A few years ago Leif Barsness and I were fellow teachers and travelers in the halls of the mighty Apollo High School, roaming around looking for the hidden, illegal coffee makers that were rumored to be somewhere on campus.  I retired, leaving Leif to search on his own, while I lived in the comfort of knowing where the coffee was at all times.

A couple of years pass and I have the good fortune of running into Leif and his lovely wife, Anne, at a wedding that I was photographing.  Leif gets to see me in my full reincarnation of Tim the Photographer as I worked at Jason and Katie’s wedding.   That was the springboard for us getting together and doing the Barsness family session.

Of course the main goal of the family session is to capture that one great group shot that gets hung on the wall and put in the classroom.  With little kids that can be a bit tricky because as soon as the tableau is set, something will catch a little one’s eye and I take a great shot of three faces and the back of one head. But i know if I take enough shots I will get at least one image that will make for good wall art.

Personally I think the better images come from the candid shots and the shots of one parent and one child together.  Candid shots of any subject always capture the true emotionality of the moment.  The smiles are not the typical “say cheese” smiles.  The candid expressions are the true expressions, the expressions of the soul.  As for the one parent and child, I believe those great results come from the intimacy of the situation.  The comfort of the child knowing that they are with their mom or with their dad makes for a more natural, candid image.  These are the images I really enjoy taking at all my sessions.

I am happy to share today some of my favorite images from the Barsness session. During that time I got to catch up with Leif’s life at Apollo.  I believe he is now running an underground shadow government at Apollo and is controlling everything behind the scenes.  I also got to talk to Anne and get to know her much better.  Anne is one more example of how all of my friends have married someone above their pay grade.  She is a delightful young lady and mother.  Of course kids are kids and always fun to interact with.  Langston and Avery were great.

The hardest part about this shoot is this blog post.  Leif is an English teacher.  I sincerely hope there aren’t too many red check marks on this post.

Some of my favorites from the Barsness session.


Of course I must start a family session with the family portrait.  Love that Avery is looking at Langston.


Getting ready.

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We did have someone try to “goose” their way into out session.  Fun times at the park!

Thanks to Leif and Anne for allowing me share an hour with their  family, capture these images, and share some fun times with Langston and Avery.



January 6 was my birthday.  I got a few belated birthday wishes and cards, which is cool with me.  I sort of set aside January as a birthday month.  I enjoy the greetings and wishes whenever I get them.  So this is my belated New Year’s blog.

 STRESSED  I celebrated my uniform number on January 6.  Being a man of a certain age with a few health risk factors, I found myself scheduled for a stress echocardiogram test on the 8th.  I will tell you that I wasn’t looking forward to this test. With my brand new endocrinologist reminding me a few times on my first visit that “I am no spring chicken”, and the fact that I am, and I quote Jack Reacher “slower than the U.S. Mail”, I was not looking forward to running on a treadmill.  This is all added to my biggest fear of doctors, the fact that one day they WILL find something wrong with you.

So the test day comes.  I do a little stretching for the first time in 7 years, and I am ready to go.  This test is a little more advanced than just a regular stress test.  The assistants do an ultrasound of the heart while you are resting.  Then it is up on the treadmill to get the old heart rate up to some insane level for 6 minutes, then on the table for another ultrasound.  Easy Peasy.

I get done with the first ultra sound and then hop up on the treadmill.  About every 3 minutes the tech elevates and speeds up the treadmill.  I am pretty sure by the time I reached the last speed, Usain Bolt could not have caught me.

Back on the table for the ultrasound.  Having just won the Olympics, I am breathing quite hard to say the least.   I really enjoyed the part where the tech said “breath in a little and hold your breath.”  If I had any breath I would have said “you got to be kidding me.!”

The best news was that I am not on my way to a quadruple bypass, but that my heart is healthy and everything is normal.  Pretty good way to start of my uniform year.


MY 2013 FAVORITES  The are arranged in the order they were taken.  Just a few of my favorites from the year.


Shontionn and Maria’s Engagement Session:  They are now expecting their first child.  Congratulations kids.


Matsuri Festival: I met this remarkable young woman and photographer at the Matsuri Festival.  She and her sister Riho are now on a 31/2 month Peace Boat Cruise.  Last photo she posted to Facebook was of her planting a tree in Madagascar.


Sergio Portrait Session:  A head shot I did of former student and aspiring comedian Sergio.  I think he regrets having me do this.  Every time I see him I demand “make me laugh, funny man!”


Nilza’s Senior Portrait Session:  She is currently rocking the college life at NAU.


Down Syndrome Day Picnic: My first DSNetwork event.  A few of my photos even made some of their literature, which is kind of cool.  I have been one of several photogs at two more DSNetwork events.


Jason and Katie Engagement Session:  Now enjoying a wonderful married life.  I love their posts and updates on Facebook.


Hazel Maternity Session: Hazel, my favorite banker.  Now enjoying time with her new son.


Customer Appreciation Session: Vonn and Jana at Vonn’s Customer Appreciation Day session.  They did all the hard work, I just got to have fun taking pictures.  My kind of day!


Jason and Katie Wedding: Jason and Katie on their wedding day.  One of their favorites, which makes it one of my favorites.


Blanton Family Session:  I like this one because the light hit the waterfall just right to turn the background golden.  I wonder if the architect knew this would happen.


Aaron and Sarah Maternity Session: They went from being told they could never have children to this blessed turn around in their lives.


Hana and Michael Engagement Session: I am looking forward to shooting their wedding in March.


Barsness Family Session:  This is the cutest picture of Avery.


Wojahn Family Session:  The two boys were just the best kids to photograph all day.


Aaron and Sarah’s Sam:  Had to pick this as a favorite since I did the maternity session.  What a cutie.

MY FAVORITE CANDID  I freely admit that my favorite type of photography to capture are the candid photographs.  They capture, I believe, the true essence and spirit of the moment.  In this candid, bride Katie insists on giving groom Jason a piggy back ride.  I captured this picture just at the moment that Katie realized they were about to do a face plant into the dusty surface of Sahuaro Ranch Park.  Classic.


FINAL THOUGHTS 2013 was a good year for me.  I took photographs of some marvelous people.  Poole Photography continues to grow.  I am looking forward to great 2014.

I would also like to thank the staff of John C Lincoln Heart Institute.  They were the ultimate professionals and were a calming influlence for a patient who definitely made it clear that he wanted to be anywhere else but at the testing site that morning.  Fine people.

I hope everyone who reads this has a great year and God’s blessings.  And for those who don’t read this post, I wish all these good things for you too.  You just don’t know that I did.

Tim Poole is a retired high school teacher who has started Poole Photography LLC as his second career.  He enjoys doing wedding photography, especially small, DIY weddings.  Tim also is a monthly blogger for the Photographer’s Adventure Club website.