2015: A Year of Photos in Review

Panoramic view of Washington, DC taken during rooftop event
As 2015 comes to a close, I can barely believe how fast the year has gone by. So many events, headshots, commercial shoots, landscapes, and portraits have been fit into this year. Based on the image count in my Lightroom catalog, it looks like I made over 200,000 images in 2015. Many of those images will never see the light of day, but throughout the year I’ve looked at every single of those images to decide what meets the standards that I’ve set for myself and that my clients have come to expect.

2015 marks the first full year (January through December) that I’ve worked as a full time, self employed, small business owner. I couldn’t have done with without the support of friends, family, and clients (both old and new). I’m incredibly grateful to my ongoing clients who continue to work with me to help them build their brands, and my new clients who have taken a chance on something different.

I’ve been afforded some amazing opportunities. This year alone I photographed President Obama and a dozen members of his presidential cabinet. I traveled to Georgia, California, Florida, New York, and Tennessee on assignment — I suppose you can count next door neighbors Virginia and Maryland too :-). I’ve photographed events ranging to a few dozen in size to over 4,000 attendees. I’ve worked with non-profits, international organizations, universities, publications, startups, and multi-national corporations. I’ve met and chatted with Steve Sasson, the inventor of the digital camera (pretty cool, huh?).This has all occurred because of the trust that my clients have given me, and I am immensely grateful for it.

Most importantly (for me and my clients), I’ve grown as a photographer and continue to grow. Next year’s images should be better than the last year’s, with each year raising the bar. And though I’ve been privileged with access and opportunities I never dreamed of, what’s more important than who I’ve photographed is how the images have turned out. A good photo is a good photo, regardless of whether you know the person in the photograph. I hold this principle at the core of my work, and give every subject my all, wether I know them or not.

I have some big ideas for 2016, and ways to continue to momentum of creativity.

Thank you for everything you’ve done, even if it’s just visiting this site and looking at this post. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the New Year!

If you’re new to my site and are interested in discussing ideas in 2016 for your organization’s event photos, marketing and advertising images, or headshots just send me an email at jason@jasondixson.com.

President Obama speaks to the National League of Cities in Washington, DC
President Obama speaks to the National League of Cities in Washington, DC
First Lady Michelle Obama
Vice President Joe Biden in Nashville, TN
Vice President Joe Biden in Nashville, TN
Malala Yousafzai speaking at an event in Washington, DC
Malala Yousafzai with children at an event in Washington, DC
Malala Yousafzai autographing a young girl's book at an event in Washington, DC
Secretary of State John Kerry accepting the Diplomat of the Year Award
President Obama greets people walking along the photo line
Excited youth at the NLC conference
Energy and enthusiasm on-stage at the NLC Conference
3500 youth at BBYO's 2015 International Convention
Youth gather at BBYO's 2015 International Convention
Flo Rida performs for a youth audience
The National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Ronald Reagan Building
Candid moment at the National Cherry Blossom Pink Tie Party
Mark Jackson, winner of the 2015 Cafritz Award
Ruth Trocolli, Ph.D., winner of the 2015 Cafritz Award
Commercial photoshoot for Ithaca College
Rooftop party at sunset overlooking the White House
Formal event at the Ronald Reagan Building
Frankie Muniz and a member of congress at the Ronald Reagan Building
Enthusiasm at a formal dinner
Formal dinner gala at the Ronald Reagan Building
Composited group photo for the winners of the 2015 Cafritz Awards
Mayor of West Hollywood, Lindsey P. Horvath, speaking in Los Angeles, CA
Lobby day in Washington, DC
Environmental headshot for the Ronald Reagan Building
Environmental headshot for the Ronald Reagan Building
Festive party photo
Launch party for technology startup, Split, in Washington, DC
Launch party for technology startup, Split, in Washington, DC
Owl at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA
Sunset at a fundraiser for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA
Sunset at a fundraiser for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA
Campfire smores at a Smithsonian fundraiser
Corporate photoshoot for Oracle
US Trade Representative Joshua Froman
Handsom beagle pet portrait
25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for the at the Newseum in Washington, DC
Commercial photoshoot for ride sharing startup Split
Commercial photoshoot for ride sharing startup Split
Personal project making portraits in San Francisco, CA
Personal project making portraits in San Francisco, CA
Commercial food photo shoot for Wise Sons Deli in San Francisco, CA
Commercial food photo shoot for Wise Sons Deli in San Francisco, CA
Commercial photography shoot for a software developer training program in San Francisco, CA
Commercial photography shoot for a software developer training program in San Francisco, CA
Celebatory toast during an event
Photo of environmental cleanup day at a National Park
Selfie at a party
Port Lockroy, Antarctica
Two Gentoo penguins in Antarctica
Icebergs in Antarctica

