2014 Year in Review

For previous reviews: 2011, 2012, 2013.

2014 was once again a year of tremendous transition, maybe the biggest of my entire life. I mean, are there any decisions more life-altering than getting married?  Looking back on 2014 I’ve realized that I have been taking less pictures and shooting/editing less (personal) videos. Part of that is the insane stack of books I’ve read over the past year and the countless hours devoted to class. But that has not stopped me from enjoying friends, celebrating new marriage, and creating memories on a weekly basis. Life is settling (hopefully) into more of a rhythm, less transition, and for the first time in a long time I have a pretty good idea of what the new year will look like before it begins. And that’s actually something I am excited about.  Less change means more opportunity to grow deeper roots and invest on a more consistent basis with the people in Denver. A growing theme in my life and these year-in-review posts is that I always remember the people in my life before anything else. Whether it is the biggest powder day, the time we dressed like idiots and rode in a bike parade, or another perfect 85 degree Wash Park BBQ, I can’t help but think about who was there. The pictures in this blog are not solo shots or the ever-popular “selfie,” it is people who have loved me, I have suffered alongside, I have rejoiced alongside, and they are the most important part of my story. In 2014 I was once again most thankful for friends and family and the stories we wrote together.

The moments from 2014 that I will remember the most are:

ringing in 2014 with the Oh Hellos

Insane powder days (see video below). And yes, I smoked that branch on this tree run. Photo cred: Michael Thortnon
Insane powder days (see video below). And yes, I smoked that branch on this tree run. Photo cred: Michael Thortnon


Morning J-term drives with Timmy. The minor prophets never felt so alive as they did at 8am with coffee running through the veins like blood.
Morning J-term drives with Timmy. The minor prophets never felt so alive as they did at 8am with coffee running through the veins like blood.
Photo Mar 16, 5 08 14 PM
Winning the box lax championship with this goon (and became neighbors)
Grad pic
Jill got her masters from TCU and put school behind her for good
spent the night in a Chick-fil-a parking lot to win 52 free meals. It snowed 7 inches that night...
spent the night in a Chick-fil-a parking lot to win 52 free meals. It snowed 7 inches that night…
Bors came out and we drove to Beaver Creek at midnight and trashed a 4-star resort. Thanks Rick!
Bors came out and we drove to Beaver Creek at midnight and trashed a 4-star resort. Thanks Rick! Photo Cred: Thornton 
Ollie's first casino experience while roadtripping to Lando's wedding in Dallas.
Ollie’s first casino experience while roadtripping to Lando’s wedding in Dallas.
And the urshers.
And the urshers.
Surprise Pipes & Poetry  for my birthday
Surprise Pipes & Poetry for my birthday
camping trips post wisdom teeth removal = not smart...but turtely fun.
camping trips post wisdom teeth removal = not smart…but turtely fun.
4th of July firework shows from the Lincoln Villa porch
4th of July firework shows from the Lincoln Villa porch
spike ball park days
spike ball park days
Brew and Views at City Park.
Brew and Views at City Park.
Sibs trip to Portlandia!
Sibs trip to Portlandia!
quite the beautiful place.
quite the beautiful place.
Jillian and my first apartment!
Jillian and my first apartment!
My sister is a more successful (by accident) filmmaker than me...maybe this isn't the best thing to post on my professional website? Whatever, I'm proud! This is from Chicago and the group that went to see "Walking the Camino."
My sister is a more successful (by accident) filmmaker than me…maybe this isn’t the best thing to post on my professional website? Whatever, I’m proud! This is from Chicago and the group that went to see “Walking the Camino.”
This guys first fourteener.
This guys first fourteener.
oh and I got MARRIED (see legit video below)
oh and I got MARRIED (see legit video below)

honeymooning in Moonrise Kingdom (Mexico)
honeymooning in Moonrise Kingdom (Mexico)
speakeasy parties.
speakeasy parties.
the tour de fat.
the tour de fat.
Jillian and I made our first turkey...delicious.
Jillian and I made our first turkey…delicious.
this guys next.
this guys next.
first powder day of the new season
first powder day of the new season

I write this from Heritage coffee/bike shop in Chicago right now. We are just a few hours away from welcoming 2015 in my sister’s apartment transformed into the Grand Budapest Hotel. Look for many Wes Anderson style instagrams coming soon…

Cheers! (554)

Posted in adventure, Colorado, Community, denver, family, Friends, fun, mountains, nature, tradition | 3 Comments


