2013: The Happy Recap

January 6th, 2014  |  Published in Front Page, Noteworthy  |  2 Comments

Happy New Year! Yes, I know it’s a little belated, but hey, things have been busy as Jake and I have been stranded in New York by snow and other nefarious weather patterns, and when you have a nine year-old native Texan socked in by a blizzard, there are snowball fights to be had, snowmen to be built, and sleds to be slid. But I knew that eventually I wanted to post a recap of a very exciting and successful 2013, so here it is, finally. As always there’s a slideshow immediately below, and underneath that, some text and static versions of the images themselves.

The year started and finished with new work for Golf Galaxy, the Dick’s Sporting Goods-owned retailer, who, through Rochester-based agency Martino Flynn, hired me on to shoot both its Spring and Summer 2013 product catalogs in January and March, and more recently, its 2014 lineup, which just wrapped in December. It’s a great bunch of people to work with, as their focus with imagery is more on the realism of the golf experience; we spent days on the course photographing real golfers really playing, relying on reportage and sports photography techniques (and a light smattering of more “traditional” advertising approaches) as we tried to achieve a level verisimilitude that unfortunately goes missing from a lot of golf photography (and for that matter, sports photography in general) when placed in a commercial context. So kudos to them for wanting to do it that way.

Golf Galaxy Spring 2014 catalog shoot, Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL.

Golf Galaxy Spring 2014 catalog shoot, Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL.

Golf Galaxy Spring 2014 catalog shoot, Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL.

Golf Galaxy Spring 2013 catalog shoot, Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL.

Golf Galaxy Spring 2013 catalog shoot, Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL.

Living in Austin, as I do, it’s hard not to want to be involved in the city’s vibrant music scene, and so in May I was all too happy to have received a call from noted Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen, asking me to shoot a couple of promotional portraits This led to another shoot with Lyle Lovett, and well as a couple of tour dates and studio sessions with Robert as well. And in April, Acoustic Guitar magazine sent me off to shoot portraits of Patty Griffin for a cover story pegged to the release of her latest album. The portrait side of things wasn’t all about music, however; in addition to regular shoots of local Austin artisans for Luxe magazine, there were portraits for Forbes, Golf Digest, Golf World, and, as seen below, UK-based Today’s Golfer, which assigned me to a cover shoot with 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson back in February.

Robert Earl Keen, photographed at Los Valles Ranch in Cherokee, Texas, May 2013.

Lyle Lovett, photographed at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX.

Patty Griffin, photographed at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, TX.

Frank Hannigan, former executive director of the United States Golf Association, photographed in Saugerties, NY, March 2013.

Bubba Watson, photographed at TPC Scottsdale, February 2013.

Which brings us back to golf. The United States Golf Association hired me to cover both its Men’s and Women’s Open Championships this year; the PGA of America brought me on board for coverage of the PGA Championship, Sports Illustrated assigned me to the Solheim Cup, and Golf World magazine, one of my longest-standing clients, once again sent me across the pond to cover the Open Championship in my favorite part of the world, eastern Scotland.

Tiger Woods has a little fun with Rory McIlroy, 2013 US Open Championship.

View of the 18th green from the men's locker room at Merion GC, Ardmore, PA.

Phil Mickelson plays out of a bunker at the 13th hole during the second round of the 2013 U.S. Open Championship.

July 2013: Phil Mickelson wins the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield, Gullane, Scotland.

Jason Dufner hoists the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, NY.

Vijay Singh practices on the range prior to the third round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

A massive gallery awaits Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods on the second fairway at TPC Boston during the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship over Labor Day weekend.

That last image above provides a nice little segue to this next part, as 2013 also saw me add a game-changing piece of equipment to my bag–a Leica M 240. I hadn’t shot with a rangefinder since the days of film, the opportunity to work with such a beautiful, compact piece of equipment changed the way I approached a lot of my work — both assignment and personal — throughout the second half of the year. Whether it was on assignment at a golf tournament, at one of Jake’s Little League adventures, or just walking around the streets of New York during my many frequent visits back to my home town, the deliberate pace and concentration demanded by a machine like this changed the way I saw things, I’d like to think, for the better.

Little league batting clinic, Bastrop, Texas, September 2013.

Uptown 6 train, New York City, September 2013.

New York Harbor, August 2013.

Not entirely sure what happened here, other than I think I walked past a really bad idea for a wedding photo shoot in Grand Central. August 2013.

In front of the Apple Store, Grand Central, New york City, August 2013.

Runners at the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, New York City, October 2013.

Sports Illustrated had a significant presence on my assignment calendar again last year–not just with things I’ve normally shot for them like college football (this year’s Texas A&M-Alabama game was one of the more fun assignments, if not one of the longer days, of the year), but also with new things, in particularly, the U.S. Open Tennis Championship. For the first time in nearly 30 years, I was back at the National Tennis Center in Queens, watching some of the world’s greatest tennis players.

Photographer's tunnel at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the Men's Quarterfinal matches of the U.S. Open.

Li Na, Women's Semifinals, 2013 U.S. Open Championship.

Midnight Yell practice, Kyle Field, College Station, TX.

Johnny Manziel rushing against Alabama, September 2013.

Texas A&M Corps of Cadets member on the sideline, Kyle Field, College Station, TX

Finally, I finished up the year with a trip to France. I’d never been before, and a 3-day trip to Burgundy sandwiched in between stays in Paris provided a great opportunity to experience a completely new place–and a fantastic way to cap off an incredible year.

Musée d'Orsay, Paris, December 2013.

Pickup roller hockey at the Esplanade des Invalides, Paris, November 2013.

Boulangerie, early morning in Beaune, November 2013.

Artist, Montmarte, November 2013.

Runners cross the Passerelle Leopold Sedar-Senghor, Paris, December 2013.

Happy New Year and here’s to a successful 2014!


  1. 2013: The Happy Recap – by Darren Carroll | The Photo Brigade says:

    January 11th, 2014at 10:12 am(#)

    [...] reading and see more photos on Darren’s blog. Golf Galaxy Spring 2013 catalog shoot, Grand Cypress, Orlando, [...]

  2. mike obryon says:

    January 12th, 2014at 8:13 am(#)

    Great set of images at any interval … but from one year… that’s special

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