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New Assistant's Family - 22March09 - Tipton, Indiana

As some of you know from my MySpace and Facebook pages, late last year, I was searching for a new asssistant. Well I have found one for the Indiana when I least expected to find one. At a going away party for a friend that I ran around with in High School, I met Courtney and James. Courtney and I immediately hit it off talking photography and kids.

She and James have a little boy named Karson, who is an absolute doll to photograph. He is precious, as you can see by this little trip to the park.



Steve Poltz - 04March09 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Steve Poltz at Local's Only... If you ever wanted to see just one show of Steve's and had to choose one venue, this would have to be the one... Well this one and The Barn in Michigan, but that's 2 shows, so just go to both. Anyways, there is something about the atmosphere at Dave and Michelle's venue in Indy that brings the best (or worst) out in Steve, but regardless makes for an amazing night with Steve. For some reason, Steve doesn't have the ability to end a show in a timely manner here, but for those of us in the crowd, we will NEVER object. His set lists in Indy somehow always end up stretching to 35-45 songs even on week nights, which is a remarkable feat for any musician.

Somehow this show became one to remember for me and my family. Having took the week off from work to travel home and see friends and family before catching some of Steve's shows, I was able to get to the club early to talk to Steve during his sound check. I had been talking to my brother, Kenny, in Afghanistan, on a Voice-Over-IP program earlier in the day. Kenny and I talked about the fact that this was his daughter, Fiona's, 5th birthday. Kenny and I thought that it would be cool to have Steve wished Fiona a "Happy 5th Birthday" and sang her a song, and then played a request for Kenny as well. On this tour, Steve has been recording the audio from the live show, and his road manager, Chris Modle's been burning live audio CD's of the shows and selling them as soon as Steve is done with the last songs. So I knew I had an opportunity to get the recording of Steve's birthday dedication to Fiona, and have something to send to Kenny in a care package.

So I approached Steve before the show and explained my thoughts, to which I got a reply of "No!" with a sheepish chuckle. Steve asked a few minutes later if I liked that answer, and I said, "We'll see!" and then I reminded him that my family has guns and we know how to shoot them. That was the end of that conversation, as I let Steve continue to get prepared for his show.

Coming to the show in Indiana is a great chance to catch up with my extended family of Poltz fans that I only get to see a few times a year. This show brought back some of my closer friends, in Spring, who brought her fiance, Eric and about 8 others from work. Rob came and lured some friends from Illinois. Got to see Colleen and Nessa, as well as April and her friend Heidi who both sat with me through this show. Chris and Dianne Wolf made the trip, as expected, and Jay and others made it who I hadn't seen for a few shows.

Steve had Chris Wolf join him on the stage a few times, not only to help demonstrate the choreography of one of Steve's songs, but also gave Chris the opportunity to play a few of his own songs, including "Spotless" which can be heard on Chris's MySpace page. "Spotless" is a very entertaining song about Chris' invisible dog. This song was just selected from 15,500 songs as a finalist for a International Songwriters Competition. I highly recommend everyone reading this to go listen to the song. If you enjoy it, go vote for it. To vote, just follow this link, then click on the word "here" in the box that says "Click here to listen ot the finalists songs and cast your vote."

Steve was definitely in his element this night, as he was more than entertaining to all in attendance. He kept the atmosphere loose and fun, and kept the crowd involved the whole night. Keeping us involved had an unplanned effect as he realized while on stage that he was going to sell more live CD's if he made some of his banter and songs more personal for each person in the crowd. Upon realizing this, he stepped up his game and made it a personal experience for several of us.

During Steve's break, I took the opportunity to leave a note on stage asking again, well more like threatening Steve to play "Marsupial" for Fiona and wish her a Happy Birthday. Steve returned to the stage and played a few songs, but other than an occasional glance, made little effort to let me know that he acknowledged my note. Then during his encore, he finally made the dedication, but made it in a way that was entertaining to his crowd as well as addressing my note.