I love how there are so many people in my life that are down to go out and climb a mountain at the drop of a text. I love it even more if I get to take them up their first one. I’m not a fourteener expert by any stretch of the word. In fact, I didn’t travel above tree-line until I was 20 years old. I know…how embarrassing. But I remember the first time I climbed Longs Peak, the nervousness, the fear, the excitement, the unexpected lull and occasional restlessness of hiking for 9 hours. Living in Denver, I am an hour from that thrill at all times. It’s something I love about living here.


summit Lake at the trailhead
the land before time.
Mt. Evans summit

Taylor is one of the most aggressive dudes I know. Just in life. Rugby, bullfighting, living alone in the woods, growing a massive red beard, he’s a freakin’ man’s man. He is also one of the most compassionate and loving people I know. So when you get the chance to spend 6 hours on a mountain with a guy like this, it’s more than just hiking, it’s transformative.

irish mountain man

IMG_1306 IMG_1291 IMG_1334


I’m so thankful I get to walk through Seminary sharing life, theological conversations, and dreams with this awesome man of God.
I’m so thankful for beauty and the world’s largest playground in my backyard. Cheers to years of exploring more of the Rockies.

IMG_1277 (583)

Posted in adventure, beauty, Colorado, Friends, mountains, nature | 2 Comments

Molly + Austin

It’s your classic midwest girl meets southern boy and falls in love story (darn those southern guys are smooth). Molly and Austin, simply put, are two of the coolest people ever. Just by being around them you can tell how much incredible love they have for each other. They took the opportunity to put that awesome love on display for their enormous group of friends and family at their wedding on June 7, 2014 at Spruce Mountain Ranch in Colorado. What started as a mountain-side gorgeous ceremony with heartfelt vows turned into a BBQ, concert, dance party extraordinaire. Molly and Austin’s friends and family know what it means to have a great time and show their joy-filled support for the newly-wed couple. After a fantastic party, they capped it off with something I have never witnessed at a wedding before, a pyramid with a bride/groom top. New (for me) and fun wedding traditions never cease to amaze.

Thanks to them for letting me capture their beautiful day.

Cheers to the happy couple Molly and Austin.


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Veronica + Russ

Veronica and Russ are the definition of a fun couple. I was hired to capture their wedding day, but they made me feel like I was invited to the party. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful with custom handmade pews brought in and a flower laden wedding altar under a huge tree. The reception was unlike any celebration I have ever been a part of. From the wedding party to the family to the guests, there was an incredible joy to the night. I have never seen 200+ people march around a wedding venue and make a giant tunnel before in my entire life. One thing after the next, Veronica and Russ showed how well they have loved people throughout their life as their friends and family gladly returned the love and support at their wedding.

What an unbelievable way to start a life together as a married couple. Cheers to the Ehlinger’s!


Posted in beauty, Colorado, film, video, Wedding | 1 Comment

Current Pumps National Geographic

One of my favorite things about professional creative work is collaborating with other minds purely for the sake of cultivating cool things (versus simply doing work for self-promotion, greater influence, and money). Of course I run a business and therefore will always be selling myself and trying to make money, but the most fun projects are ones where you get to see passion and creativity meet.

LogoEarlier this year I made a video for an Indiegogo campaign called Current Pumps. They are doing some awesome work in Africa trying to revolutionize subsistence farming. I believe in this project and the team that is behind it.

A few months ago National Geographic contacted them and asked if they would enter a contest with a chance to win $50k. I’ve linked the contest as well as the video I made for them below. Check it out (click the link) and share it with your friends!


Posted in creative, film, innovative, support, video | 1 Comment

Sara + Jed

This summer was awesomely packed for me! Besides the biggest event of all (my own wedding) I had a blast filming a bunch of other weddings. Here is the trailer for one I filmed at the beautiful Spruce Mountain Ranch on May 30th.

Sara and Jed are the true definition of a Colorado couple. They take advantage of having a best friend to do all sorts of adventures with including biking, hiking, playing in the mountains, etc. In other words, they know how to have fun. Their wedding was no exception. What an incredible celebration they put on for themselves and their great friends and family. I’m so glad they let me share in the day and capture it for them!



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Videography Starter Kit Part 1 – Cameras

People are constantly asking me what the right equipment is to first buy to get into videography/photography. Seriously, every week someone new seeks my council regarding DSLRs, lenses, lighting, tripods, editing software, audio, etc. After countless conversations, it hit me. I have an important, trusted voice in a growing, popular field right now. That’s where this blog post comes in. This post did not exist for me when I was first getting into freelance videography/editing, and I wish it did. So, I hope this helps as you begin to showcase your creative talents at 24fps. Lets get into it.


