Good stuff from 2009 (warning 45 images)

Lands end. Cabo San Lucas.

I shot this from the top deck of the cruise ship as we slowly drifted into port in Cabo San Lucas.

The early morning sun giving texture to the Lands End cluster of rocks was a promise of adventure and fun for the day. 

School kids in Dominican Republic

We pulled up to a school in the Dominican Republic and all of these kids spilled out to see us. Although their school was a ramshackle building without windows and a dirt playground with chickens in it these kids were clean, and in uniform.

The one in front was the leader. Could you tell? 

Late afternoon beach visit

Anytime we go to the beach I take my camera along. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t. On this day I visualized this image and pulled it out. I took one exposure and back in the bag it went.

Your mind is the best photograper in the world.      

1st day of school

Four kids, four different responses to the stress of the first day of school. One crying for the fear of missing her ride. One smiling to see his old friends, one satisfied to be starting in the highest grade in the school.

The last one following her siblings, not knowing that a season of being alone each day all day was upon her.      

Starting line at the jog-a-thon

Every child has a desire to win a footrace. Here the desire ranges from despondant to focused attention on the starting pistol. The desire to win is demonstrated here in a perfect range going from the outside to the inside of the track.  

Uncle Joe watching over the ducklings

Joe volunteered to watch the kids by the pool. Because someone has to do it. 

Adventure found

In Orange County California everything is cut, dried, catagorized and labled. 

Seeking adventure the only place the boys could find it was in the drainage ditches around the neighborhood. 

January weather

All those claims on the liscence plates around San Clemente “worlds greatest climate” were proven to me on a January afternoon. 

80 degrees, light breeze. Brilliant sunlight. Empty beach.   

Long days

After making dinner, cleaning up dinner, homework for three kids, family home evening and family prayer Sam slumped over.

I put the kids to bed and set up my camera. She didn’t wake up until I kissed her on the forehead and led her up to her bedroom.

Waiting for a meal

I had this image as my monitor wallpaper for a long time. Something in her expression, that old high chair and the complete presentation of all 20 of her digits.

It could be a photograph from the 40’s til today. Classic. 

Birthday girl

There are birthdays when everything is right. All those pink presents. Nothing is going wrong here. The sun is shining, the sky is blue.

I didn’t have to ask her to smile. 

Friends from College

Friends from college…Reminiscing old times. Not much has changed. We have more kids now and some of us are of greater heft. 


Texture, light, pattern. Elements of photography. 

Cousins on the beach

Almost anytime I photograph these two they hug. It’s either how they want to be remembered or their instinctual response to a camera lens. 

Blue sea and sails

Czeslaw Milosz the poet:   


A day so happy.   

Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.   

Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.   

There was no thing on earth I wanted to posess.   

I knew no one worth my envying him.   

Whatever evil I suffered, I forgot.   

To think that once I was the same man did not embarass me.   

In my body I felt no pain.   

When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.   

Grace glancing at the peril

Glen Canyon Dam is one of the most stunning sites I’ve ever seen. It is straight down on all sides. Grace is looking confidently down the 900 foot drop from the visitor walkway on the bridge.   

Can I put your shoe back on?

It’s pointless for a kid this small to wear shoes. They just pop off so easily.   

Zion Canyon

The Temple of the Sinawava. This was right from the trail. Its hard to shoot with a baby in a backpack though.   

The boys of summer

These boys jumped straight down off that play gym when I said “OK. Thanks”   

Mexican Business center

I love walking around the towns in Mexico. I came across this office park in Puerto Vallarta and was enchanted by the strong light.   

At the beach

Jack doesn’t really need to wade this deep to get a clean bucketful of seawater for his sand castle’s mote.   

The birds of Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a charming seaside town. I found myself watching the gorgeous birds soar.   

Beachside cabana. Puerto Vallarta. Four Seasons Punta Mita.

If there is a definition of decadent luxuriousness this would be the picture in the dictionary. Wow. That is a full sized, sheet clad queen sized bed elevated off the surface of the offensive sand. Drop down those shades and privacy, breezes, salty air and beachside service are yours.   

The only problem is the journey by car to get there offers a comprehensive array of poverty, privation and desperate people.   

Sam on formal night.

People scoff at the “formal night” on the cruise. I love it. Anytime Sam gets dressed up fancy for me I’ll do whatever I have to do. In this case it’s wearing a suit and tie and stiff shoes.She posed for this picture graciously.

It’s not her normal thing to do, pose for pictures.

Four athletes

Four cousins on a sunlit day preparing for a footrace.   

Sam is explaining how the atonement of Christ applies to all

The weekly Family Home Evening was going on. Bailey was trained on the words that Sam was offering about the Atonement of Christ.   

Friends on the beach at Cabo San Lucas

Good friends. Good times.   

Coming up the Starboard side of our cruiseship

The size of a cruiseship is staggering. You lose track of it until you have to pull alongside it in a tender. Look at the size of the people entering the ship on deck 1.   

