Three years in a row! It’s a legit yearly tradition.

Every year, I look forward to doing this blog post. It gives me a chance to look back at old photos and provides literal snapshots of how my year went (here’s 2014 and 2015).

My first realization of 2016? Taking photos while lugging around a twenty pound baby is difficult. Normally I bring a camera everywhere I go, that’s the first secret to taking good photos it seems. Bring a camera. That’s when I would find myself wandering and quietly taking photos. With a baby in tow, it’s hard enough to look into the viewfinder, much less attempt to take good photos.

The solution was to put my family in front of the camera. A family is a weird thing. Some of us grew up dreading the responsibility, the seeming lack of freedom, and the weight a family puts on our shoulders, but once you have one, they are the ones that keep you going, rescue you from insane choices, and light you up during the dark days. Growing up, I heard many rumblings about how having a wife and kid changes your life and how difficult it would be. Funny enough, I never heard those things from people who had them. I’m happy to have our little family.

I won’t bore you with photo after photo after photo of my little kid. After all, that’s what Instagram is for, but I will share some of the moments I was lucky enough to experience in 2016.

Here was my 2016 in photos:

 

This photo was literally the start of 2016.

On the first day of the year, we visited TOPS and took in the city I love.  It was the perfect start to what turned out to be a weird year to say the least.

 

My 2016 started with one of the best trips of my life. I joined the guys from Aframe Surf Company for a few days in Lanuza. My wife is tired of hearing this by now, but damn, it was life changing. It made me realize that it was so easy to make myself happy. All I needed was the ocean, the sun, and decent food, and then I was good to go. The waves and the surfing were amazing bonuses.

The familiar purple hue paints the sky. Against the setting sun, silhouettes float with their boards sticking out of the water. Calm, but the surfers know better. It’s just a matter of time till the next set comes. Just one more, the perfect wave to keep us stoked all the way home.

I can’t stop thinking about Lanuza. A few days has passed, but my thoughts wander back to the time spent there; the night staring at the stars, the hours in between talking nonsense, the coastline views with not a person in sight, and of course, the surfing. – Excerpt from I Still Dream of Lanuza

 

Another trip that surprised me was only a few hours away from the city, the Experimental Forest in Minglanilla. Don’t let the name scare you. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any alien like creatures roaming the forest. However, I did realize my desire to do more of these types of walks.

I wasn’t expecting this.

Even after numerous warnings, stories of exhaustion, and the proposal of two exit points for the weary, the five hour trek into the dense forest was a surprise to us participants. We passed through two caves, dense shrubbery, challenging rock trails and steep inclines to reach the much talked about White Cave in Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu. When we finally got there, it was all worth it. – Excerpt from Trekking the Dense Experimental Forest in Minglanilla

 

In the past, my year in photos mainly featured plenty of travel photos and street photography, but this year, photography started to seep into work as well.

We’ve been blessed to be able to work with wonderful companies who see the need for quality marketing, which is of course what we try to provide.

 

Speaking of work, but to be honest, this is more fun than anything, here’s a little smattering of photos from Zerothreetwo shoots. I’ve said it before, but it begs repeating, I think part of the reason I wanted to have a clothing line for Zerothreetwo is to have an excuse to shoot portraits. It’s plenty of good fun.

 

Speaking of fun, this was the year I truly discovered my love for coffee.

What is good coffee? It would take many arguments, clarifications, and much more than a blog post to explain what goes into a good cup. Just know this, fast on the go coffee has its place in the world, good coffee is neither fast nor meant to be taken on the go. – Excerpt from 7 Cebu Cafes with Quality Coffee

 

Of course, I live in the Philippines, you can’t have photos in the Philippines without the beach. This year I had my fair share of the beach. To be honest, I don’t think I enjoy swimming in the beach as much as I enjoy knowing it is there beside me. I find the most enjoyment listening to the waves as they slowly hit the shore, that and the wind on trees. Those are two of my most favorite things.

When the dog bits, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.

 

We ended the year with an EPIC trip to the United States of America. Trump country. Well not really. We went to California. The opportunity to spend an inordinate amount of time with family was the highlight of the trip. Other than that, off the top of my head the highlights were Standup, an NBA Game, Venice Beach, The Hundreds store, Blue Bottle, Eggslut, Napa Valley, and Carmel Beach.

In a way, this year in photos will be a bit incomplete, I’m still processing most of my photos from my US trip, but I’ll end with this one.

Because 2016 was all about family.

 

 

It’s fair to say that 2016 will be known as a pivotal year in the history books of the Earth. For better or worse, we don’t know where we will end up in 2017, in the Philippines alone, Duterte continues to change the Philippines for better or worse, depending on what lens you view it on. But for me, I couldn’t help but make 2016 about me.

 

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