What camera should I buy? This is obviously the first question I hear when people are first starting out, as it is the most necessary piece of equipment to own. Most everyone these days is going with DSLRs because of their beautiful HD quality, ability to mimic the “film look” by shooting at 24fps, low cost, and capability of interchanging lenses. But there are so many types of DSLRs, which one is the best? There is no, one answer to this question. The most important thing to remember is the best camera is the one you can afford. Here are your best options: 

  • Canon 5D Mark III ($3,633 with 24-105mm lens) – This is a videographer’s dream camera. It has a full-frame sensor, it’s easy to use, and it’s results are absolutely gorgeous. If you have the money, get this camera.
  • Canon 6D ($2,434 with 24-105mm lens) – The 6D is an absolutely steal for a full-frame-sensor DSLR. At 1000 bucks less than the 5D, this is your next best option if you have a little more money to spend on a camera.
  • Canon Rebel T3i ($510 with 18-55mm lens) – For 90% of people first starting out, I believe this is the best option for your first DSLR. If you are looking for beautiful footage at a really affordable price, I highly recommend this camera. I shoot all of my professional work with the T3i, and I get incredible results. Most people are not willing to splurge on a full-frame sensor camera like a 5/6D right away, so I believe this is the best bang for your buck for a crop-sensor camera. Just like the 5D, it shoots in full HD, 1080p 24fps, and has a 720p 60fps option as well for slow-motion.
The Rebel t3i. A lot of bang for your buck.

Many of you will notice that I left one of the most popular cameras for videographers off this list, the Canon 7D. No offense to the 7D, it’s a phenomenal camera, but I don’t recommend it to someone just starting out on a tight budget. Having used the camera extensively, I have never noticed a difference in quality between the 7D and the T3i. Plus, if you know you are getting a crop-sensor, why pay triple the cost for a 7D (comes in at $1,600 with a 28-135mm lens) when you can get equal quality with the T3i for around $500? That being said, here are the advantages of the 7D:

  • It has a much more solid, nicer, metal body compared to the small, plastic body of the T3i. The 7D just feels more like a professional camera, and definitely looks the part as well.
  • There is a convenient little screen on the top of the camera that shows the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc. However, if you believe that is super important feature, you can get the Canon 60D (not to be confused with the 6D) for $500 less and not drop off in quality.
  • The 7D performs better in low-light than the T3i/60D.

Overall, the most important thing for me in my camera is image quality. Nobody on set will care what your camera looks like when they see the gorgeous results later. And if I can get equal HD quality for 1/3 of the price, I don’t see many reasons to invest in the 7D. I would much rather save $1,000 and invest in a nice lens, which is going to impact your image quality way more than the actual camera. It’s important to remember that when buying a camera. Lenses can be far more expensive because they will improve the quality so much more. But that’s for part 2 of this post.

If you are still not convinced by my recommendation to buy a $500 DSLR, watch this video, shot on the Canon Rebel T2i (and the close up shots are filmed with only a $110 50mm lens!)

Hope this post helps as you start out and buy your first DSLR camera. Comment on this post or email me any questions you might have. I’d love to help. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post which will cover lenses and initial accessories.


Posted in film, filmmaking, HD, innovative, video | 3 Comments


This past summer I wrote a post about a trip me and some friends took to Montana. We spent four days fly fishing, sitting by the fireplace, shooting guns, playing yard games, resting, and enjoying the great American northwest. With the help of 2 DSLRs and 2 GoPro’s my buddy Tim and I were able to film a good portion of the trip for our memory. First semester of Seminary got in the way a little bit of the edit, but Tim finally put together an incredible video from the trip. He really nailed it on this one. I love the way our footage flows so well together even though our styles are quite different. Almost every time I film something, I know I am going to be editing it. This was something brand new for me; seeing someone else edit my footage. It’s cool to see the creativity of another person and how they take a completely different (but awesome) approach to the edit.  The footage is both mine and Tim’s, and all I did in post was the color grading on the footage. It was my first (of many) videos colored with VSCO film and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

Hope you enjoy the video. and it allows you to experience a bit of Montana and the amazing trip we took.


Posted in adventure, antics, creative, film, Friends, summer, Travel | Leave a comment