The Decade in Review

Here's my #10yearchallenge!


To say that the past 10 years were transformative for me might be the understatement of the decade!

I am a completely different person than I was in 2010.

Back then, I was an unmarried, obese, wedding photographer living in Southern California with no kids. I was also pre-diabetic on high blood pressure medication.

I was also running The [ b ] School trying to help my fellow photographers grow their businesses.

These days I am a happily married, fit, weight loss coach with two little girls living just west of St. Louis. I am no longer pre-diabetic and I am not on any medication whatsoever. 

I also mentor my fellow health coaches who are trying to make an impact on the world and photography has become my side hustle.

As this decade wraps up, I've spent the last few days collecting over 175 images from the past 10 years and shared them here.

Obviously this post won't mean as much to you as it does to me... but I wanted to reflect on the past 10 years and record this little snapshot for me to revisit in another 10, 20, or even 50 years (I'll be 96 and I plan on making it!) 


Just for reference... here's are my sister's kids Caden and Addison at Christmas in 2009. Caden was 4 and a half here and Addy was 1 and a half, which is pretty much the age my kids are now. Audrey is 4 and a half and Aria is closer to 1 three quarters (21 months):

I wrapped up the last decade at a dueling piano bar with some of my best friends. New Years Eve 2009 with Joe Photo, Tony & Gene:

Here are some highlights from each year of the past decade:

2010

This is what I looked like during the first week of the new decade:

A few weeks later at Imaging USA in Nashville:

I spend most of 2010 working on building The [ b ] School 2.0:

WPPI 2010. This is the closest I ever thought I'd be to having a kid of my own:

When this decade started, the iPad hadn't been released yet. I got the day it came out:

Speaking at a photography conference with my friend Dane:

Burning Man 2010:

Me in NYC right before I turned 37:

My first post on Instagram in October. I signed up just two weeks after it launched. #earlyadopter

I shot a wedding at the Bellagio in November, and even though I knew I was always a "big guy", this is the photo that made me realize that I was obese:

I started my low carb journey the week before Christmas 2010. This is my official before picture weighing 285 pounds. :-(

Speaking of which... don't wait until New Year's to make your health and fitness a priority. Sign up for my Foolproof Fat Loss Protocol™ before Christmas and save 50%

2011

2011 was the most transformational year of the entire decade for me.

It was a year filled with travel and I had trips to the UK, India, Italy, China/Hong Kong, Bermuda, Minnesota, and Austin.

In August, I also made my first ever trip to St. Louis and met a girl named Ashley!

In January, I spoke at SWPP in London, then Joe Photo and I took a trek to India for an epic photo safari:

This was taken in front of the Taj Mahal just a few weeks into my low carb journey. I was already down about 20 pounds, but as you can see... I still had a ways to go:

The [ b ] School 2.0 officially launched in February:

I was in Italy for a wedding in March:

By mid-May, I was already down about 60 pounds! Low carb works people!!!!: (scroll up and look at that Taj Mahal photo again)

Took my first ever trip to China and Hong Kong in May:

I shot a wedding in August on the west coast of Ireland:

Later that month, I found myself St. Louis for the first time. I was there to speak at an event for my fellow wedding photographers:

 I met a girl:

We ended up hanging out for 12 hours the day after I spoke:

A few weeks later I was in Austin for another speaking gig and that's where Ashley and I had our official first date:

3 weeks later, Ashley and I were in Connecticut for a wedding and I called my mom and told her I met the girl I was going to marry (she almost fainted):

One year after I started restricting carbs in my diet, I had lost 70 pounds! I was a new man.

To recap the highlights of 2011...

  • Traveled the world
  • Lost 70 pounds.
  • Met my future wife. Thank God I made my health and fitness a priority because I don't think Ashley would have given me her number if I was still obese when I met her. Making the decision to go low carb was the best decision ever!

2012

2012 started with another trip to London for SWPP followed by a few days in Paris with my new girlfriend:

There were many back and forth trips to and from STL for both of us. In February, I flew out the morning of Ashley's birthday to surprise her:

At the G-Love and Special Sauce concert:

Long-distance relationships are a pain, but thank the Good Lord for FaceTime:

Eventually, Ashley moved to California and I flew back to help her make the drive:

Ashley attended Burning Man for the first time in August:

Unfortunately, we broke up shortly after that trip and she moved back to STL. :-(

2013

2013 was mostly about building a new referral network for photographers called PhotoRefers.

I sunk a year and a half of my life into it and tons of money, but unfortunately it never really took off.

It's a shame... because I still think it's a great idea.

At least I learned a few important lessons.

A few other highlights from 2013 were:

Walking over hot coals at a Tony Robbins seminar:

Shooting the wedding of Max Thieriot from the show Bates Motel and currently starring in Seal Team on CBS:

Running my first (and last) 5k:

An epic trip to Burning Man (photo by Nick Adams):

Turning 40:

2014

2014 was another eventful and transformational year in my life. 

I reconnected with Ashley at WPPI when she begrudgingly agreed to go out to lunch with me. I just wanted to apologize for some of the things that transpired in 2012:

We decided to give it another shot:

She wondered if I was serious about making this work and wanted to see that I was truly committed, so I moved to St. Louis in June just to let her know how serious I was!

This time she flew out to help me move across the country and we had a super fun trip:

We made it back to Burning Man in August:

One of my favorite photos of the two of us by Trey Ratcliff:

My friend RJ shot this one:

We shot an epic destination wedding in Hawaii in September:

Rumor has it that Audrey may have been conceived on that trip:

We took a trip to NYC in October for Photo Plus. I also made a certain purchase in the Diamond District:

 We got engaged on Thanksgiving Eve at the Missouri Botanical Gardens:

Spent New Year's Eve with friends at the Caramel Room:

2015

On New Years Day, we made the announcement that we were expecting: 

Another trip to SWPP in London, followed by a few days in Barcelona:

Ashley's grandmother passed away while we were on the trip. Her last name was Taylor and that's how we got Audrey's middle name.

