Kyle's 10 Best Pictures of 2013

In 2013 I took thousands of photos.  I sent my camera in to get repaired at least three times.  I also sent a lens in, and I am currently debating if I should send it back.  Everything takes a beating on the road. I don’t want to know what percent of photos I liked and didn’t, it would probably depress me.  Maybe I do want to know, but then I would take that information and burn it out of embarrassment.  But you know what? It makes the better pictures that much more exciting when they happen. 

A few pictures rose to the top when I went back and looked at 2013.  Some rose to the top because of the moment or situation it captured, some because of the technical aspects.  Ideally you want both of these aspects of picture-taking to meet, but they rarely do.  Here are my top 10 pictures for various reasons.  I hope you enjoy! 

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Finding an old, beat-up rusty truck in the middle of an open field, as the sun goes down, makes for some pretty great photo opportunities. This shot was the last photo of the day.  Whenever we wrap up a shoot, we try and take a picture that is unplanned, we call it the “wild card” shot.  This is one of those “wild card” shots.  


Cole and I had a great time shooting The Wood Brothers. At first, I was a little disappointed that we had grey skies, dormant trees, and dead grass, but we were pretty excited that all these things wound up making this photo (in my humble opinion) pretty darn cool.


Alright, so I didn’t personally shoot this one, but I helped with the lighting and editing.  This picture didn’t make Cole’s top ten but I really like it so I included it!  We were given an assignment for Blade, a knife magazine, to snap a couple pictures for an upcoming article.  Zac has probably the coolest mancave in North America. I would say the world, but that seems too dramatic.  Here is his personal knife/axe throwing room.  See that giant wheel behind him….it spins….and is controlled by remote control!  

We ventured into food photography in 2013. Despite my first instinct, it is okay to mess the food up a bit to make a more interesting shot. I always get the standard shot first, but then I dig in!

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It is always interesting to shoot for magazines. When shooting for a cover, you have to frame your shot differently and leave room for text. It screws with my head a bit, but I liked the way this one turned out. When I am behind the camera, Cole is usually telling jokes to Zac, and he is great at getting him to smile. Zac always has some pretty good jokes too. I am not sure who made who laugh here, but I can assure you it is genuine.


If you didn’t know, Jimmy de Martini from the Zac Brown Band could beat you up. When he is not playing the violin and singing, he is MMA fighting. We work in a lot of venues that house various sports teams. Fight! magazine wanted a picture of Jimmy, so we captured this one on the road at a venue…I just can’t remember where. After awhile, places sometimes blend together, or at least in my brain they do.


I’ve been asked to do a few ridiculous things while on the job, one of which is to hold really expensive things. I’ve driven guitars to shows that are worth…well…many times the worth of my car, or picked up guitars that could comfortably support me financially for a year or two. Lucky, Clay handled this ’57 Gibson (although I did play a couple licks on it when no one was listening).


Red rocks is by far the venue I get most excited about. It is a venue rich in history and is surround by natural beauty. We spent three cold, rainy days at Red Rocks this year, and I can’t wait to go back.


Fans at shows make for amazing people watching. I love taking pictures of the moments that bands share with their fans. This is one of my favorites from 2013. Can you guess which fan just missed touching Zac Brown?


This is another one of my favorite fan moments in 2013. Edward Sharpe has an amazing ability to engage everybody around him during his show. When he offered this very reluctant fan a microphone during his show, I expected a few out of tune and feedback-laced lyrics from him. But let me tell you, this guy had a great voice and knew every word! Edward stopped singing and started laughing at the absurd awesomeness of this moment. Here are the two singing together in front of thousands.

The world of Southern Reel is busy.  So busy, we usually travel weary from shoot to shoot, rarely looking back.  I think this is why I enjoyed scrolling through this past year so much.  It felt like a rare break in a constant storm of work.  It was a learning experience for me, and a chance to refresh my mind and remember how lucky I am to be working at Southern Reel.