Diving for tips

This guy is crazy. That is about 50 feet off the surface of the rock filled water. His business manager was walking around saying “We don’t get a salaries, just your tips for the fun we give to you”.   

My favorite from 2009

Favorite photos are hard for me to come by. This one with Grace on my shoulders is my favorite from the entire year. Her fingers gently held onto my ears. Her weight is so slight and delicate.  

We walked that way about an hour. I held tight to her ankles, not able to bear the thought of anything happening.   


Grace is our most adventurous child. She likes to deadfall from atop several pillows onto the bed. While her eyes are closed.   

Mini golfing with a one year old

Don’t go mini golfing with a one year old. We hit our first putts and she ran straight down the hole and collected all of the balls. It was great fun for her. 

I lagged behind by one hole and played fetch while the rest of the family played in peace.   

In the Virgin River. Zion National Park

Hiking up the Virgin River at the Temple of Sinawava in Zion National Park it a satisfying adventure. Uncle Scott and three of his boys pose for a picture. This is after we walked through the water that came almost up to my armpits. 

It wouldn’t be that bad but with a baby in a backpack and my camera it was difficult.   

Jack in Lake Powell

Lake Powell is one of the most fantastic places in the West. Jack swam in its 78 degree water at every turn. Those bushes in the background along the waterline are where my nephew, Justin, spend two hours sitting in the water, watching people on jet skis go by.    

Scott said he was lurking there like a gator for his prey. 

Reading the baby a book

This photograph makes me smile every time. Grace listened to Jack clear through that entire book.     

Golfing with Josh

My brother, Josh is a fine golfer. He is patient enough to let me photograph his intense approach shot at Shadow Valley.     

Hiking in Snow Canyon. Saint George Utah.

Saint George Utah and the surrounding area are so full of beautiful places that the little State park Snow Canyon is overlooked. We took a hike around it and the kids paused in a slot canyon for a photograph.    

Friends at the family reunion

Lily and her pal, Lydia spent many, many hours laughing and holding hands. This is at the family reunion.    


Lily’s tea partygoers were kind enough to stand still and hold their baskets of goodies. They were invited to wear their “fancy clothes” for the kids it created a situation of peace. 

Those little people rose to the occasion and brought their best behavior too.   

Sunset looking out

Looking out my balcony window after a fine day of relaxation and entertainment I was sobered to see that big ole ocean lurking beneath my feet. Dark and unsettled.   

 There I was freshly showered and dressed in my finery gliding effortlessly through  1000 feet of salt water on a giant cruise ship.     

My Sisters family

This is an example of a classic Mormon family. Happy, healthy and glad to be together. No frills, presumption or ulterior motives. The basic unit of society. Spread out in a straight line for your examination.    

Kevin (Dad) used to fly fish or hunt at any opportunity, he pretty much laid all that aside to raise up his kids. He’s wearing his fisherman’s shirt and his river shoes to remember though.     

Time to read

Another photo on the cruise. The continuous fantasy that Sam has doing her daily toil is to “sit in the quiet and read a good book.”    

Saint George Temple

 The Saint George Temple was the first Temple dedicated in Utah, not the Salt Lake one. It is a gleaming, white structure. It is built on an extremely deep and dense lava rock footing.   

They dug deep into the swampy ground and poured and pounded lava rocks down with an old cannon that was rigged to an “A” frame support stucture. The visitors center had the old cannon on display. more facts here       

Eastertime tabletop

Sam makes the tables pretty for every holiday. The kids don’t really care. They just do whatever they want and leave the mess.        

Zach and Nikki. July 4th, 2009

Zach and Nikki got married two weeks ago. Congratulations!       

Our fourth of July fireworks display is a pyromanics delight. Mortars, saturn missles, bottle rockets and everything else randomly lit and enjoyed. This year Zach told us that he was going to “sit with Nikki this year”.   

10 minutes into the display he came running up to help. Its tough to miss out on things like that as a guy.       


  1. Jon. I am constantly AMAZED by your photographs. And I am very much like you, and would rather work on personal work, like “lifestyle” home life, rather than fine art and weddings (gah!). These photographs are so captivating. I want to use some of them for my tear sheets for inspiration. If you don’t mind :)

    My favorite of these all? The one of your oldest daughter & friend on the beach with the light reflecting. That’s one of my favorite compositions. And second favorite? Grace sitting in the chair. AMAZING!

  2. I am glad that you like the photography. I work very hard at it. It is, as you know, difficult to get satisfaction from photography, it can be very frustrating.

    Thanks for telling me you favorites. I would never guess that those would be someones favorites, but I am always surprised by people. I hope you get what you need from you coursework at BYU. I love photography classes but they are stressful and difficult sometimes.

    Use whatever you need for your tearsheets. I am honored to have you do it. Noone else uses them!


    Jon Ball

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