like