Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture

First weekend with the DJI Inspire 1: A professional photographer’s review of DJI’s hottest “drone”

blog, equipment

My first weekend with the Inspire 1 was outstanding. That’s what we did with the Inspire 1 right out of the box…. Impressive, huh? Keep reading, it only gets better.

A little background: I’ve been flying DIY multirotor “drones” for around a year. Like so many others, I’ve been taking to the skies to capture images that were only available to passengers of manned aircraft only a few years ago. When I first looked into buying a system, I think I did it a little backwards. I knew what camera I wanted to fly with, my Canon EOS M, and bought a DIY DJI F550 kit to lift it. It required many modifications to carry a camera as heavy as mine as well as many heart aches when the payload was exceeded and my expensive equipment would take nasty spills. With each spill would come new, bigger equipment and soon my modest F550 turned into a massive heavy lifter that could easily lift 5 pounds for 12 minutes. Eventually, the upkeep and system maintenance got to me. Although I only crashed 3 times in a year, I was getting sick of constantly making repairs and tweaks to keep my fidgety system in the air.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography

I wasn’t new to RC aircraft either, I had 3 years of RC helicopter experience already in my portfolio, I was just experiencing the woes of a DIY set up.

I had been asked on a few occasions to try and capture decent video from the sky. That’s what just never worked out. I was constantly trying to balance gimbals, isolate vibrations and some how control the camera set up from ground stations. It just wasn’t working for me. The video quality, even with an EOS-M and a GoPro Hero 4, were very subpar. Not that the output couldn’t be excellent from either solution, it’s just the relationship to my set up wasn’t satisfactory.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography

I remember seeing the release of the DJI inspire 1 last year and thinking “MEH.” Very “MEH.” In fact, I wrote it off as an over priced, gimmicky toy. Ooooo look at that cool leg thing, LAME. Then I saw a little review video pop up online. It really caught my attention. The video quality straight out of the box looked amazing, the controller had so many cool options, a two man operation looked simple and intuitive… Considering it has been 4 months since I last flew my hexacopter, I figured if a turnkey solution would get me more reliable and easy flights, it’d be worth it! I feel like we have a narrow window of being able to fly these things easily before the FAA cracks down and grounds them for us “semi professionals.” 

After a little stint of shopping, I finally found a vendor who could ship one out in about a week. Friday, February 6th, 2015, the box finally arrived. What awaited inside was a huge surprise.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography

Right out of the box I was blown away. The first thing that stood out to me was it’s weight. It’s hard to believe something so heavy can fly so gracefully. The build quality is simply outstanding. I have seen a few videos where it looked like the camera was extremely loose. It is wiggly, but that’s because of it’s excellent vibration dampers that keep it isolated from the craft.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography

The landing gear’s internal motor and mechanism is beautifully crafted. I couldn’t get over how sturdy everything feels.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography

The next thing that stood out was the controller. It’s very well weighted and ergonomic. All the switches and dials feel excellent and are easy to reach. Again, another thumbs up on the controller for being better than I had expected.


Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography controller close up holder dials and buttons

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography controller close up holder dials and buttons

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography

Even the phone/tablet holder is well thought out to be able to support almost any sized device.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography controller close up holder with iphone 6

My iPhone 6 sitting in the cradle perfectly.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography controller close up holder with iPad mini

An iPad mini (gen 1) sitting in the holster. Side note: The mini isn’t recommended as video playback will suffer due to it’s slower processor. For iPad use, look to the mini 2 or 3 or the Air 2.

Tim Dodd Photography Aerial pictures pics Cedar Falls Iowa drone video DJI F550 inspire 1 midwest professional videography cinematography controller close up holder dials and buttons

DJI’s attention to detail is applaud worthy. They even included battery warmers to attach for when you have to fly below freezing temperatures.


