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.


Lori H said...

Thanks for posting your 2009 year in review - I will always remember you being the person that told me Michael Jackson died and I didn't believe you,haha
Total agreement on your words about the fab Molly J and about Luke.
Love your photos Mr. Ups
Hope 2010 is a great year for the Upson household!

Luke S said...

You've had a prolific year, Mr Ups! Well done. I'm only sorry you had to put up with that Luke fellow.

the CoR said...

The weirdest part of that video is the belly shaking action at the end.

Kelley said...

my 2009 consisted of some lurking on your blog and leaving maybe, um, one comment....i will be better at that this year. praying that 2010 is wonderful for you and that beautiful bride of yours. love you friend.