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Latest work, inspiration and deep thoughts by Titus Childers.

Bastogne.....Walking in the Footsteps of the Men of Easy Company

I don't have too many soap boxes that I stand on.  Especially in today's preach first, think of the consequences to my opinions later Facebook world.  Yet being a veteran will always bring me to express my gratitude and admiration for any of the men and women of this great country of mine, that put on the uniform and serve their country with distinction.

Last year was by far one of the best years of my life.  I spent 30 days in Belgium visiting my brother Travis and it came after an extremely busy Mardi Gras season.  The most amazing part of those 30 days was visiting the Bastogne War Museum as well the surrounding areas.  My brother and I both served as paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division.  This is something I am extremely proud of.  

If you've never seen the HBO series, Band of Brothers, then for the love of all that is red, white and blue get off of your binge watching rear ends and watch it!  Band of Brothers is the story of one of the most decorated Army units in our history,  Easy Company of the 101st Airborne.  The entire area surrounding the Bastogne War Museum pays respect to the soldiers who endured freezing cold conditions, a relentless enemy shelling them day and night more hardship than I could possibly fathom.  

As my brother and I stepped into the wood line that the men of Easy Company fortified during WWII, flakes of snow began to fall.  It was bitterly cold.  I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with a sense of pride for having served as a paratrooper.  Even if my time was but a  small part of the legacy of being a US Paratrooper it felt surreal standing on the same ground that these giants of history fought on.  It was a moment in time I won't soon forget and I hope you enjoy the images that I captured.  AIRBORNE!  

Cheers,

Titus

 

Shelby G.......We All Float Down Here! (Well at least one of us does)

Yes I realize that the caption of this blog will make you think of scary as all hell clowns and for that I do apologize.  With that being said I hope you can find the funny in it as well.  I know that my subject Shelby can and she was the one freezing her tiny little hiney off for this entire shoot.

Sometimes there are creative itches that just need to be scratched.  Hence this fun little collaboration with Shelby and my good pal and videographer extraordinaire, Kyle.  Kyle had a prop from a film that he'd worked on collecting dust in his back yard and we decided it would be pretty cool to fill it with water and submerge some poor young beautiful soul within it.  Enter Miss Shelby Griggs!  With makeup and other finishing touches provided by the brilliant Midori, we utilized two set ups, one indoor and one outdoor, and what you see in front of you are my images from both set ups.

I can't say enough about Shelby and her steadfast professionalism and overall bubbly attitude in the midst of a freezing cold environment.  We were constantly heating buckets of water on a stove to add to her enclosure to make it tolerable.  In spite of the weather making the water colder faster than we could make it warm Shelby gutted it up and was soon rewarded with a warmer environment in doors.  These type of shoots sound good in our heads but can always deliver less than fine results given the elements provided but thanks to my kick ass team I couldn't have predicted a better outcome.  We hope you enjoy them!

 

Cheers,

Titus

Hair and Make up by : Midori-Tajiri-Byrd

Bill & Lisa.........Cubbies and Buffaloes, Holy Cow!

Over the few and fabulous years that I've existed I have picked a few pearls of wisdom.  Even had some of them violently thrown right in my face.  No matter the delivery of said pearls I've always tucked them away as reminders of future encounters and different ways to handle them or better yet, not handle them.  One hard yet noble truth about your narrator is that I have AMAZING instincts.  Unfortunately I always seem to ignore them.  What can you do!?

The reason I mention my uncanny ability to ignore my amazing instincts deals with the first 10 minutes of meeting the bride, Lisa, for the first time.  I noticed one of Lisa's pieces of flare was a shiny pin representing the Colorado Buffaloes, whom as a Nebraska Football fan aren't well revered by me or many of my beloved Husker Nation.  Enter my foot in mouth moment where before I even realized it I was verbally blasting Lisa's alma mater.  I put my own fire out quickly and even though my stupidity oft times can be removed from the records with a little bit of Childers charm, it wasn't necessary due to the fun loving aura of Lisa and her obvious knowledge in the subject of guys saying stupid things!

My time spent with Bill and Lisa wasn't long.  At least not long enough to explain the ease at which the three of us became friends.  These two moved through the French Quarter with a swagger I rarely see from visiting couples.  After their first look we strolled through the streets utilizing some good lighting conditions and drink specials to cool us down from the heat.  After a short yet expression filled ceremony Bill and Lisa's guests and family were treated to an epic second line by none other than The Kinfolk Brass Band.  