Fiona's Birthday Request-UNCENSORED Part 1.mp3

NOTE: This audio file contains some language and references that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Fiona's Birthday Request-UNCENSORED Part 2.mp3

NOTE: This audio file contains some language and references that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Fiona's Birthday Request.mp3

I got back to Elwood sometime after 2am and spent a few hours editing the audio down to try to get Fiona her song without any offensive humor included, but also wanted to provide the uncensored parts to Kenny in Afghanistan, as I knew he would love to hear it, as well as Steve's greeting to Kenny and congratulating him and Kelly on the future birth of their next child in July.


Don't ask... You really "had to be there" for sure!


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Family Pride

As some of you that are close to me may know that my brother, Kenny, is someone that is very close to me despite being so far away physically. As I mentioned in my posting from Kenny and Kelly's wedding, Kenny and I have had a rocky past, to say the least. Regardless though, he and I have been there for each other through it all. I can clearly remember back to when we were growing up, some of the times that we had to "be there for each other" or stuck up for each other. As a very small child, I can remember sitting up on Kenny's bed with the sheets pulled over our head talking with flash lights late at night, talking to him about our parents fighting for custody. I can remember growing up in Anderson, when I would mouth off and start a fight with some of the neighborhood kids, Kenny would always be there to stand up for me, knowing that I would get my beating from him later, versus taking the beating from the person that I instigated.

Throughout our youths, we have always had that unique bond, but it wasn't until later in our lives that we realized how much being there for one another really meant to us. As I believe I have said before, and I will say it again, our bond is so strong that not a conversation goes by, no matter how brief, nor what company is present, our conversations never end without a, "Love you, Bub" reference.

I do love my brother and I am so darn proud of everything that he has become in his life. To have turned his troubled teenage years around to becoming a married family man and honorably serving our country is more commendable than words can describe.

The end of 2008 brought plenty of emotion for our family. With the declining health and eventual passing of our grandfather, our family was, and still is, going through a lot of heartache. Kenny and his family were able to make a surprise trip to Indiana in late November for one last chance to see "Pap" before his passing. However, their trip also brought some exciting news. This was a chance for the family to find out that we are expecting another member to our family later this year. Kenny and Kelly announced that they are expecting. It was decided that if the child is a boy, the name that Kenny shared with our grandfather, and our dad, would be used. So we are anxiously awaiting Kenneth David Rittenhouse IV's arrival in July. We also officially welcomed Fiona into the family, as her name change was official. She is now my niece in name as well as in my heart.

Fiona - Photo taken Christmas '08

After Kenny, Kelly, and Fiona made another trip to Indiana for Christmas, the realism had set in. Kenny drove the family back to Houston, spent a few more days with Kelly, Fiona, and "# 4" and then had to fly back up to Fort Lewis in Washington State. Kenny is at Ft. Lewis finishing up training before flying over to Afghanistan to serve. This will be his first tour of duty, and something that he is proud to do, despite the emotions of having to leave his now growing family for. He will have the opportunity to return home for the birth of his son, but will have to return soon after.
From Fort Benning Graduation

His assignment will keep him in a good situation despite it being a bad place to be. He will be on a military base almost the entire time, and will be well protected in order to fulfill his duties. He is going over with a laptop and a digital camera, so I am hoping to be able to supply my blog with some guest photography and documentaries while he is there.

Collage I made after his Nov05 Graduation.

On behalf of the family,
"Kenny, we love you. We are soo proud of you. And we cannot wait until you return home safely. Send us some pictures and I will post them on the blog. Love ya, Bub!"

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Amber & Mike's Wedding - Elwood, IN - 14June08

My first wedding back in my hometown and my first wedding where I knew almost everyone before anyone contacted me about my photography. Mike has been a great friend since Jr. High School. We have shared similar interests, jobs, school activities, and friends most our lives. Mike and I had lost touch for awhile when I was in Florida and had just moved to Ohio, but kept running into eachother at a gas station in Elwood when I would come back into town. I happened to hand him a business card on one of those trips to get a Mountain Dew, and low and behold, it lead to a wedding.

