cody // lifestyle portraits // deep ellum, texas

It's been a minute since I've blogged much of anything (apparently I haven't been here since I blogged 8:18 in December...shit.). So, let's try this again. Maybe I can commit to this thing again, at least for a while. I shot a few weddings over the summer, and those are in the pipeline to be blogged here, as will at least one more set of cycling photos, some music, but I figured it would be best to make my prodigal return to blogging with a some super recent, personal work, that I shot this past Sunday on one of the first driveable days in Dallas since Cleon/the Icepocalypse of 2013/the shit show of a debilitating ice storm that seemed to cripple most of North Texas (myself included - Jordan and I were holed up for Friday and Saturday, not leaving for much of anything, and only leaving to go places within walking distance. Thank God for Stackhouse and All Good Cafe). Once I realized the weather was going to clear out a bit for Sunday, I reached out to one of my best friends, Cody, to go shoot around while we were blessed with the borderline Pacific Northwest light, a huge change from the norm here, and take some portraits down in my neighborhood. I'd like to think it was successful, especially for only have an hour or two before we were feeling frozen to the core and trying to get everywhere on foot. [start=rambling] - if you just want to see the photos, don't feel ashamed to fast scroll through this massive block of text.

Over the past couple of weeks/months/whatever, I've noticed I've struggled to be super excited about editing images, maybe it's the borderline-daunting task of culling 3000 frames from a wedding, 1000 from a race, or borderline burnout, but I just wasn't chomping at the bit to get home, plug cards in, and dive into Lightroom like I used to. That sucks. A lot. After Jordan and I took a trip out to LA for our anniversary (you can bet your ass I'll blog that soon, probably...maybe...), I realized that one of the biggest things I had been omitting from my photo work over the last two years was to just go out and shoot to shoot. Take a photo because it might look cool, but there's nothing riding on it. The only person that would be bummed out would be me. So, over the next year, I'm setting a goal for myself to simply get out and shoot what makes me happy. Weddings do that, to an extent. But I've thoroughly enjoyed going out and shooting concerts again for friends, portraits of friends and/or cool looking people. Shit like that is always fun and doing it on my schedule/when I want to couldn't make for a more laid back shoot. I like to keep it mellow whenever possible, even though I think I thrive on high-pressure situations, sometimes you just need to chill the fuck out and have a good time.

This is me chilling the fuck out. Not worrying about the next wedding I'm gonna book, or the next magazine that's going to call, or who's senior portraits are going to land in my lap. What am I worried about? Shooting the shit that makes me happy while I work on getting stronger on the bike, take care of the 8-5, and do photos at my own pace, on my own time. This isn't me swearing off wedding work, or other commissioned work. Not in the least, just a friendly, written reminder to myself that I need to throw in some personal to mix with the professional. And let that show to you, if only to have my work seen by someone other than me.

Second: I had some serious struggle with wanting to be focused SOLELY on photography, getting to live the life if you will. I got bummed out every morning driving to work because I wasn't about to go to a shoot, couldn't ride my bike whenever I wanted during the day, couldn't stay out until 2 or 3 shooting shows. In my mind, that can be living the dream. But then I had it pointed out to me that I am living the dream, just a little differently than most would probably define it. Yes, I've got an 8-5 job as a mechanical design engineer, photography is not what puts food on my table right now. But I'm not spending my Saturday afternoons sitting at some department store trying to figure out what area rug represents me as a person. I'm not spending my Monday nights sitting in front of a TV living on the edge of my seat of who is going to go home on whatever reality show is big right now (I will, however, freak the fuck out over a Cowboys/Stars game, in a heartbeat). I'm getting up and spending my Saturdays riding a bike for 60 miles, not because I have to, but because I want to. I want to push myself in new ways. I'm going out on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights to shows, hanging out with friends, banging my head, taking photos if I want, screaming my lungs out to bands I've been listening to since I was seventeen years old, and some bands that I've been listening to for a few days. I'm going out and taking photographs. Fuck it. I am living the dream. It may not be your dream, and it may not be my ideal dream, but I am. I'm doing everything I want to do, I just occasionally need to remember that I am currently in the confines of a day job. But shit, how cool is that? I fucking work from 8-5ish, every day Monday-Friday, but then I get to go see some friends living their dream on tour, see a new band I've never heard of before. See friends I haven't seen in years, maybe make some new ones who don't give a shit about what college I went to, majored in, or what my day job is, they just want to talk about music. I go and race a bicycle in lycra. Yes, the lycra matters. Why? Because I want to push myself harder than I ever have. I love being challenged and I wish I had embraced that more playing sports growing up. I get to track my performance, improvements, gains, with metrics that are dependent solely on how hard I am willing to work that day. How much energy I want to pour into it. Not Google Analytics, not flickr stats, not instagram or facebook "likes." I am in control of how hard those pedals get pushed and how fast the wheels turn. I get to take pretty cool photos of fucking awesome people in different ways, all the damn time. I've got my passions, and thankfully, they mesh pretty damn well with how I live my life. That. That is living the dream for me. I'm going to stop rambling now. If you made it this far through my train of thought, unedited, unreviewed, ramble of writing, laced with run-on sentences. Props. I probably wouldn't have made it through half of it. So, to go with those props, thanks. Seriously.