The Seventh Continent: Antarctica in Photos

Panoramic of Portal Point, Antarctica

I recently traveled to Antarctica spending about 10 days aboard the Ocean Nova, a Danish-built vessel with an ice-strengthened hull. The journey took us across the Drake Passage and along a segment of the Antarctic Peninsula. There’s so much to share about the Seventh Continent that I’ll break the content into a couple blog posts. This one covers the big picture in photos. The next couple posts will cover some of the portraits I made of expedition staff and things you should know when visiting Antarctica, especially with photo gear.

I’ll preface this post by saying I have more photos from this trip than any trip I’ve ever taken, and these images only scratch the surface of what I experienced.

Two special thanks: First, the crew and expedition team of the Ocean Nova and Antarctica XXI. They kept us safe, well-fed, educated, and exploring. Most importantly though, a special thanks to Lina for dreaming big with this trip and making it a reality.


Penguins mate for life (sort of) photo.“Why Antarctica?”, most people ask. Going into the trip I didn’t really have a clear answer. In some ways I still don’t — At least not in words. Articulating an experience with language is not my strong suit, but more importantly words don’t do the Seventh Continent justice — For that matter, neither do photos.

Looking back on my trip (which took place in the last two weeks of November this year), I tend to remember the experience as a series visuals and feelings that are difficult to translate. It’s hard to describe a place with language when it’s so vastly different from anything else that I (and most people) have experienced. Most places are comparable to somewhere else in the world — Antarctica is not.

When I try to talk about Antarctica, it mostly comes out as a unsorted list of my experiences, facts, and feelings. There are too many things to cover, and all of them feel so important — I feel like I’m always leaving something out. Nothing I saw is more important than anything else and I have no specific “favorites” from the trip because everything stood out. Everything was so different and impactful.

Hiking to the view point at Port Lockroy, AntarcticaAntarctica is more than just a place to visit, it’s a self contained experience. Visiting is like entering a different world, much like an extraterrestrial visiting earth only for a short time, knowing that you cannot interact with its inhabitants and you cannot leave any evidence of your own existence.

It’s an entire ecosystem of animals, land, sea, and ice joined together by the serenity of a frozen paradise undisturbed by man — An homage to what the planet once was before we made our presence felt. Words don’t do it justice, and neither do photos from a single trip.

I did my best to curate a selection of photos that convey how vast and impressive the land and ice is, and how much fascinating wildlife there is to see. Here are just a few of the images that I captured:

Penguins: They are everywhere. They come up to greet you with curiosity when you land on shore. Though absolutely adorable, their colonies are smelly and most of the penguins are covered in communal excrement. They are fascinating to watch — Their colonies feel like a complex civilization with social constructs, partnerships, and subgroups. I don’t know enough about penguins to say for sure what’s going on in any of the moments I captured with the camera, but it is very easy to personify them and imagine up back stories for their actions.

Mates for life: Two Gentoo penguins keeping warm.
Two Gentoo penguins mating during a snow storm
Penguins watching the ocean during a snow storm
Chinstrap penguin trying to stay warm with his colony
A Gentoo penguin defends its next from a skua.
Chinstrap penguins charging into the water at Deception Island, Antarctica
Chinstrap penguin retrieves a rock to woo a mate.
Elegant Gentoo penguin.

