San Diego, My Home.

San Diego, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

I always love finding a new spot in San Diego that I've never been before. Last week I came across a view of the San Diego skyline that I had never seen. I had to stop and take a picture. I had my wide angle lens on, and tripod, so I set up and shot. It was a gorgeous day, fresh after the largest storm we've had in a decade, so the sky was crisp and clear.

I've been to a ton of other states, and seen the countryside, the cities, the deserts. My heart falls in love with each place in it's own way, but seeing my city always warms me up. This is home. I know I belong here.


Ready for Fear and Love and Everything Between...

Since the American leadership can't provide transparency, I'll do my best to fill in.

Life is good. It's great even, and I have to room to complain. I have an amazing wife, a place to live, a great job and incredible friends.

Over the course of the last year and some change, my life flipped full circle. I've talked about it on here before, you know, the "C" word. This dumb rare cancer I've been lucky enough to get. It depresses me. It really does. It takes all of the great things I've listed above, and puts a haze over them so I pay less positive attention on them. Mainly my friends and my wife. I think the sermon at church this weekend was talking about me when it mentioned being depressed and what not. I'm not at a point where I need medication or anything for it, but I need to think beyond it. I've got this thing in me that will never go away. On top of that, I've got to pay out of pocket for health insurance, and I'm months late on getting checked up. Ugh, see, the more I think about it, the more I realize how backed up life can get...and that's where the haze sets in.

Below is an excerpt from a blog I follow from a local radio personality named Mike Esparza, from The Mikey Show, who just had his world flipped upside down. His words speak exactly how I feel ...

I also feel like an underdog. That’s nothing new. I’ve never felt as good looking, tall, athletic or cool as the next guy. The only thing I have ever been able to do really effectively is get on the radio and do something different.

When I was a kid, if someone said I was wrong, I usually felt like they were probably right. I also always had guilt. Something wrong? My fault. Something messed up? My fault. Someone wants to compete? They’ll probably win. It’s why I hate competition; I fear losing and feeling like…..well, a loser. I want to just do my radio show and I want you to like me. Oh man. I want you to love me. I have such a desire to be liked and such a fear of failure.

The other day I was driving and I thought to myself, “What are you worried about? It wasn’t you that gave you any talent that you have anyway, it was God! He’s still here! He’s still calling the plays – not you!”

I want to end this on a cheery, hopeful note ... but it's not there this time. I'm not sad, just bracing myself for this journey I'm on. I'm not truly depressed, just searching deep within for the strength to end up on top. God is there, He's got full control. I just have to let it go. Sorry for a non-photographic blog. I'll try harder next time.


We Shot The Moon (Poster Promo)

We Shot The Moon (Poster Promo), originally uploaded by jonnyups.

This is We Shot The Moon. I write about them often. They are good friends of mine who make GREAT music. Anyways, Here's an image I shot of them, kinda did the poster-style treatment to it. I'm playing bass with them for 3 shows in January. Here's the info, please come out:

Jan. 14 - University of Redlands ... Redlands, CA (students only?) with ... Secondhand Serenade

Jan. 17 - Saint Rocke (21+) ... Hermosa Beach, CA ... with Automatic Loveletter

Jan. 23 - The Clubhouse ... Tempe, AZ

So long story short, the shows are gonna be good. The music will be fun. And I will be there and I will feel lonely and outcast so that's my plea. ;) Buy a ticket and get your butt out to these shows!

( www.WeShotTheMoon.com )


Two Thousand and Nine: My Year In Pictures

Let's face it, we are now in 2010 (Oh Ten) and in this age, nobody likes to read lengthy blog posts unless you're an over-excited political enthusiast. This blog post is a "catching up" kind of post. If you missed this season, then this episode is to show you what happened last year so you can piece it all together for the next season of the JonnyUps Show. Month by month, here we go.

Friends Don't Let Friends Poop On Other Friends

The year started out with a shiny and new annual pass to the San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park. I'm not allowed to sell these photos, but I will post the crap out of them here! No pun intended, btw. Let's just say, this little guy needed a shower shortly after this shot was snapped.

Jonathan Jones

In february, I reluctantly agreed to snap some shots of my friends in the band We Shot The Moon. I wasn't feeling that well, and eventually ended up in the hospital with a severe colon infection that threatened to turn my bowels into an external bag. Thankfully God kept me safe and directed my doctors to try other methods before removing my colon all together. I was healed before severe action was taken, and released after a week in the hospital. Back to this image, it's very much doctored up, which is something I hate with photography, but what's done is done. Not sure if it was ever used for anything, but that's ok. I just like to hear the shutter.