Cody Dressercody dresser





matrix criterium // DALLAS

Some rad cycling socks, thrown in for good measure.Women's Open RaceWatt PosseWatt PosseDallas Cycling


A rad bike race down the street from my loft? You can pretty much guarantee I'll be there. And I was. Shooting the crit was a fun little challenge—trying to focus on a single cyclist in a pack of up to 80 coming through a corner at 25+ mph is tricky—but after a few hours, I think I mastered this corner...and I anchored myself there the rest of the the variety of shots stems more from the riders themselves than location. Either way, shooting a cycling event has got me excited to go out to some of the other races this summer and to start a new little side project for cycling photos. Easily some of the most impressive athleticism I've been privy to shoot. And also the perfect post to kick off Bike Month...yes, that is 100% incidental...whatever.

If you know anyone in these photos, let me know, or share this post with them.




san francisco // jordan // personal and portraits

This whole trip to San Francisco stemmed from something a bit more important — Jordan and I got married just over a month ago! So of course, we had to make our honeymoon just as rad as the wedding (shot by Pat Furey) and go somewhere neither of us had been before. That just happened to be San Francisco and it was definitely the right choice for both of us. It was great getting out of Texas for a bit and over to the West coast, seeing new places, meeting up with some friends of ours from school, and just having a generally awesome time. On top of the standard tourist-esque things, you know, Golden Gate, Alcatraz, we also hit up what was probably my favorite place of the whole trip: the Marin Headlands. So. Damn. Good.  

Anyhow, here are some photos from the trip to SF, and some portraits of my best friend/wife.

Definitely going to have to get back to SF soon, it would definitely be rad to shoot some weddings out there.

weekend fun // lifestyle // austin, tx

This weekend was freaking rad. The end.  

Okay, not the end. Jordan and I spent the weekend down ravaging Southern Congress in Austin eating awesome food and relaxing. Which isn't a big change from our regular Austin trips. The addition was hanging out/being photographed by Pat Furey, which was effing rad. Only bummer was not getting to hangout with our puppy while we were down in Austin. On the plus side, we dominated Homeslice, Hopdoddy, and some Lockhart BBQ (before we left for Austin, of course). Pat was rad as hell to work with. Easily the only time I've actually really enjoyed being on the other end of the lens.

I grabbed this frame of Pat while he was taking a photo of Jordan with my iPhone+VSCOCam.

Pat Furey Photographing Jordan Rutledge

And since I'm now back with the puppy (hell yes), here are some photos I grabbed of her just a bit before we left...

Okay, this is from when she was a puppy. Like three months old puppy. The rest are from now (~9 months old)


To say Jordan and I missed Lola would be an understatement. Seriously. I think we talked about her non-stop all weekend.

And to say I didn't use this as an excuse to post about our dog would be an outright lie.

pure awesomeness // personal // dallas

I'M FREAKIN' ENGAGED! Woohoo! So, after 4 years, 11 months, and a few days, I proposed to my best friend (she pretty much kicks ass at everything). Before I gave her the ring, I snuck in a few little photo-ops with it around our apartment while she was at work.

Last night, Jordan and I attended Celebration of Lights at SMU here in Dallas for the fifth time. Afterwards, we did our usual routine of driving around the area looking at some pretty awesome Christmas lights, and then we made a bit of a detour, back to SMU so I could "take some pictures of Dallas Hall" aka, I'm about to ask you to marry me, so you're gonna have to stand in the cold just a bit longer, sorry. So we get outside and walk back up to the tree and I take a few photos, and ask Jordan to bring our rad as hell dachshund Lola up so I can take a photo of her by the tree. I say hang on, almost done, just let me swap lenses really fast and get on my knee and pull out the ring and ask Jordan if she would marry me.

She obviously said yes.

Seriously people, I'm so freaking stoked right now, it isn't even funny.

So, sorry I fell out of our nice little blog-o-sphere for a while, I promise, I'm coming back, lots of photos are stocked up in the catalog, ready to be posted.

Oh, and there might be a new look coming soon, too...maybe ;)

Again, holy crap, this is effing awesome

100% unadulterated awesomeness.