HDMI output of DJI inspire 1 controller for aerial photography Tim Dodd

It wasn’t until after we had spent a weekend flying that I finally tried plugging in a second monitor to the HDMI output.
HDMI output of DJI inspire 1 controller for aerial photography Tim Dodd on screen display

The on screen display of the HDMI output. Notice, it is the same thing the camera operator will see. So if the operator is looking away from the direction of travel, you won’t be able to fly FPV. I really hope DJI makes a second FPV camera soon. That would make me so happy.

Packing the DJI Inspire 1 case out of the box Tim Dodd Photography aerial Iowa video farm survey

Even the included case is pretty outstanding. Fairly small, but able to hold a lot of spare batteries, a spare controller and the load of spare props. The Inspire 1 even came with TWO sets of props!

DJI Inspire 1 Aerial photography videography cinematography Iowa Midwest farm survey camera real estate professional

The 4k camera included with DJI Inspire 1. Its modular attachment means the camera will be upgradeable over time. Making the Inspire 1 a little more future proof.

DJI Inspire 1 Aerial photography videography cinematography Iowa Midwest farm survey camera real estate professional

It even included a nice little case for the camera. When you pack the Inspire 1 into it’s case, the camera needs to be disconnected and the drone needs to go into “travel mode.” This makes it lie completely flat. DJI even included a 16gb micro SD card. A welcome extra.

So, how about that camera? That was the all important question for me as a photographer. Would it perform anywhere near my EOS M with a 12mm F2.0 Rokinon lens on it? You be the judge.

Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photograph with the DJI Inspire 1. DNG edited in lightroom.

Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture. 
Wow. Yes, the scenery is stunning, but so is that little camera. ISO 116, F2.8 and 1/25th of a second.

Downtown Waterloo Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture

Downtown Waterloo Iowa. ISO 197, F2.8 and 1/25th shutter speed.

Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture

400 feet above downtown Cedar Falls. ISO 100, F2.8, 1/240th.

Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture

ISO 982, F2.8, 1/5th of a shutter speed. YES, 1/5th of a second. That’s just how stable this thing is. We’ll get into that in just a minute. Fairly clean for such a high ISO.

So, initial thoughts are fantastic. So how does the still camera compare to my old setup? I used to fly with an EOS M and either a 22mm F2.0 lens or a 12mm F2.0 lens. Here’s a few examples…

Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture  UNI dome

ISO 100, F5.6 and 1/500th shutter speed. Rokinon 12mm F2.0 for Canon EOS M

Downtown Cedar Falls Iowa aerial photography DJI Inspire 1 DNG edited Tim Dodd Photography raw picture  EOS M Rokinon 12mm

ISO 400, F5.6, 1/200 shutter speed. Rokinon 12mm F2.0 for Canon EOS M

The takeaway? I think they’re both great. I think the output of an EOS is superior to the Inspire 1’s camera. BUT, and this is important, the DJI camera is WAY better. Why? Did you notice that one picture at night where it’s shutter speed is 1/5th of a second? I swear, when you fly this thing, it feels like you’re raising a long pole up into the sky. The thing just doesn’t move. The gimbal does an incredible job keeping things still. The raw DNG file off the camera has a decent amount of headroom to edit, however it does get pretty grainy after about ISO 400. But it’s still very usable.

So what if we had an excellent gimbal for an EOS M that could hold it still? Well, I tried. I tried 3 different gimbals and 3 different control boards. I could never get it to work 1/10th as good as the Inspire’s gimbal. It just wouldn’t hold things nearly as still nearly as accurately no matter how well balanced. I thought about dropping some coin and getting a really good gimbal from DJI, but starting at over $1000, I felt that wouldn’t be the best route to go.

The other important thing is I have FULL control over the camera while it’s in the sky. If I need to make an adjustment to exposure, file type, ISO, white balance, ANYTHING, I can do while it’s in the air. No more landing to fiddle with focus and ISO or whatever else have you. I can easily switch to video quick like it’s no big deal.

So back to that highlight reel… Wow, right? Simply wow. I had maybe 30 previous flights with a multirotor RC before I shot this. It’s that easy. I wouldn’t say I’m a complete noobie, having previously flown RC helicopters for 3 years. I’d say I’m right in the middle. I’m not a professional pilot and I’m not an amateur. But the thing is so easy to fly, I could fly confidently knowing it would handle anything I threw at it.