As I Lay Dying - This Is Who We Are

In March, I was finally able to show everybody my images that I had taken months earlier of As I Lay Dying. I shot 3 shows in 1 week. Traveled around Southern California ... and all for the love of shooting. I was later approached (back in December, I believe) to have my photos used for the artwork of their live dvd. The dvd quickly went platinum in Canada (80,000 units I believe) and I have been told it's gone Gold in America as well. My photos are scattered throughout the dvd, including the cover and spanning the entire background for the 3 disc trays. The photos also currently appear as the header for www.AsILayDying.com ... the dvd was released April 14th, 2008.

Let's Take Some Pictures

I took a little time away from shooting in April. I knew May was going to be a big month for me, as you'll read soon, so I deserved a slight break. These photos were taken at the Huntington Gardens in California. Beautiful place, great photo-ops, and a good bit of exercise too!

The Ring

A week before my surgery (next photo) on May 15th, I proposed to my wonderful (now wife) girlfriend. She had arranged a benefit dinner for me, as a surprise, to raise money for all my crazy medical bills. I was shocked and brought to tears by all of the support from my friends. So much money was raised to help me stay out of debt. By the end of the evening, I just happened to pull out a ring and ask her to be my wife. The entire room was in a roar and she said yes!!

Humpty Dumpty

A week later, as I was rolled into the operating room, I was brought to tears again as Leslie held my hand and watched me go. I was cut open and cleaned out (literally) to remove a rare form of "cancer" from my appendix and abdomen. It's a prehistoric looking scar, but a cutting edge idea that very few doctors will even perform. There is only a handful of specialists in all of America who can do this. The video below is the actual surgery, and isn't very graphic so don't be too afraid to watch.

State Meets City

In June I heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger was coming to my town, just blocks from my apartment. Still recovering from surgery, I disobeyed doctors orders and picked up my camera and hiked down to where he would be speaking. I found the back door and waited. Just when I thought he had snuck in without me seeing, the motorcade arrived. It was surreal. I later bumped into him at Starbucks but had to leave my camera outside.

Backside Luke

Along the lines of politics, I got to finally meet (and house) one of the most influential and inspiring photographers I know. Luke Sharrett. He is currently working for the New York Times, and has previously worked in the White House. His images are beyond incredible, but even more than anything, I admire his heart. He is a caring, genuine, real person. He's an old soul with a new vision.

Fiction Family

Continuing with my busy month, I got to see and photograph an incredible evening for Switchfoot's Bro-Am. They do it every year and thanks to the smoothest voice I know, Molly Jenson, I was able to photograph the evening's concert. She performed as well as Fiction Family. Comprised of Grammy winners and incredible people, they were impressive and solid. Highly underrated and worth a listen.

Just Married!

In July I shot a wedding, and made new friends from it. The bride and groom were amazing and a fun couple to work with. My friend, and AMAZING photographer, Anjuli shot the wedding and had me work with her.

She's So Hot.

Along the same lines, I got to shoot my own engagement photo with Leslie. Not easy. This is why professional photographers exist ... because it's hard to live without them (me) !!!

Green Day

In a 2-day span, I shot 3 incredible bands. Green Day (seen above), Franz Ferdinand and Kings of Leon. Green Day was a dream come true. Quite a presence on stage, and the first cd I had ever bought. So it was nice to bring the beginning of my musical adventure full-circle to connect with my photography career.

Starting my new job today ... Right here.

I started a new job in September, and am now a full-time professional photographer. Hire me, I need the work. I am a busy guy and I am truly blessed to be busy doing something I love.

Owl City

At last minute, my great buddy Josh gave me his photopass for Owl City as he had double booked himself. Owl City was on tour and came to San Diego right as their song "Fireflies" hit big. Since that day, they have gotten even bigger. Critics call them a Postal Service rip off, and fans call them fun music. There are lovers and haters to everything. I won't tell you what I think, but I was happy to photograph their show.


With The Format no longer a band, I was pleased to finally hear the new music from lead singer, Nate Reuss' new band, FUN. Incredible and amazing. Right where The Format left off.

Honeymoon location:

I married my best friend on November 21st, and we honeymooned at Disneyland.

The Ups' have their first Christmas tree!

As Christmas neared, we got our first Christmas tree and displayed it in our window all month long!

We Shot The Moon

To end the year, I photographed We Shot The Moon again for some quick promo images (again, not sure if they were used for anything). I just love hanging out with these guys. Please listen to their music. They are so good. They are so nice too.

All in all, 2009 seems to have gotten some bad press from people. Reading twitter this weekend proved how much people disliked it. For me, you can see why it was good, and why it was bad. All I know is that 2009 has changed my life entirely and I can't help but look forward to 2010. Stay tuned, I'm working on an all new website that will be simpler and all-inclusive of everything I do. Thanks for this last year. Thanks to the 61 countries who viewed my blog. And especially the 1 person in Yemen who spent 8 minutes reading my blog this year. You're a real stud.

Goodbye 2009, you dirty skank.