My 15 Favorite Photos of People From 2015

One goal that I had this year was to make more interesting portraits of people. The year started with me being part of a very unique and interesting studio. That studio failed, but it was great fun to get in there to play around with light a little bit. I also tried to find more interesting moments with people involved. When you are shooting sports it is very easy to just get involved with the action. Sometimes the best moments are the emotion that comes with the sport. I think that heading into 2016 I still need to improve my focus on making portraits. The opportunities will be there so why not make something interesting with them? For now though lets look back at some of my favorite photos of people from the past year.

15. This is more of a I was there photo than a people photo. This past August my family treated me to a live taping of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me in Chicago. The program is one of my favorite things to listen to as I travel, and it was great to see it in person. After the show was over the participants were taking questions so I made a photo.

14. Here is another photo from another event I attended this year. Joel Grimes gave a talk in Indy that I wanted to be a part of. His work is amazing, and it was great to get to see him in person. His talk was even better. His approach to photography is great, and it inspired me to go for it as the year went on. Much of what I accomplished, and will accomplish was based off of that go for it approach.

13. Here is one photo that I did not expect to make. I was making some engagement photos downtown, and I just popped into the Lafayette Theater to photograph the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls as they read trivia to the local Comic Con audience. This man dressed as Batman looked interesting, and combined with the cool background I knew that I had a photo. 

12. When you are hired to shoot a wedding that means you must do many things. The #1 responsibility though is to capture the moments of the wedding. This was one of my favorite moments of the day. The reserved groom broke out during the garter toss, and provided us with a great show. I was glad that I had picked this location to shoot from as it worked out perfectly.

11. This past August I was tasked with making some photos of the Purdue football players while they waited for their group portraits to be taken. The light was horrible so I decided to try something. I pulled out my flash, and held it off to the side as far as I could get it to add a little more drama into my photos. This photo of Ja’Whaun Bentley was one of my favorites from the day.

10. After a long day of shooting the NCAA Softball Regional at Notre Dame I made my way back to my hometown of LaPorte, Indiana. The timing was perfect for a senior photoshoot of Matt. He was coming off of a baseball doubleheader himself, and on his way to prom. We set everything up so that we could get as much in during the short time that we had available to us. I loved this photo of the catcher posing with his bat.

9. Speaking of wedding moments this shot tells you all that you need to know about this couple. You can see the love in the photo which is what you want to capture. It is my favorite shot from that long day, and one that will stay with me for quite a while.

8. After a long day of basketball I had one last assignment during the first day of the NCAA basketball tournament in Louisville. I was tasked with covering the Hampton basketball team as they squared off against Kentucky. During a timeout I went over to the Hampton band to make a photo. Their team was out of the game, but the band was still going strong. One trumpet player made this shot with his enthusiasm.

7. My first photoshoot of the year was one with these two newborn twins. These two cuties made the cold day very fun as they posed for me. This year has been amazing as I have visited them every three months to chronicle their first year. They really are what makes this job so much fun. I think that I may play more than I shoot on our photo days, but that is what makes it great fun.

6. During a wrestling match this past year I noticed Braden Atwood standing next to me. He was cheering on a teammate, but he still had some blood on him from his match. I don’t know much about wrestling, but I do know a good photo when I see it. I was very close to Braden with my 300mm lens, but I think that is what makes this photo.

5. Just after a successful hockey season I was able to get some members of the Purdue Hockey Club into the studio for a shoot. They were great guys, and they humored me as I tried a few things. A misfire with a light convinced me to try something new during the shoot, and this portrait was a result of that.

4. Another shot from the studio is this one of Roller Vortex of the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls. This shoot was about a week after the hockey shoot so I had some new tricks to try out. What ended up resonating with me the most though was the simple shots. This shot of Alex for some reason has always been one that I have loved. You see the softer side of roller derby here.

3. One of my first big influences when I started taking photography seriously was Trey Ratcliff. This past summer he came to Chicago to lead a photowalk. I wanted to make a portrait of Trey, and liked the composition here. The Adler Planetarium makes for a nice backdrop, and a favorite Trey preset for Lightroom finishes off the photo.

2. For the last two photos we stay close to home. This photo is one reason why I think photography is great. With the sky absolutely on fire this past summer my stepdaughter went outside with me to photograph it. She had her camera, and I had mine.  I realized that we could do something cool so I had her stand on top of the hill in our yard, and I got down in front of her. Her natural flair for dance was perfect for the situation.

  1. The top photo on the countdown is actually a tie with the last photo. This past summer we made our first trip to Disney with the kids. It was a great trip that made us immediately book another one. It was moments like this one with the characters that made the trip so special. Disney is so successful because of their attention to every detail. One of those is to make everyone feel special. Here Tinkerbell spends an extra few seconds with my little girl to make her feel great. It did not go unnoticed, and is at the top of the list for this year.
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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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