Whales: They appear without notice and leave just as quickly. As beautiful as they are spontaneous, they are difficult to photograph and exciting to watch.

Humpback whales fluking in Foyn Harbor, Antarctica
Whale fluking at Deception Island, Antarctica

Orcas: Followed the ship just to figure out what it is. We spotted a group of rare “Type D” Orcas (shown below) that have only been spotted in nature 13 times since they were discovered in 1955.

Rare Type D Orcas Spotted in the Wild

The Continent: When no person is moving and the snow stops crunching under your feet, there is the most deafening silence you’ll ever know. The landscapes are vast and dramatic. The weather changes from clear to stormy within minutes.

Sunrise at Half Moon Island Antarctica
Warm weather and a dramatic landscape at Port Lockroy, Antarctica
Snowshoeing back to our zodiac boat at Pleneau Bay, Antarctica.
Full moon as we pass through the Lemaire Channel
View point of Whalers Bay after a long snowshoe trek at Deception Island
Abandoned whaling station at Whalers Bay, Deception Island

Icebergs and Sea Ice: The ice is dynamic and moves quickly. Icebergs glow like emeralds below the water. They play an important part in Antarctica’s ecosystem, from the microorganisms and krill in the water all the way up the food chain.

Adelie penguins drifting at sea on an iceberg
Adelie penguins on an iceberg as we pass them on our ship, the Ocean Nova
Adelie penguins dive off an iceberg into Antarctic waters
Zodiac cruising through the Christiania Islands
Zodiac cruising through the Christiania Islands
Iceberg in Foyn Harbor, Antarctica
Icebergs at Portal Point, Antarctica

Seals, Sea Birds, and Other Critters: They go about their business as if humans aren’t even a factor. Something I’ve never witnessed before in the wild.

A Blue-Eyed Shag
A skua patrolling for food. Deception Island, Antarctica.
Wandering Albatross, largest wingspand in the world, flying in the Drake Passage
Weddell Seal waking up from a nap at Portal Point, Antarctica.

Personal Project: 24 Hours in San Francisco

This has been a very busy year with new clients and some amazing opportunities, but it’s been increasingly difficult to make time for personal projects, which are an important part of growing as a photographer and developing a creative skill set. On my recent trip to the SF bay area, I was determined to come up with a personal project that would push me to think outside the box in terms of lighting and composition.

The below series of images is a departure from my usual work as an event, headshot, and commercial photographer and attempts to see the common place through new eyes while recreating the feeling of being face-to-face with the subjects.

All these images were made during a 24-hour window on August 25 and 26, 2015, during which I walked throughout San Francisco asking strangers if I could make a portrait of them.

Everyone I approached were generally willing and kind. Some of them I spoke with for only a minute – the longest conversation lasted a full hour after I made his portrait. This personal project reminded me the value of walking with nowhere in particular to be and making conversation with complete strangers.

Ten of these images are currently hanging as 60×15 inch prints in Flying Fish Coffee in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, DC. None of the images are for sale.

Note: If anyone who was photographed is looking for a copy of their image, I plan on emailing it to you. I’m currently on travel and have not yet finished editing all the images or emailing them out. Thanks for your patience!

San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project

Corporate Conference Professional Headshots

Last month I photographed about 350 business professionals attending the 2015 Oracle HCM World Conference at the National Harbor, near Washington, DC. The professional head shots, a benefit for folks attending the conference that needed a new profile photo, were done on-location at the Gaylord National Convention Center.

The headshot experience, or “professional portrait gallery,” was sponsored by Deloitte. Individuals attending the conference first were given the opportunity to have their makeup done by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics before making their way over to me to have their headshot captured.

During the conference, participants provided their contact information via a form on my iPad. Immediately following the conference, I directly emailed each individual their edited headshot. Anyone planning a corporate conference, convention, or meeting should consider doing this. With the rise of LinkedIn and other social media in business, this is a great idea to give something back to your attendees!

Below are a few images of the conference headshot portable setup and final head shots:

Professional corporate headshots at Oracle HCM World Conference.
On-location professional conference headshot.On-location professional conference headshot.
On-location professional conference headshot.On-location professional conference headshot.
Professional corporate head shots at Oracle HCM World Conference.

