A glimpse back in 2016

2016 was a funky year on our end. Plenty of great things happened but it had it’s challenges too. I can’t say I’m usually one to try and piece together a meaningful yearly review of images. In putting this together, I really tried to let images come to mind from throughout this past year. I think each of them have a unique quality to them. So rather than try to hard, here’s a few, both from the personal and professional ends of 2016.

We brought the cat count in our household up to 2. Conveniently, both of them love to model.


Of course, the cats get that from their mom, my fiance, Gina. She is usually up for being a test subject such as this shot in our living room this past Valentines Day. Open some Champagne (Dumangin rosé) and we’re on our way. Our living room comes with beautiful north light.


Speaking of great light. This past spring we found a beautiful 3000+ sq feet studio space that has 125′ of north and west facing windows. It’s positioned perfectly so it glows from sunrise to sunset…even on the most cloudy, dreary, rainy days. While we use it for portraits, headshots and other projects, we also rent the space out, and will be adding a variety of classes and events over the next few months. You can learn more about it at The Breathe Studio Cincinnati.


I was also able to finally make my first trip down to New Orleans. We participated in a little wedding fun, New Orleans style and enjoyed a few days being shown around town by Gina who recently moved back to Ohio after a few years in New Orleans.

Darrin Ballman Photographydarrin-ballman-photography-3793-web

Playing with our versatile light at The Breathe Studio.


Every year needs at least one run up to Chicago. A little late night blues at Kingston Mines.

Darrin Ballman Photography

Speaking of Chicago…or to be more accurate, Birds of Chicago. We were introduced to them through the Nowhere Else Festival that Cincinnati’s own Over The Rhine puts on in May. It’s a beautiful weekend of music and arts and this past year Birds of Chicago dropped a lot of jaws. Check them out sooner than later if you’re not familiar with them.

Darrin Ballman Photography

I’m a strong believer of in-home lifestyle sessions for families. In a photography world that has so much “sameness” out there, we need to break through the monotony. I’ll save that for another post. Meanwhile, in-home presents so many cool light opportunities.

Darrin Ballman Photography http://darrinballman.com

Lots of great music in 2016…This was extra special, seeing the talented Dylan LeBlanc at Southgate House Revival. Backed up by The Pollies.

Darrin Ballman Photography http://darrinballman.com

Although we were cut short at the end of the year, we focused on making The Breathe Studio available for a variety of affordable portrait sessions and donated sessions to local families also. We are looking to team up with a few local organizations to make something like this happen on a regular basis.


It’s no secret I’ve had the opportunity to photograph the band Over The Rhine quite a bit. I started out as a huge fan, but it has led to a friendship and a wide variety of resulting images that are definitely part of who I am as a photographer. There is always something unique that “shows up” when I set out to photograph them. As I like to say, it’s “fertile ground” for cool images. Below is from their traditional end of the year, “homecoming” concert at Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre. This year’s show was a wonderful collaboration with the Cincinnati Pops and conductor John Morris Russell.

Darrin Ballman Photography http://darrinballman.com

It’s also no secret that I love to shoot in the most extreme lighting conditions. I’m a believer in “moment first”, technical quality second – or not at all. Off stage at the Taft is a great place to test that theory! Below is Linford Detweiler (Over The Rhine), percussion god Jay Bellerose and in the shadows, Karin Bergquist (Over The Rhine).

Darrin Ballman Photography http://darrinballman.com

So I could just close my eyes and reminisce on 2016, but 2017 is already shaping up to be a full year. Hopefully I can pause occasionally and share a little bit more. After all, more will be happening at The Breathe Studio and we have another Art In The Harvest to work on for this fall.



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