I still remember the first time I met Brittan and Emily.

Weeks before, I’d visited Austin for a workshop and met the great Geoff Duncan.  Through conversation, Geoff mentioned that I should look up a guy named “Brittan” and that’d I love his work.  Sounded like a cool name, I thought.  Needless to say, I never googled Brittan… not sure why.

Fast forward – I show up at this wedding in the middle of nowhere, to start with details, scouting, etc.  Then I see these guys.  Equally beautiful/POWER COUPLE.  Introduce myself.  “Brittan, nice to meet you” he says.  Then it all hits me.  What are the chances?  Then I go on a weirdo rant on how we must be meant to be friends because of my recent conversation about him.  He wasn’t amused… but thankfully, Emily was.

You see, Emily is a magical woman.  She has the ability to talk to anyone she meets with pure and glorious happiness.  It’s a sight to see.  As you can down below – the only woman who has smiled and laughed during child birth.

Eventually, I won Brittan over and we became best buds.  Then I asked if I could shoot the birth of Kelby.  Boom, here we are now.

My thoughts after witnessing Kelby’s birth?  Mind blowing.  Life changing.  Top 3 things I’ve seen in my life.  Beautiful.  Love triangle.

Love all three of you



houston birth photography
houston birth photography

It’s taken me quite a while to write this. I’m not sure why. It’s obvious I avoided it. Truth is, I’ve been speechless about the subject. Plenty of friends have said congrats here and there, and its been awesome; no doubt. I think tonight it finally hit me.  Going back through my goals for 2012 AND 2013 I have set, “Junebug Top 50″.

I can still remember last January disappointed with myself when my work wasn’t chosen. I second guessed myself about everything. Did I submit the wrong photos? What were they missing? The people they picked are too fing amazing; why did I submit? Why am I putting so much clout on this?

I slowly moved from that funk; the start of wedding season forced me to. You see my grandfather taught me to never be the one to sulk. “Pick your head up boy.” In February I sat down, and went through all of my work and asked myself “What do I need to change? How can I get better?” I think every artist, CEO, wife, & husband just to name a few does that at the beginning of a year.

My answer was very clear. “Reinvent yourself, Joe.” I constantly read about the “smart” companies who succeed over decades with changing environments, cultural, technology, and politics..How you ask? By REINVENTING themselves.

I really had no clear direction.  I started a little project at this time I called “On Black.” Over the past year, that has evolved to something much larger. More gratifying.  I now have over 30 subjects for the project and just like anything else, every time I shoot it, I get better and better. Angle, light, distance..you name it. Not only that, the work has evolved to something that speaks to who I am as an artist. Some onlookers say editorial, romantic, dramatic, and dark…I say MINE. I’ll be making another blog post soon with all of my favorites from this past year.

Back to my goals. So, lets move to this December. Last day to submit for the 2013 Top 50. Still hadn’t. Once again, avoiding it. Gramps came into my head, and said get over it. With the help of my girlfriend, and friend Stephen we nailed down what we all thought were the best..and submitted. Out of my mind. Gone.  I have amazing people in my life.

BAM. A few days after Christmas, I get this email: “Congratulations! Your Work is the Best of the Best!” Welp.  F.  A few things ran over me right then..happiness, disbelief, and a baby tear (it evaporated quickly).

An hour ago, I clicked the check box next to “Top 50″ goal for 2013. It inspired this blog post. Now, I’m off to write down how to improve.   Pick a project to make my work speak even more. How am I going to do that? I have no fing clue, but I’ll try.

To all the people who read this, and take it as a humble brag. IT IS. Something else my gramps taught me..Every now and then, pat yourself on the back. This is OK.  Revel in the moment.  Then put that feeling in your pocket, get better, and kick ass the next day.  This blog post is about setting goals..AND meeting them.  Every human has different aspirations an goals; and they are all created equally.


For all those out there supporting, and following..I won’t disappoint you.

Junebug Top 50 Wedding Photographer

Honorable Mention


Junebug Honorable Mention - Wedding Portrait

  • CB

    So so so happy for you!

  • Cathy Gibb

    Congratulations! Beautiful work