I do have to say that Mike did well in picking Amber. Amber is not only beautiful, but she is a great mom, and all-in-all a wonderful person. Amber didn't grow up with us, but she seems to fit in so well with all of our friends and family in Elwood. Amber comes from a great family that really knows how to have a good time, as I found out at the wedding reception.

The church venue for the wedding has been undergoing some construction over the past year, and as of this weekend, I still do not believe that they are finished. However, they still hosted the wedding, dispite not having the air conditioning working until a few hours before the ceremony. So this warm, June, Saturday became a little stressful as we were worried that we were going to have a wedding over the sound of box fans all over the sanctuary.

While shooting pictures of the others, the guys would stand over the AC registers to cool off as the AC came back on.

I even got the hero of the day, Alan from Efficient Systems, to pose for a picture with the Bride and Groom.

Yea, what a bunch!

Dustin Pimpin...

Rick wishing the cake cutting was a little messier...

Fun at the Reception, including one awkward looking group hug...



Kellie & Ryan - Indianapolis, Indiana - 01Mar08

Okay, so this couple will ALWAYS be special to me, not only because they were the first couple to book my services after I made the decision to go pro at this, but because they are such a great couple. I have more fun around them and just enjoy hanging out with them almost as much as I enjoy being their photographer.

Yes, that is a Peyton Manning jersey under the suit of the man who pronounced them. Gotta love it!

Someone was camera shy almost all day.

But I finally got her to smile for me.

Camera-shy maybe, but not on the dance floor and definitely not shy around the boys... far from it. This one was calling them out on the dance floor all night.

What a fun group!

This won't be the last time we see these 3! ;) *hint, hint*



ndy Girls - 03.09.08 - Indianapolis, IN

The 'Sex in the City' gal's from Indy came a callin' asking for a somewhat impromptu photoshoot on this weekend. Some details that we didn't take into consideration as much as we should have included 30 degree weather, staying out late the night before enjoying the musical talents of "Dave and Rae" at PJ O'Keafe's in Indy, and the little time zone change for Daylight Savings Time. Dispite all these things, somehow we managed to get some amazing shots from some unique vantage points around Indianapolis.

Now if the girls look somewhat familiar, they have all appeared in other galleries that I have posted on this site. They were all a part of the Jamaica wedding, and others have been in other portrait shoots from then to now. This group is insanely fun and this photoshoot was planned as this was going to be one of the last weekends all of the 'Sex in the City' gals were going to be all living in Indianapolis. So the pictures also have some sentimental value that I hope that my photos can convey to each of them.

This gallery is also going to mark the first posted using my new galleries hosted by one of my many new vendors. Now you can leave comments on each picture, order prints, and download the lower resolution images that have my logo on them for the online communities (i.e. MySpace, Facebook, etc.). Feel free to let me know what you guys think!

Click on the image to go to the gallery.



Franzman Engagements - 03.15.08 - Rough River, KY

These two are a couple of troopers to say the least. We first tried this photoshoot in Indianapolis on 08March08. That proved to be a little too early in the year for an outdoor engagement shoot, but they were definitely great sports about things and survived the blustery 25 degree weather with 30 mph wind gusts to at least get a few cute shots at my new favorite park. However, after not feeling comfortable with the shots that we got in Indy, we decided to try a second photo shoot in Rough River, KY. What a gorgeous setting for an engagement shoot and eventually for their wedding.

After a nice scenic drive, albeit almost an hour out fo the way, I arrived and we started shooting almost immediately, just to have the rain move in and try to dampen our fun. But these two were not to be daunted by this, and we moved on, getting some adorable shots at their parents weekend home and even some at the resort where the wedding will take place.

So dispite some chilly days and even some rain clouds, and even a weak photographer almost passing out, we were able to capture some memories and some pictures that are sure to show up in my portfolio soon. I cannot tell you guys how excited I am for this wedding.



Steve Poltz - 02.25.08 - Indianapolis, IN

So, in the few years that I have been following Mr. Poltz, I had yet to get to hear him in a musical setting with any similance of a band behind him until this night. Poltz, has been "Traveling" since December 25th, last year, has been to Australia and back, then jumped on the road with Chris and Patrick of the "Truckee Brothers" mid-January. This tour with two of the four members of the Truckee Brothers made its way into my neighborhood this week, and I knew that I couldn't miss it.