Learn more about booking Jason for headshots, either at your office or at a conference.

Conference Photography: National League of Cities

President Barack Obama adressing the NLC conference.

This past week I had the privilege of photographing the National League of Cities (NLC) 2015 Congressional City Conference. The conference was packed with excitement and a range of activities including large plenary sessions, musical performances, networking receptions, and small group meetings.

The highlight of the conference was the Monday morning keynote address delivered by President Barack Obama. This was followed by an impressive showing by his cabinet and staff including HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson. Following the main events of the conference were a visit to Capital Hill and a summit at the White House.

All-in-all, the NLC team led the conference to be a huge success with many memorable moments. There was wide spread media coverage of the event by hundreds of publications. One of my images alone appeared on over 200 websites and was viewed by over 21,000 people, according to NLC’s press wire data.

Below are a selection of photos from the President’s Speech:

President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.

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Here is a selection of other photos from the main plenary sessions including Administration cabinet members:

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Here is a selection of other photographs from around the conference, including breakout sessions and the White House summit:

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Thank you for a great year!

Highlights from the year!
Highlights from the year!
As we enter 2015, I want to take the time to thank all my clients, friend, and family who have helped to make this year such a success and have been so instrumental in supporting my dream of running my photography business full-time. When I made the decision to quit my day job at the White House budget office early this year, there was a good amount of uncertainty. While I didn’t make the decision lightly or go forward unprepared, there was no way of knowing what the year ahead would hold.

Looking back, this year exceeded all my expectations. I set a number of business and financial targets, and I’ve exceeded all of those. More importantly though, I set a number of soft goals like enjoying life more and traveling more (for work and fun). I’ve met all those goals too, and it’s time to raise the bar in 2015.

Highlights from this year include:

  • My continued work with the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership on various projects including the Cafritz Awards for Distinguished DC Government Employees
  • Photographing the World Bank’s World Reconstruction Conference 2
  • Traveling to Iceland (twice), photographing the landscape and working with various models
  • Photographing for a number of publications including DC Magazine and Workforce Magazine
  • Working with the American Heart Association to photograph their Greater Washington Area Heart Walk
  • Photographing an ad campaign for the DC Department of Health
  • Working with the National Disability Institute on various events
  • And too many other amazing opportunities to list!

In short, thank all of you for your support this year, whether it was choosing to work with me as a client, recommending me to others, or simply cheering me on!

Happy New Year!

Iceland Photo Travel – Part 2 and Travel Advice

It goes without saying, Iceland is a beautiful place with an endless diversity of landscape and scenes to photograph. Ten days wasn’t enough to capture everything I wanted to capture. Without a doubt, I’ll be going back to Iceland. In fact, I’m going to give the following disclaimer: Everyone should go to Iceland, not just once, but at least twice. You should visit Iceland when there is snow on the ground, and then go again when there is moss on the ground. There is nowhere else on earth like it, and if you plan right, you won’t regret visiting. The landscape is only half of it. During my time there I met some of the most fun and interesting people I’ve happened upon while traveling. They really know how to party while talking about topics ranging from globalization to climate change. Also, from a food and beverage perspective, Reykjavik is nirvana. Almost all the food I had was delicious, including the Minke whale (not endangered at all), and they have a surprisingly strong and diverse microbrew scene (I recommend the Lava Stout). I highly recommend Íslenski Barinn (Icelandic Bar) for their beer selection and food.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at sunrise.

That being said, during my ten days in the land of fire and ice, I was challenged both photographically and meteorologically — That is, at several points the weather was terrible if not frightening. This posed a number of logistical challenges, like staying on the road during 50mph winds and trying to photograph the aurora on overcast nights with no change of weather in sight.

However, this is part of the excitement and challenge of Iceland! After my experiences during those ten days, I feel like a better, more competent photographer — not necessarily from a technical standpoint — but from the standpoint of planning, logistics, and adaptation.