So here’s our consensus on flying it and operating it.

For those of you YouTuber’s check out ^THIS VIDEO^ on our youtube channel, “The Astronaut and The Rapper.” Make sure and play it in 4k!

You’ll notice the weekend reel is color corrected and edited. My buddy out in LA, Patrick Lawler, did a great job editing the footage quick. Just so you can see them back to back, (what he is capable of) and what you can do to push the footage, here’s a side by side:

color difference video from Tim Dodd on Vimeo.

 

So, it can’t all be good, can it? Well, it pretty much is all good. The ONLY gripes I have are small, and hopefully, fixable.

1. I wish it could go into travel mode with out turning on the controller. Not a huge deal, but I’d just like to push a button on the Inspire 1 its self and transform into travel mode.

2. I REALLY wish it had a second camera for a full time FPV. I hear there’s possibility of an accessory coming someday that would be officially supported by DJI. Their video platform, lightbridge, is capable of two separate video feeds. Why they didn’t include a stationary 640×480 camera in the first place is beyond me. I would’ve paid $400 extra for it. With the incredible control the camera operator can have over the camera is great, but it can leave you with out a clue of where you’re going. A little of this can be solved by having two controllers. This way, controller can have a map on it (the operator) and the camera man can have the camera’s view. This would help a lot, but at $600, I’m not too keen on adding a second controller to my rig. It’d just be so great if they’d let us tap into that video input and be able to output via HDMI.

3. Hmmmm after a few minutes of thinking, I literally can’t think of a third thing. The closest I can think of is to have options for cameras, but I think that’s coming. The camera is a great gen 1 camera, but I’m very excited to see what else they come up with.

Who’s this for? It’s beyond a hobbyist. It’s too expensive and too capable to just fly around for fun (not that it isn’t fun). There’s much cheaper options if you just want to show off to your friends and get neat pictures of your neighborhood. The camera output isn’t quite good enough for a real aerial video crew either. It’s 4k is great, but wouldn’t pass on a feature film. This is for guys like me. Professional photographers or videographers who either didn’t think the Phantom was good enough for them, or didn’t want to go the DIY route. Maybe you’ve gone the DIY route and you got sick of it, like me. This is perfect for shooting commercials, real estate, indie films, music videos, or farm land surveys. Living in Iowa, I’m excited to try my hand at aerial farm survey’s this summer. This will be the perfect machine for it.

All in all, amazing. NOT a toy, and far more than the sum of it’s parts. With the steadiest gimbal I’ve ever seen, an easy to use interface, an outstanding controller, a carrying case, an incredible video transmitter solution, and an incredibly capable flying machine, it’s simply outstanding.

Thanks to my buddy Ben Hagarty for camera operating, editing videos and nerding out with me over the weekend. He’s going to shoot with me often with this as his talent for getting a shot is much appreciated. We have a new YouTube page, “The Astronaut & The Rapper” where we’ll be reviewing random gear in the future, so be sure and subscribe.

Thanks to Patrick for the color.

Thanks to Crusoe (Jeremy Spring) for the PERFECT song on our weekend highlight reel.

Make sure and follow me on Instagram to catch all our latest shots! And don’t forget to follow Everyday Astronaut too! I have an exciting new series coming out soon!

Everyday Astronaut Series Two: “Getting to Space”

blog, Everyday Astronaut
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Everyday Astronaut

Make sure and follow @EverydayAstronaut on Instagram!

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

I’ve got an idea…

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

If Felix can do it, I can do it.

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

My Nephews told me they built a space shuttle. Not impressed.

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

Oh crap! I’m late for work!

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

Testing my splash down system. (thanks Austin Jensen for risking your life for this picture)

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

Testing my glider re-entry system

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

This should work! Here I come space!

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

That’s one small step(ladder) for man.

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

I trained too hard.

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

Someone bring jumper cables, I think the battery’s a little flat!

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

Approaching light speed!

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

I made it to the moon!!!!