This show was definitely an interesting show to witness. Our good friend Chris Wolf was in attendance expecting to watch the show with the rest of us, when 2 minutes before show-time, Poltz pretty much just asked him, "How's everything going? Wanna open up for us tonight?" I am still not even sure that Chris had time to reply before he was already standing behind a microphone on stage.

This show also featured our door man from "Local's Only" being called on stage to play drums with "Cady" and "Peat" during their set. We had the road manager on stage playing bass to songs that he had never played before, and weather that seemed to only be nasty in Indy when the show was going on. The drive in and the drive home was fine, but about 3 inches of sleet and ice fell during the show. Just another bizarre Poltz show. This night also featured the beer coaster flipping contest after 2am, as club owner, Dave, showcased his coaster flipping talents, to the dismay of Truckee Brother, Patrick, and his potential childrens.

Poltz and the Cynics... A sound like none I have ever heard, but something that I do enjoy, and really look forward to hearing again. If the audio from this show is posted on in the coming weeks, it will definitely be one to listen to!



Amber & Matt - 10.06.07 - Indianapolis, Indiana

This couple may look familiar to some of my regular guests to the site. Amber and her boyfriend Matt were with us in Negril, Jamaica back in February. Amber, Marcie's Maid of Honor during her wedding, and Matt got to talking some time after the wedding and decided that we would try to get together this year and do some portraits of her and Matt, as well as her and Matt and the rest of the family.

Matt and Amber are an awesome couple that have a relationship that is unique, if not special. Just being around them and you will see what I am talking about. There is an unspoken language that these two have that is awesome to witness.

This shoot didn't start off as well as any of us would like. We drove 15 minutes to the location that Matt and Amber wanted to have their pictures take, only to find it posing as a wedding venue for the day. So we drove around, and thanks to some GPS assistance, we found a park that was just being developed somewhere near Carmel, Indiana. This park, which I cannot for the life of me remember the name of, was full of great architecture as well as many different settings that made for some great photo opportunities. I am sure to revisit this park again for future shoots, as long as I can remember the name of the place. The amphitheater alone with the water features running throughout, is worth the trip.

I am forever grateful that I got to meet these two, and look forward to doing more of their photography for them in the future. Matt and Amber, Thanks for everything! You guys rock!

Click on the image to see more of the photos from this shoot.



Sovern Wedding - 09.22.07 - Alexandria, Indiana

Being of my own family's weddings, the Sovern wedding was another one that was very special to attend. Andy and Beth are one of the cutest couples that I have seen, and seem to have everything that it takes to make it all work. Just to see them together, anyone could see this to be true.

The wedding ceremony itself was cool for me in that I got to see more of my extended family that I haven't seen in years. This was a beautiful service. And for me this was the 2nd straight wedding that the reverend/pastor presiding over the service was also a photographer. However in this case, he and his son were the paid photographers. So out of respect to them, I did my best to just be a wall-flower with my new camera.

This was the first wedding that I shot with my new Canon EOS 40D. And as you will see from the photos, I still had some tweaking to do on the camera. I learned a lot from shooting this service, and was glad that I was just welcomed to attend. I apologize from the graininess on some of the images, but overall, I am pleased with the shots that I got.

Congratulations to Beth and Andy, and I am slowly running out of single cousin's it seems.



Spajer Wedding - 09.08.07 - Merrillville, Indiana

The first of a few family weddings that I am going to have the opportunity to attend this year and early next year. My cousin Stephanie and her, now husband, Bob, tied the knot on September 8th at a beautiful ceremony at Avalon Manor in Merrillville, Indiana. It was such a unique wedding service and such a friendly atmosphere that welcomed me to bring out my camera and get some shots right along side the paid photographers from DSP Images.