Which leads me to my five lessons for wintery Iceland. These are five things I recommend everyone visiting Iceland in the winter do to make the most of their experience and photos. Some of these things I did from the beginning, and took for granted, but some of these lessons I learned the hard way. This list isn’t exhaustive, but for me they’re the five main points I want to tell everyone visiting Iceland between November and April.

Tour busses pass on the road on their way to view the marvels of the Northern Lights at Thingvellir.1. Rent a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Snow, ice, rain, wind, and dark. All these things work against you, especially if you’re driving far from Reykjavik. I started my journey in a two-wheel drive Chevy Opel. This was a bad idea. I got stuck twice, and had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get me out (there’s plenty of this type of kindness in Iceland). If you plan on going far, even on the ring road, you’re much safer in a 4WD vehicle. Not to mention, you can drive at normal speeds more often with 4WD, rather than inching along hoping to stay on the road. Even with 4WD, there were times that me and my travel companion felt we were in dire straights. At one point we faced a complete white out, couldn’t see the reflective pylons, and ended up driving partially off the road (4WD got us out). The crazy thing was that the skies were completely clear (we could see the stars). The problem was the wind, blowing an insane amount of snow across the road, completely blinding us. This leads me to my second lesson:

2. Travel with a friend (and cell phone).
All I can say, is that the weather is very unpredictable and having a friend along makes the experience much more enjoyable, especially in those moments of doubt. Just as important, is a working cell phone. GPS and emergency calling are two things you’ll need if you get stuck. It’s dark 18 hours a day and towns/cars are very far in between, so if you get stuck somewhere, you’ll likely be waiting a long time if you don’t have a phone. Also, you’re much more likely to be adventurous if you have a friend along to make sure you make it back to civilization in one piece!

Northern starting to to show above the Gerdi guest house near Jokulsarlon.3. Do go off on your own, don’t rely on tours to show you the best that Iceland has to offer.
Bad weather shouldn’t stop you. You just need to plan for it. If you have a good car, a friend, and a cell phone, you should get out there and see the country for yourself. Check the weather warnings and heed them closely (e.g. If the forecast says winds of 150kph, don’t go out). However, sticking with a tour bus severely limits your ability to see some of the most interesting sights in the way that Iceland intended them to be seen: In solitude. The cathartic nature of viewing the aurora while hearing nothing but the wind blowing, is greatly diminished by the swarms of tourists that stick to the busses. With your own vehicle and plans, you’ll be able to see and photograph things that the less adventurous don’t get to see.

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, with the glow of the Bardarbunga volcanic eruption over the horizon. 4. Talk to the Icelanders. Get advice along the way.
There’s no substitute for the experience of those who have spent significant time living in Iceland. In an ideal world, I would have spent weeks or months traveling the island, making multiple attempts to capture images, mainly because there are so many ways to get the shot and so many times that weather gets in the way. However, since long term travel is not a practical reality for most people, the quickest shortcut is to get the advice of locals. They often know when to go out, what is most scenic, and what spot to photograph from. Tour books don’t really convey this information. In Reykjavik, they also know the beset places to eat/drink, and how best to experience the night life. In short, make friends in Iceland! They also make great models, which helped me to do a number of photoshoots, which I will show images from in my next Iceland post.

5. Most importantly, spend more time than less and be flexible to leave room for weather situations.
I think my main take away is that if there’s an image you really want to capture, then plan on needing more than one day to get it. There are times I got really lucky and everything came together okay (cloud cover, wind, northern lights activity, etc.), but there are other times where I was left twiddling my thumbs in a snow storm hoping for something to work out. You often cannot plan for the weather more than a few hours in advance, and you shouldn’t underestimate the desire to spend more time in one place. If you book too many things and have too many hotels lined up, then you’re going to constrain yourself and limit your experience (and feel rushed). Sometimes you can’t, or shouldn’t, rush the trip. It’s better to take your time driving, and savoring the moment. Not to mention, in the low season it’s really easy to finding lodging accommodations that same day using Kayak or TripAdvisor (one more very important reason to have a working cell phone).