Everyday Astronaut by Tim Dodd Photography Cedar Falls Waterloo Iowa wedding photography photographer reddit sessions sponsored award winning travel destination space nasa spacex

Keep exploring, friends.

 

Ivy & Matt

blog, Weddings

Written by  Audrey Kittrell

Their story starts in close proximity, ironically living on the same street most of college before ever meeting one another. When they did finally meet, they were almost out of time. Graduation was around the corner, and each were pursuing careers that would keep them states apart. They learned as much as they could about one another to hold onto during the two and a half years they’d be apart.

That made 2013 that much more special, when the couple found their way back to each other and could relish spending daily time together again.

Sounds like a fairytale, right?  Matt thought so too.  Although it was his 25th birthday, they had plans in separate states–Matt in Wisconsin for a bachelor party, and Ivy in Galena with Matt’s family.  Secretly, Matt planned a fairytale proposal complete with a horse drawn carriage through the park. But as fate should have it, the horse developed a lame foot 30 minutes beforehand, forcing Matt to think on his feet.  With the help of his sister, Ivy made it to the park (sans horse and carriage), and while strolling along the picturesque path, a handsome man in a suit caught her eye. With tears in their eyes, Ivy ran over the bridge to Matt where he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

On a perfectly fall day in Dubuque, Ivy and Matt invited their closest family and friends to celebrate their wedding. Ivy recalls, “Understanding that life holds many momentous commitments, we were so grateful that our loved ones could share in one of our happiest.”

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Ivy and her bridal party prepped for the wedding in a suite at the Grand Harbor Resort, connected to the Grand River Center where they’d hold their reception. She chose a perfect fall palette in shades of red that complemented the foliage along the river… it was nothing short of beautiful.

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Ivy’s niece and flower girl went from napping to photo shoot ready in no time flat! (Though you’ll see her stuffed giraffe was still in tow for this candid shot!)

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Ivy, you are gorgeous. Let’s be real. This shot gives me goosebumps! Ivy blended elements of tradition and fun (see the feather detail on her dress!) in a perfect gown she found at Mestads. Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Matt and his entourage started the day at the Field of Dreams on the ballpark laughing and blowing off steam before the ceremony. Their dad’s even got in on the fun with matching suits and socks.

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

You can tell a lot about a person based on his friends… Matt surrounds himself with some of the nicest and funniest guys!

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

One trend that we can’t get enough of is the Father-Daughter First Look.  It’s so full of emotion, and for good reason. Ivy and her father shared a sweet moment on the steps of the church minutes before giving his daughter away.

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

When Tim & I first walked into the Basilica, we were stunned by how big, beautiful and grand it is! Very reminiscent of Europe, and definitely unexpected for small town Iowa.Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

When I asked Ivy & Matt what stood out on their wedding day, they both romantically recounted the first moment they saw each other that day:

Ivy – “Matt and I chose to wait and not see each other until the ceremony as it was a tradition I have always been fond of. As the doors in the back of the church opened, I remember suddenly seeing the sunlight stream through the stained glass windows after it had been cloudy and overcast the entire morning – it created such a majestic and euphoric ambiance. And then there was Matt, my soon-to-be-handsome-husband, at the end of this aisle. It was truly such a powerful and glorious moment, seeing him grinning from ear to ear while also fighting to hold back tears as I walked up the aisle. In that moment, I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be.”

Matt – “Since we decided we would not see each other until Ivy was walking down the aisle, it was a highly anticipated moment and one that I knew would be full of emotions for myself.  As the moment came and I saw the doors open and Ivy began walking down the aisle, it was just as I had expected.  As she approached I could see the smile on her face and the tilt in her head as she looked up to me with a slight grin on her face that I’ve come to recognize and see the genuine happiness she had at that moment.  As others had recognized as well, the sheer joy of seeing my soon to be wife walking down the aisle was a moment I will never forget and certainly a moment on the day of the wedding that stands out to me and impacted me to a greater extent than other moments throughout the day.”

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

As if the day hadn’t been scenic enough already, the couple arranged for the bridal party and families to have pictures at the amazing Park Farm Winery near Dubuque.  I give Ivy & Matt major credit for choosing the prettiest time of year for a wedding!