I personally want to thank Brian and Danny from DSP Images for their allowing me to shoot right along side them and talk photography with them throughout the evening. Also, the minister/pastor, who I didn't get's name, also a Canon Photographer on the side, and even brought out his camera and shot with us after the wedding.

So all and all, this was a great friendly wedding with great scenery and a great venue. I cannot speak for all the guests, but I know I had a great time. I want to wish Bob and Stephanie much love and much happiness in their new lives together. And, Bob, "Welcome to the family!"

NOTE: My apologies to the Spajer side of the family and Bob's guests. These photos were initially taken just to provide images of the event for the Hammond/Bucci side of the family that could not attend, therefore I am sorry for not shooting more of the rest of the guests/family.



Springer of Springer Productions - 07.19.07

A spontaneous photoshoot with Springer of Springer Productions. Such a beautiful smile to go a long with a beautiful personality. Springer is a great person and a great friend, and I thank her for all that she has done for me. She is so photogenic, and that is a photographer's best trait in a friend.

Love ya, Spring, and I hope these bring a smile to your face! Enjoy!





















































Kellie and Ryan's Engagement Shots

Kellie and Ryan... An awesome couple that are out to put everyone in their place in tying the knot next March. Such a cute couple that is so much fun to be around. And I think that they both agree that just a simple photo shoot over the weekend couldn't have been as fun with just anyone else. One of the perks of this new job, I guess. I had a blast with them, and cannot wait until I get to work with them again next March.



Poltz Weekend 06.01.07 - 06.03.07

Another amazing Poltz weekend... Wow! I am still just blown away by Steve's antics and songs. He is an amazing musician and an even better man. Steve puts on an amazing show wherever he performs, but get him out in the Midwest and in some of these livingroom shows like the one that Springer Productions puts on in Frankton, Indiana, and like that the Maylen's host in South Lyon, Michigan, and you are in for a treat.

This weekend, Steve began with the Frankton show at the American Legion Hall. Albeit it was a little warm this time around, the show heated up more with Chris Wolf's comedic song lyrics and Steve's antics and passion for music.

After the Frankton show, Steve, Springer, Rob and I made the trek up I69 towards the Maylens. Several stops for Starbucks, and stops caused by my drinking 44 oz. Moutain Dews later, we arrived in South Lyon for the unveiling of "The Barn". This was the first show ever at "The Barn" and what a way to christen this great new venue.

The weekend concluded with the annual stop to Local's Only in Indianapolis, where for a Midwest bar venue, the Poltz fans seem to come out of the woodwork, including representatives from "The Bob and Tom Show," dedicated faithful fans, and this year, we were blessed with the surprise visit of Matt and Terri from the Saturday night show in South Lyon. An amazing show, in which Steve surprised us all with some unforseeable antics. We were blessed with a stage dive of sorts, right into our table, as well as a surprise guest duet with Chris Wolf and Springer, when Steve decided to take part in the crowds viewing of an amazing version of Chris' invisible dog song.



05 May 2007 - Rachel Davis w/ Chirs Wolf - Frankton, Indiana

What a night... This was a first for many people this night. This was the first time that Rachael Davis had come to Frankton, Indiana to perform at a Springer Productions show, this one hosted at Spring and Jesse's house. This was the first time that Chris Wolf got to share a stage a meet Rachel Davis. This was the first concert held out doors at the "Red Curtain Room", also known as Spring and Jesse's house.

Rachael, who's beautiful voice can take on a life of its own when you experience it live, blew away some of the Frankton faithful who were getting to see her for the first time. Her voice is one that cannot be compared to any. She has a sound that will just pull you into the soulful lyrics and smooth sounds of her music. I highly recommend anyone take the chance to go see Rachel live and go pick up her CD's.

Chris Wolf... What can I say... Chris continues to impress me each time I see him play. He has a lyrical style that will bring out the child in all of us, and keeps the audience smiling a laughing throughout his set. He is gaining a following each time he performs, and has found a new fan in me.

Spring and Jesse know how to put on a great show. The hosts for some of the best concerts I have ever been to, and two of the greatest people I know. Looking forward to their next production next month, as they bring Steve Poltz back to Frankton.