And now, the photos. I placed these generally in chronological order, starting off from my last post in Snæfellsnes, heading to Jökulsárlón and Vatnajökull (located about 5 hours from Reykjavik), and finishing with images of the aurora at Thingvellir.

The drive from Reykjavik to Jökulsárlón/Vatnajökull

Leaving the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Leaving Snaefellsnes peninsula.Lighthouse on the southern coast of Iceland outside of Grindavik.
Sunsetting and snow blowing near Raufarfell
Burning daylight on the way to Jokulsarlon.Sunset near the town of Vik.

Jökulsárlón and the Northern Lights. Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon formed from the icebergs that break off from this outlet tongue of Vatnajökull, the largest icecap in Europe. The icebergs float out of the lagoon to sea, washing back ashore as the waves and tide bring them in.

Northern starting to to show above the Gerdi guest house near Jokulsarlon.
Aurora above Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.  Icebergs floating below the glow. The Aurora begins to fade.
Aurora above Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.  Icebergs floating below the glow. My friend Bryant also photographing the icebergs in the lagoon.

Jökulsárlón’s beach and icebergs the next morning.

Jokulsarlon's beach where icebergs are washed back ashore.
A large iceberg washing ashore at Jokulsarlon.

This ice cave was formed by a natural glacial river flowing beneath Breiðamerkurjökull, and outlet glacier that’s part of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Based on the rate that Breiðamerkurjökull has been receding, this particular ice cave will most likely not exist past next summer.

Ice cave at Vatnajokull.
Ice cave at Breiðamerkurjökull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull.

The aurora blooms at Thingvellier, located about one hour north of Reykjavik. It’s a great spot for capturing aurora images because of it’s lack of light pollution and close proximity to the city. These were captured on my last night in Iceland, and I was lucky that the weather and aurora was favorable that day.

The aurora blooms at Thingvellir. A weather station is seen center bottom.
Tour busses pass on the road on their way to view the marvels of the Northern Lights at Thingvellir.

Other photos along the way.

Birds are some of the few animals that live in Iceland.
Jagged cliffs just outside of Vik.
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, with the glow of the Bardarbunga volcanic eruption over the horizon.
Light haze of the aurora above the road near Jokulsarlon.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall located just off the ring road.

Iceland Photo Travel – part 1

A couple months ago I visited Iceland for the first time. I loved it. I loved it so much in fact, that I promised myself that I would return to spend dedicated time photographing it. The island is tiny compared to the size and population of many U.S. states, but there is so much to do and see.

Right now I’m in Iceland, carrying out that promise. I’m here for 10 days photographing as much as the winter landscape as I can fit in. It’s cold, and much more snowy than I anticipated, but there’s something about this country that’s otherwordly. Being here it’s not hard to imagine why over half of Iceland’s population still believes in hidden elves (seriously).

The first part of my trek has brought me to Snaefellsnes, an iconically beautiful part of the country (which says a lot since it’s Iceland). One of the highlights of Snaefelsnes is Kirkjufell (not pronounced how it looks), a pointy mountain located half-way down the peninsula on its northern edge. Part of the reason I’m here now is to photograph the Northern Lights, and Snaefelsnes makes a great location for this.

The problem is, the weather has been sort of horrible the past two days, with gail force winds and snow pummeling the roads. I spent the day watching the cloud cover, convinced that there’s no way that the skies would be clear enough to see the aurora. After dinner, I went back to my room ready for sleep. I looked out the window and didn’t see anything. Then, on a hunch I picked up my camera and did a long exposure — There it was, bands of light green across the sky. I hauled ass in my Chevy Spark (very tiny car) back to Kirkjufell and captured this image:

Snaefellsnes with the Northern Lights.

Seeing the aurora was pretty awesome, and I have about 7 more days here to photograph the landscape and people. Which is a good thing, because shortly after capturing this image, what I can only describe as a frightening blizzard descended upon the area (wind is between 30 an 40 mph as I write this). Here’s some video of that.