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

As the sun set in Dubuque, the Grand River Center lit up. The venue transitions well from cocktails overlooking the river to a ballroom that can accommodate even the biggest parties.

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

A couple’s first dance is a highlight of any wedding, but Matt and Ivy added a personal detail that made it even more special.  It had been Ivy’s dream as a little girl to have her oldest sister’s band reunite to play for her wedding. Her dream came true as the group Tres performed in the Basilica for their ceremony, and again as her sister serenaded the couple for their first dance as husband and wife. “She has always been the woman I looked up to the most throughout my life, and her performance was truly momentous and a song neither of us will ever forget,” Ivy recalls.

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Ivy and Matt: Congratulations on a (more than) beautiful wedding. Your story is one for the books–thank you for allowing Tim & I to capture it! We wish you all the best.

- written by Audrey Kittrell

Wedding Photographer photography award winning best cedar falls waterloo iowa minnesota california MA boston NYC flickr wisconsin Chicago illinois minneapolis travel destination weddings photography

Many thanks to the creative team who made the day so special:

Tuxedos – Milroy’s Tuxedos Dubuque, Iowa
Wedding Dress, Bridesmaid Dresses, Flowergirl Dress – Mestads Rochester, Minnesota
Hair and Makeup – The Fringe Salon Dubuque, Iowa
Wedding Rings – Mark’s Jewelry Store St. Lucas, Iowa
Ceremony – St. Francis Xavier Basilica Dyersville, Iowa
Reception Venue – Grand River Center Dubuque, Iowa
Flowers – Kim’s Kreations Epworth, Iowa
Cake – First Avenue Bakery Dyersville, Iowa
Wedding Decorations – Lynne & Brittany Lueck Decorating Dyersville, Iowa
DJ and Uplighting – Alexxus Entertainment Dubuque, Iowa

Order Artwork

blog

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Walls of Genoa Italy

“Walls of Genoa” available as a 16″ x 24″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Ubon Boat Thailand

“Ubon Boat” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Switzerland

“Meriringen, Switzerland” available as a 24″ x 48″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Scharlwald Switzerland

“Switzerland Mountains” available as a 16″ x 24″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com winter fog

“Cedar Falls Fog” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com empire states building new york city snow fall fog

“NYC” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com wine girl

“Night Wine” available as a 16″ x 24″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Mont Saint St Michel France sunset

“Mont Saint Michel” available as a 20″ x 50″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Monaco grand prix fireworks fog

“Monaco” available as a 15″ x 45″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com sunset John Deere

“Iowa Sunset with John Deere” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Meiringen Switzerland

“Meriringen, Switzerland” available as a 24″ x 48″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Waterloo Sunset

“Waterloo Sunset” available as a 16″ x 24″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com manarola cinque terre italy

“Cinque Terre Night” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Istanbul Turkey blue mosque hagia sofia

“Istanbul” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com

“Cedar Falls Collage”  (8) 4″ x 20″ stitched photo collage printed on sintra board and hung

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com

“Iowa Sunset” available as a 15″ x 45″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Seattle Washington Space Needle Sunset

“Seattle” available as a 15″ x 45″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Florence from Plaza Italy

“Florence from Plaza” Available as a 20″ x 70″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Florence from Duomo Italy

“Florence from Duomo” available as a 30″ x 45″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Assissi Italy

“Assissi” available as a 20″ x 45″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Venice Italy

“Venice” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Dingle Ireland

“Dingle Beach” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Paris France Arc D' Triumph

“Paris from Arc D’ Triumph” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com

“Downtown Cedar Falls” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | Tim Dodd Photography | Cedar Falls |

“Cliffs of Moher” available as a 20″ x 45″ on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com Manarola Cinque Terre Italy

“Cinque Terre” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone aerial Fine art canvas art work www.timdoddphotography.com

“Autumn Sun” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone Fine art canvas art work

“Autumn Fog” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Aerial shot of downtown Waterloo Iowa taken with a custom hexacopter Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone

“Waterloo Wall” available as a 15″ x 15″ on stretched canvas

Aerial shot of downtown Cedar Falls Iowa Ice House Museum taken with a custom hexacopter Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone

“Cedar Falls Ice House” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Aerial shot of downtown Cedar Falls Iowa taken with a custom hexacopter Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone

“Cedar Falls Downtown Aerial” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

Aerial shot of University of Northern Iowa UNI Campanile taken with a custom hexacopter Cedar Falls Iowa Waterloo Photography Tim Dodd Photographer wedding travel drone

“UNI Campanile” available in multiple sizes on stretched canvas

I’m teaching a photography class! No More Auto Mode!

blog

(Registration closed)

I’m excited to announce my upcoming photography class the first 5 Tuesdays of 2015 at the Grout Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. We’ll start with the most basic camera knowledge and tips and each week progress more and more. By the end I’ll be sharing all my trade secrets about editing, lighting, travel and equipment.

I hear so many people say, “I have this really nice camera, if only I knew how to use it!” Or some people will ask, “What lens should I buy next for my DSLR?” I realized there’s a great opportunity to teach people more about the cameras they own, or about what to buy in the future.

Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode

Week one (Jan 6, 2015) will focus on the very basics. We’ll start with the basic mechanics of how the camera works and how that applies to all types of cameras, even a camera as simple as your phone’s camera. We’ll even touch on what equipment to buy, or what you can do with the equipment you have. We won’t be getting too in depth with all the numbers and settings, but we’ll give you a good idea of what to buy, what to look for in a camera, and an idea of what all the specifications mean when looking into a camera or lens.
Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode

Week two (Jan 13, 2015) will dive deeper into the numbers and settings. We’ll work more in depth with the the trinity of exposure and give you a much deeper look at what is required when taking any photograph. By the end of this class you will have a deep understanding of shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode

Week three (Jan 20) will teach you more about technique and framing. This week we’ll touch more on theory and the art of photography. It won’t be as much about the technicalities but more about what makes a photograph great. We’ll look at famous photographs and pull apart what makes them so powerful. By the end of this class, you should have a better understanding of the art and what to look at when deconstructing a photograph. By having a deep understanding of how it was shot, it will give you a better sense of how to shoot your pictures.
Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode

Week four (Jan 27, 2015) will focus on the editing end of photographs and how to travel with a camera. I’ll teach you some basics in my preferred software, Adobe Lightroom, as well as a few basics in photoshop. This is the week I’ll begin to teach some of my trade secrets about how to apply that look/feel of a photograph that makes it so pleasing to look at. We’ll also talk about what to look for when traveling and how to plan a trip based around photography.

Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode

Week five (Feb 3, 2015) will focus on the most advanced techniques like lighting and large format panoramas. We’ll touch on astrophotography and any other type of photography the class wants to focus in on. We’ll have a more open discussion based on the need of the participants to hopefully get the most out of this last and most advanced class. Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode


Tim Dodd photography art class waterloo Iowa learn how to take pictures winter 2015 January through February Tuesday night no more auto mode

Book one week, a few weeks, or all! We’ll be learning in style at the Grout Museum’s board room. I’m very excited about this location because it’s comfortable, inspiring and intimate. I’l provide a few drink options and some snacks as well. Bring your camera and a pencil. I’ll provide some packets we’ll work with each week. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I’m very excited about this :)

Classes will start at 6:30 PM and last approximately 2 hours.

 Make sure and park in the back parking lot of the Grout. The front doors are locked at 5:00. (see attached image).
Grout Museum Directions
Plan to bring paper and pencil for notes. But, don’t worry about feverishly writing things down, as I will have notes available online after each class.
Bring your camera! Make sure it’s charged up and ready to go, too. We may tackle specific questions about specific cameras. You’ll have time to play around with your own camera as I explain features and options.

 

Tim Dodd Photography – “Through the viewfinder” from Tim Dodd on Vimeo.