It seemed like 2016 was a pretty solid year for them.  Their Buffaloes were back in the headlines for their football.  The Chicago Cubs, their baseball team, were in the headlines but finally for winning the World Series and their wedding, which was as much fun as anyone could pack into 6 hours, was close enough to the end of the year to consider the year a success.  Take that 2016!  

Cheers,

Titus

 

****All Images were taken by me as an associate for Trent Spann of Images by Robert T.*****

(Trent Spann you're the man!)

Christina & Michael..... TWINS, BAZILLE! TWINS!

In case the title of this blog confuses you I will tell you that it is a line from the movie Austin Powers.  The context of the quote holds almost no correlation to Christina and Michael, my brilliant young subjects.  The quote popped into my head.  It made me giggle for five minutes longer than it should have while staring off into the distance.  Honestly, it was the funniest lead in I could come up with that didn't involve a ridiculous reference to the movie Twins, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito, which was decidedly less humorous.  Just go with it people.

Christina & Michael afforded me with one of life's firsts. I've photographed many a person with a twin, yet, as an individuals.  These two cheeky monkeys utilized the dynamic duo clause in their contract which kept them within shouting distance(or one very dimly lit bat signal) away from one another but close enough to heed my instructions for their individual efforts.  Along with their momma, we all strolled the Marigny during the golden light of the ending day.  I usually don't have trouble getting folks to laugh and as it shows in these images, these two weren't in any danger of tarnishing that record.

As the night crept up on us we put the final touches on the day by ending on the river side of the Rusted Rainbow Bridge in Crescent Park.  As the day came to a close a quote from an old episode of Friends, the TV show, entered my head and that same giggle started to echo up the bridge.  The cliffs note version was a line said by Ross, "Twins are Weird. You know what's not one of a kind?  Twins!"  Don't hold me to the exact wording.  While you're searching your phone for link to the exact quote you'll find me right here giggling like a hyena.  Many thanks to Christina & Michael!  Class acts with bright futures!

Cheers,

Titus 

 

Ryan.....The Silent Type

Nebraska.....or as the sign reads that stands just across its border, "The Good Life".  I've always been gushing with cynicism so my opinions regarding that particular motto have been known to vary from time to time.  However I am happy to say that I'm almost 86% sure that at no point did those opinions ever reach and/or stay forever rooted in the negative.  Nebraska is my home and she holds some fond memories for me.

The reason I mention that glorious Nebraska motto has to deal with my homeboy/high school senior, Ryan and also the particular details that adorn his portraits.  If you've ever spent a significant amount of time in Nebraska you'll quickly learn that during different parts of the seasons there usually isn't a whole lot of scenery afforded.  Especially near or around my 4,000 population town of Aurora.  Some photographers might throw in the towel on this as a location choice.  Luckily for me my cynical nature and unwavering dedication to being the stubborn jackass that I am, I instead see it as a challenge.  A challenge to stretch the mind and the eyes to new ways of taking portraits or building upon past images.

Luckily for this particular set of images/challenges my subject Ryan, was the embodiment of all that is old school midwest.  He was calm, quiet and took directions very well.  Three character traits I thought had been immunized in the Millennial Generation.  I'm pretty sure I got about 6 words out of him over the entire shoot.  Side note : The lack of words spoken by Ryan is a direct result from myself and his mother gabbing like school girls for the almost 4 hours we were taking photos.  Though let me tell you thats roughly a third of the words my father has seemed to say in the almost 40 years I've been on this earth and if Ryan's calm and quiet demeanor lead him to be even half the man my father has been in my life then it'd be my distinct honor to work with Ryan when and wherever he needed.

Cheers,

Titus   

Levi...........The Strauss costs Extra!

  One of the perks of this glorious career of mine is that it leads back home to Nebraska a few times  a year to squeeze in the occasional senior portrait session between weddings and double fisting freshly grown corn on the cob and tomatoes from my mothers garden.