Here are a couple other images, one of me posing with Kirkjufell, the next of my trusty Chevy Spark and the aurora, and finally Kirkjufell during day light (which there isn’t much of):

My trusty front wheel drive Chevy Spark with the Northern LightsSelf-portrait with Kirkjufell just outside of Grundarfjörður.
Kirkjufell in the day time.

Here are some other images from my drive from Reykjavik to Stykkishólmur in Snæfellsnes:

Drive from Reykjavik to Snæfellsnes.
Icelandic horses are somehow better looking than other horses.
Lonely, icy drive to Snæfellsnes.

Event Photography and Headshots for the National Disability Institute

Last month, the National Disability Institute (NDI) brought me on to photograph two of their events: A press conference at the National Press Club releasing a study on the financial capability of many Americans with disabilities, as well as their annual team meeting where they hosted an on-location headshot session, taking the opportunity to update the headshots of each of their team members while they had everyone from across the country in town.

In photographing their events and headshots, I was able to learn more about the great work that NDI does to promote the rights and economic success of individuals with disabilities in this nation, as well as meet everyone on staff. Whenever I work with a team of passionate and dedicated individuals, it always comes across in the photos, and it really shows with NDI. To learn more about NDI or the results of the study that they just released, check out their site. Also see some of the photos from their events and their team portraits below.

Here is some of the event photography from their press conference at the National Press Club:

Crowd photo of the National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.
National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.
National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.
Michael Morris, Executive Director of the National Disability Institute, speaking at the press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.Bob Williams, Senior Advisor, Social Security Administration, speaking at the National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.

Below are a few of the team headshots captured during NDI’s staff gathering later in the week:

Head shots for NDI hosted on location during their annual staff retreat.Head shot of Michael Morris, Executive Director of the National Disability Institute, taken on location during their annual staff retreat.
Head shots for NDI hosted on location during their annual staff retreat.Head shots for NDI hosted on location during their annual staff retreat.

Here’s a behind the scenes shot of the on-location lighting setup for the headshots. There were roughly 20 staff members photographed in about two hours. Each team member that was photographed had the opportunity to review the images on a laptop display and select the one that they wanted edited:

Behind the scenes photo of the lighting setup for head shots at the NDI annual staff meeting.

Finally, below are a few event photos from their annual team meeting, which took place in Lansdowne, Virginia:

NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.
NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.
NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.
A team portrait photographed at the end of NDI's staff retreat.

Ad Campaign Photography for DC Department of Health

Earlier this year, I completed commercial photography for an ad campaign being run by the Washington, DC Department of Health. The initiative is called #ShowOff, and is described by the PR and ad firm that runs the campaign as “a youth social marketing campaign that encourages DC youth to share their aspirations, dreams, talents, friendships, and personal style via social media. The campaign engages youth (#ShowOff ambassadors) in activities that develop their leadership skills and cultivates self-awareness in their decision-making.”

The shoot was a lot of fun, and the teens that participated in creating the images had so much energy and really give hope that the next generation will accomplish great things. The shoot took place over two long days, and the teens’ patience and willingness to shoot at 10 different locations across the city made my job a lot easier. The biggest challenge was fitting in so many in so many locations in a two day shoot, so we had to make every opportunity count and stick to a schedule to get around the city. In the end, I was very happy with the final product and all the images created. I really enjoy creating ad campaign photography and commercial images, so this shoot was really enjoyable for me.

Below are a few of the finished ad campaign posters put together by Octane PRA

#ShowOff Your Style: Encourages individuality in DC youth through personal uniqueness.

#ShowOff Your Big Day: Highlights the accomplishments of those teens who have stayed committed to academic excellence.

#ShowOff Your Neighborhood: Encourages youth in an individual's neighborhood and community.

#ShowOff Your Green Thumb: Promotes engagement in gardening and other talents.

#ShowOff Your Individuality: Promotes individuality, self-sufficient decision making, and standing out from the crowd.

#ShowOff Your Besties: Promotes friendship and positive relationships with peers.

The images are currently up in the form of posters and can be seen up and down U Street and other locations around the city:

Commercial posters up on U Street.Commercial poster up at 14th and U Street.