(Registration Closed)

Feel free to email me if you have any questions! tim@timdoddphotography.com

 

Everyday Astronaut Series 1: “A day in the life of Everyday Astronaut”

blog, Everyday Astronaut
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Everyday Astronaut

In November of 2013, I found myself the lone bidder of a Russian high altitude space suit on an auction website called RRauction. Since then, I’d been scheming how to best use the suit. I have been revisiting my childhood love for space and my obsession was growing stronger and stronger. It was only natural to use this suit to project the inner child in me, still dreaming about space. With that, I present to you: “A day in the life of Everyday Astronaut”

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

A day in the life of Everyday Astronaut

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Good morning world!

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Decisions, decisions

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Always brush your teeth!

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Boldly going where no astronaut has gone before

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

I’m super depressed Chris Hadfield was named TIME’s “Astronaut of the Year”

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

It just isn’t the same

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Time to mow!

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Did a little grocery shopping

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

I always order my ice cream à la space

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Out for a walk with my dog Laika

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Did some research at the library

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Houston, we have a problem

 

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Testing out my solid rocket boosters

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Playing with my Zero-G simultator

 

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Watching my favorite movie

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

Goodnight world

My Favorite Moments as a Photographer in 2013

blog

Last year when I wrote “My favorite moments as a photographer in 2012,” I really didn’t think it could get much better. Well here I am (yes, a little late), looking back at 2013. Although I didn’t do much international traveling in 2013, I ended up shooting 4 out of state weddings, which always makes my job fun!

Without further adieu, here’s my favorite moments as a photographer in 2013.

Tim Dodd Photography New York City Washington DC Chicago Minneapolis Los Angeles San Francicso San Diego Seattle Portland Houston Dallas Atlanta Nashville Minneapolis Des Moines Waterloo Madison Iowa City Boston Maine International Europe Downtown Award Winning Cedar Falls Iowa Wisconsin Illinois

2013 started off great with my girlfriend, Audrey, and I traveling to Washington DC and New York City. We caught Obama’s inauguration on the lawn of the Capitol and then took off for some shopping and fun in New York City.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0002

Although the weather was generally too cold to be outside, I managed to take one of my all time favorite pictures. It had just begun snowing when we walked to the base of the Empire State Building. Things looked bleak as I looked up. I couldn’t even see the top because of all the snow. For some reason I decided to push on and check out the observation deck, knowing full well I was probably throwing away $20. As I got to the top and realized I was the only person visiting the Empire State Building that day, I feared I made a huge mistake. Turns out I may have just got extremely lucky as the dreamy scene unfolded below me.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0003

As we left New York City, the view out the plane’s window offered a pretty stunning view as well!

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0004

And just like that, we fell into wedding season. It started off strong with this emotional image of Emily and Lance’s first look.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0005

It’s always fun when some of my best friends from Abandon Kansas come into town. I just can’t help but get excited to shoot their pics!Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0006 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0007

In December of 2012, my friends Taylor, Neal and Ben and I shot a video of Taylor driving to get the attention of Ken Block. One of Taylor’s only wishes was to get a ride in Ken Block’s car. Come February 2013, he was getting strapped into Ken Block’s Ford Rally Car. It was great, and even better, their friendship has continued to grow.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0008

I finally updated how I deliver pictures to my wedding clients with custom USB drives from Flashbay.com. They turned out great and it was a much needed update for me and my clients.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0009

In an emotional post, I wrote about a very dear friend of mine, Andy. I touched on his struggle with immigration and how it’s effected him and his family. If you haven’t read about my incredibly smart, kind and hard working friend, it’s well worth your time.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0010

Just driving from one side of my hometown, to the other, I was fortunate enough to have my camera with me to get this incredible shot.
Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0011 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0012

When my good friends Chris and Kathryn got married, we decided to do a first look with her wedding party and family. It turned out to be one of my favorite moments to capture, as you can see it carried over to a wedding in Ethiopia in 2014.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0013Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0018I don’t shoot all that many family photos, but when I do, I love when I can do something fun and unique. Here’s the beautiful Pauli family with their new baby girl, Violet.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0014 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0015 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0016 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0017