  This laddie here is Levi.  The boy is immediately certified legit in my book because he is a wrestler at my old high school in Aurora, NE.  Well to be sure he is a great many other things but the proof is in the pudding folks!  Wrestlers are badasses! A massive wave of nostalgia washed over me as I  walked upstairs in my old gym, took off my shoes and dug my toes into the very mats that I once shed my fair share of blood, sweat and tears(no one ever actually cried we just had something in our eyes!).  Since my days they've made amazing additions to those hallowed halls.  I even noticed my name on the record boards.  Mad respect to all my brothers who dawn the head gear!  

Despite my walk down glory days lane and the occasional Vision Quest theme song playing through my head Levi and I stayed the course and knocked out some fun images.  It's hard to roll an entire high school experience into a single portrait session but this kid is made of stern stuff and we captured those personas that mattered to him. Good Luck next year in college young man!

Cheers,

Titus

 

 

Proposal of the Fittest

There are many times throughout a couples existence that lead to tears, sweat and a dangerous level of anxiety. Thankfully the only time I am ever asked to experience those instances with my camera would be their proposal.

Over the last few years it has become an increasingly popular trend to hire a photographer to capture the proposal.  I've been approached many times during that trendy timeframe to be the man to keep in check the tears, sweat and anxiety.  Not always in that order but nonetheless they know they've got a professional on their hands to take care of their photography needs.  All anxiety produced fluids do however become the proposer's problem.

I must say that proposals have the ability to produce the most sincere and real imagery that a photographer could hope for.  With that said please keep in mind that one possible  bi product of the proposal process can be some less than flattering expressions and/or raccoon eyes from smudged mascara.   Having that iconic moment in their lives captured on camera for all time is worth the risk of briefly looking like a complete goofball.  At least in most cases.  

These are some of my favorite images taken over the last year or so.  Various popular New Orleans locations played host to a wide range of young lovers visiting from all over the USA.  Not a single one of them let any level of risk scare them away from a memorable proposal.  Hopefully this blog entry finds them all happy, healthy and making one another cry for completely different reasons!

Cheers,

Titus

This is my wedding! There are many like it but this one is mine!

In my opinion the pound for pound greatest portrayal of a Marine ever on film, was the crop topped, gap toothed, paranoid, foul mouthed, PVT HUDSON, in James Cameron's Aliens. Played brilliantly by the late great Bill Paxton!  An iconic role that has had me screaming for years, "Game Over Man, Game Over!" when I feel the slight urge to give up on a task that is kicking my butt.  However, much like the "harder than woodpecker lips" toughness that Pvt. Hudson raised from the depths of his shaken  Marine Corp (see what I did there?), i utter that phrase and continue to drive on until the task is finished or until I'm violently ripped through the metal floor boards by a nine foot alien with concentrated acid for blood!

Why am I rambling about my #1 all time favorite Marine?  Simply because my #2 and #3 favorite Marine's are my bride and groom, Michelle and Nace.  In no particular order!  (Actually its a very specific order but I aint saying which).  Nace has retired from the Marine Corp while his now bonny lass, Michelle is well into double digits for time served and is knocking on the door of retirement herself.  Almost 40 years of selfless dedication and sacrifice to their country.  This is why the three of us clicked immediately.  Unless you've been hiding under a rock you should know that I am a veteran myself.  I have so much respect and admiration for not just them but for anyone who has served in our Armed Forces.  Yet to do it as long as they have and with as much dedication and honor is nothing short of deserving a salute.

Ok then!  On to the wedding. After all that is what brought us together and ultimately what has drawn you blog readers and looky-loo's  to this entry.  The day was, much like the couple, low key and stress-less.  Michelle and her mother did their hair and makeup in their room at The Cornstalk Hotel in the French Quarter in New Orleans.  After the finishing touches were applied the ladies were whisked away to City Park to track down Nace in a Toyota Scion.  Nothing but the best for my clients!  They had an all too real First Look.  Nothing like true emotion spilling out of my camera frame with those images.  Even hard nosed Marines fall prey to the waterworks sometimes.  After some epic portrait taking around the park we headed to the Botanical Gardens for a ceremony that produced a cinematic renvisioning from the popular 80's romantic comedy, Say Anything, if you ask what that was then seriously people I don't know how to talk to you.  A brilliant stand in raised the boom box over head complete with Peter Gabriel singing out to a brilliantly warm sky.  (John Cusack couldn't make it apparently Mr. Cusack had a previous commitment which explains the family member stand in)    

The ceremony ended with a visually brilliant sky resting over friends and family as they second lined through the park.  The night was filled with a few tears, laughs and an extra inch of hair grew on Nace's beard.  One thing a lot of people are unaware of is that Michelle and Nace hold down a personal Titus Childers Photography record as of this day.  They talked me into accompanying them and several friends and family down to Frenchman street for an extended reception.  As the hours wore on less and less family members were around and eventually it was just myself, Michelle who is still in her wedding dress and Nace, who has started doing his, "This spot where I'm standing/sitting looks like a good a place as any to go to sleep" routine.  The last three soldiers "standing" proceeded to iHop on Canal Street at 4:30 in the morning.  Michelle and I polished off some epic breakfast while Nace watched the back of his eyelids face down on the table.  Seeing Nace reminded me of an old familiar saying from a certain Marine that applied to his new wife practically carrying him to the car, which was simply, "Why don't you put her in Charge"!  Thank you for your steadfast dedication and service to your country Michelle & Nace!

Cheers,

Titus

Fleur & John....Two pieces of Flair. The Required Amount!

Have you ever met that couple that you just wanna grab and hug and squeeze because they're just so damned cute that you can barely stand it?  Well if you haven't then I suggest that you introduce yourself to my friends Fleur & John.

Fleur & John hail from the northeast which stands to reason they'd pick New Orleans for their destination wedding.  I mean last time I checked it gets cold up there.  Luckily for them they chose NOLA in September so no one was going to freeze to death.

I could tell you that they had a fantastic first look in the courtyard of Hotel Le Marais or that after a brilliant portrait session with the bride and groom, along with their wedding, they had an intimate ceremony at Latrobe's on Royal Street.  They even had New Orleans own Kinfolk Brass Band play during the reception.  What I'd really like to talk about is John's suit!  I mean for the love all that snaps, crackles and pops would you just take a moment and soak it in!  Major props to John for what I consider to be the suit of the decade.  A suit only a true man can pull off!

Regardless of Fleur and John's attire we all managed to follow their superbly dressed selves through the streets of the French Quarter, along with Kinfolk shredding yet another second line.  It was one for the ages kids!  Also, thanks for the beers after the ceremony at the Carousel Bar you two!  Don't mind if I do!  

Cheers,

Titus

 

"Please excuse the bruises. Drink got me into this, I didn't Know Where I Was!" - Skinny Lister

A few times in my life I've found myself in positions where life has felt the need to make an example of me via a strong spiritual kick to the teeth.  In those positions I've had nothing but lint in my pocket and a hole in my soul deeper than the Grand Canyon.  Several years ago I found myself in one of these funks wondering which way to turn for some relief.  As with many of the previous situations I turned to my great equalizer, Music.

I went to a show at The House of Blues in New Orleans to see one of my favorite bands, Flogging Molly.  Editors note,  Don't ever be too cool to get to a show early and catch the opening acts.  The Beatles were an opening act once.  Imagine the how someone felt growing up in London with tickets to a show where they were the opening act and they're like, "Oh c'mon mate its just the opening act! We paid for the main event!"  MORONS!  With that being said the opening act for Flogging Molly was the focus for this blog, Skinny Lister.

Please for the love of all that is soaked in Guinness go see this band.  If I've said it once I've said it a million times,  once Beyonce, Bieber, and any of the other countless acts of "superstars" start crowd surfing and hanging out with their fans after the show then I'll run right out and buy their music.  Until that point in their stuck up, "I'm a superstar, I'm better than you" career happens then they will continue to be the snobby ass clowns that I give them the credit to be!  Skinny Lister not only blew my face off with amazing energy and a crowd engaging set, they were outside the show talking to the crowd.  I sat and chatted with them and even gave them the last 10 bucks I had to my name for their CD.  

Many years later, last December to be exact, Skinny Lister returned to the Crescent City headlining their own show in support of their new album, The Devil, The Heart, The Fight.  I took it upon myself to reach out to them and inquire about possibly taking photos at the show.  In perfect fashion they responded and gave me the photo pass to the show!  This band keeps grinding and putting out fantastic music.  Their music motivates and inspires me today much like it did those few years back when times were bleak.  No matter what the future holds this band has a spot in soul!  As of this blog post Skinny Lister and Flogging Molly will be playing this very evening in New Orleans!  Many thanks to Skinny Lister!!  See you in the pit!

Haul Away!!!!

Titus