Almost four years prior to this wedding, I met Jacob on an airplane. You can imagine my shock when he called me years later wanting me to come down to Florida to shoot his upcoming wedding. It was a stunning celebration that we were so honored to have been chosen to shoot!Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0019

Occasionally I get to do something totally different. I got the opportunity to shoot some cement trucks at a cement processing plant for Manatt’s in Waterloo, Iowa. The 8 year old in me was ecstatic!Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0020 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0021

Although on vacation with my family, I couldn’t help but shoot a couple pictures while in San Diego. Who knew June gloom was a thing? If you aren’t familiar (as we weren’t), the one month out of the year when San Diego is cold and cloudy is June. Note taken.Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0022 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0023 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0024 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0025

Iowa isn’t all cornfields and cattle. This wedding at Park Farm Winery in Bangston, Iowa, proves this point. Caitlin and Ryan ended up having the perfect day for an outdoor wedding.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0026

I never get enough of the endless country roads in Iowa. If you’ve ever looked through my portfolio, I’m sure you notice I take advantage of them often!
Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0027

Another Iowa style engagement session with Peter and Shawn.Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0028 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0029 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0030

Come July, we found ourselves dodging the rain in Golden, Colorado. The sky cleared up just in time to enjoy a beautiful outdoor wedding with the Rockies in the background with good friends Dane and Amy.
Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0031

We don’t always need mountains to make for good pictures. Sometimes a little hill behind downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa will do the trick :)

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0032

I’ve slowly been working on a series of photographs of my hometown, Cedar Falls, Iowa. I started experimenting with the “tiny planet” look for a unique perspective.Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0033 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0034

I always say, “As long as the wedding party is having fun, I can’t take a bad picture.” Annie and Aaron’s wedding proved that point with a fun wedding at The Pipac Centre in Cedar Falls. Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0035 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0036

Just across the Mississippi lies the beautiful town of Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. We ended up on a boat for an hour two, which was a wedding first for us!

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0037

Tina and Cole enjoyed a perfect day for an outdoor wedding. The Pipac’s back patio is a stunning venue.Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0038 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0039 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0040 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0041 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0042

Words can’t begin to describe what shooting my first same sex wedding was like. It was the most emotional wedding I’ve ever been to. The insanely gorgeous Colorado setting made for an even more magical event. It was truly an honor shooting Amy and Amy’s wedding.Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0043 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0044

Celebration Farms near Iowa City makes for a quintessential Iowa wedding.Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0045 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0046

Sometimes an abandoned school is all you need for a backdrop as Katy and Brandon’s pictures proved.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0047

Audrey’s grandparents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in the fall. Seeing them dance together was a beautiful moment, I was glad I had my camera!

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0048

Erin and Blake took me to a plot of land I had driven past hundreds of times on my way to my Grandparent’s house growing up. I was tickled to finally see these hills from a different perspective! Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0049 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0050

I might be biased because he’s my cousin, but I think these pictures of Tyler and Kelsey are insanely beautiful! Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0051 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0052 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0053

I enjoyed Molly and Jim’s playful attitude. Jim was a good sport when Molly “made him” dance with her.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0054

Remember what I said about cool country roads? Need I say more? :)Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0055 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0056 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0057

It’s fun to take a new look at downtown Waterloo, Iowa. We shot Laura and Kyle’s a little differently and it paid off!Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0058 Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0059

I had to wait out the rain with Ivy and Matt. We ended up sucking it up and shooting as it misted all day long in Decorah, Iowa. Again, I’d say it was worth it :)

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0060

I was fortunate enough to have my canvases on display for a few months at a new coffee shop in Cedar Falls called Sidecar Coffee. At the closing of the show, I released my first book called “Through the viewfinder.

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0061

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0062

Tim-Dodd-Photography-Cedar-Falls-Waterloo-Iowa-International-wedding-0063At the very end of 2013, I had the pleasure of shooting my good friend Alexa and her husband, Phillip’s wedding. Although it was freezing cold, we still managed to make it outside for some great pictures.

That does it for 2013, stayed tuned for more updates in 2014. It’s looking like it’s going to be a great year!