In February, Ashley turned 30. If you are doing the math, yes, there was a time when I was in my forties, dating a woman in her twenties! #highfive

We moved to University City in March to make room for our new addition:

In April, we shot a destination wedding in Jamaica and turned it into a Baby-moon:

It was on that trip where I really started noticing that I was gaining a lot of the weight back (sympathy weight), and on that trip, I read "Eat Bacon, Don't Jog" which was an absolute game-changer:

As soon as we returned... I realized that I had gained back half of the 70 pounds I lost in 2011. Back up to 250 pounds (from my low of 215 in December 2011)

I rededicated myself to getting back in shape if for no other reason than I was about to become a dad and my health suddenly became a top priority. 

I became a first-time dad at 41, by contrast... I was 20 when my dad turned 41.

In mid-May, I switched from a low carb diet to a ketogenic diet.


This was taken 2 days before Ashley delivered:

May 27th is a day I will never forget as long as I live. Welcome to the world Audrey Taylor:

4th of July portrait:

Had a wedding in NYC in August and we brought along our new friend:

By my 42nd birthday in October, I had lost the 35 pounds that I had gained back and then some. Down 80 pounds total and down 45 since April. Keto works!:

In November I dropped under 200 pounds for the first time since high school (down 85 pounds):

In the Fall... I had so many of my photo friends asking for help with weight loss that I started a little side hustling helping coach people on how to adopt a low carb lifestyle. John lost 45 pounds in 100 days:

Fall family photos:

We spent Audrey's first Christmas in California with my family:

Our first Christmas card as a family:

5 years into a low carb lifestyle I was down 88 pounds:

 

2016

2016 started off with a New Years Day photoshoot with the only and only Chard Photo:

A few days later I kicked off the first Lazy Man's Challenge:

Back in Vegas in March for my 20th year in a row at WPPI (I haven't been back since):

A few days later, Ashley and I got married on a dry lakebed outside of Vegas in front of 45 of our favorite people on the planet:

This is my all-time favorite image that I've ever shot with an iPhone (or pretty much any other camera for that matter):

Audrey's first birthday:

She loved daddy-daughter dates at the Magic House:

Her first Cardinal's game:

 A backyard portrait by my friend Dale:

Another trip to Black Rock City:

Feeling strong on Martha's Vineyard in September:

On the left... July of 2006, on the right, September 2016. 10 years and one month apart:

Another photo session with Chard Photo:

Christmas 2016:

 

2017

After helping a couple of hundred people lose a few thousand pounds, I decided to become a Certified Primal Health Coach in January:

The Lazy Man's Challenge became Ketology.co because even though I believe it is 100% possible to lose weight whether you work out or not... I don't want to encourage anyone to be lazy. 

Even though I am focused on weight loss coaching... I still love photography and shoot for some fabulous clients:

In May, I finally hit the 100 pounds lost milestone. It took me 6 years of experimenting to get there, but if I knew then, what I know now, I am confident I could have done it in the first year. I now have a program designed specifically for people who need to lose 100 pounds or more. 

Audrey turned 2:

We got a very nice surprise on Father's Day:

My sister's family came out for a visit in July:

We found out baby #2 was going to be a girl in August:

This is 44:

Audrey's first trip to Disneyland:

In California to celebrate Joe Photo's 50th (photo by Joe):

Fake snow at The Grove:

More Chard Portraits to wrap up the year. We used these images to announce we were expecting again:

2018

In January, Audrey started school at Oakhaven Montessori School. She loves it and so do we!

I know I am biased, but I think Ashley is the most beautiful pregnant woman ever:

Now that I've lost a bunch of weight (mostly without exercise), I finally got interested in building some muscle:

Aria Scott entered the world on the last day of February:

Audrey loves being a big sister:

Snow Day:

First official family of 4 portrait session:

Audrey turns 3:

Father's Day. This could be my favorite photo of myself ever:

4th of July portrait:

Summer session:

Brooklyn Bridge:

Cooperstown trip... Cade trots around the bases after a long bomb!:

Baseball Hall of Fame with my dad (check that off the bucket list):

The whole fam:

 

I was in the South of France for a wedding in October and it was the most epic wedding I have ever been a part of. I was the 4th shooter for my buddy Aaron, and I wish I could share some of the images but those dang non-disclosure agreements are for real! Here's me shooting the wedding in the tux I got married in:

Halloween:

Honored to have been a part of Joe Photo's wedding to Denise:

I killed it during my speech!:

Disneyworld trip in December:

At the Christmas program for Audrey's school:

2019

Started the year shoveling snow for the first time ever:

Aria's first birthday. She doesn't like carbs apparently:

Ashley and I finally launched our combined website TheBeckers.co and FWIW, she's the boss and handles everything!:

Since she runs our photo business... it frees me up to concentrate on helping people achieve lasting, lifechanging weight loss at Ketology.co:

The highlight of 2019 was purchasing a home and moving to O'Fallon. We love our home, our neighbors and how close it is to Audrey's school:

In May we went to Nashville for a StoryBrand workshop and got to meet one of my hero's Don Miller:

Audrey turns 4:

Real life:

 Audrey's first dance recital:

Audrey with my mother-in-law Debi:

4th of July fun:

Summer session:

We actually got to attend a wedding at guests this summer:

Audrey is absolutely thriving at school:

After skipping Burning Man in 2018, it was good to be back:

Oh and just to update you on my niece and nephew... here they are at the OC Fair in the summer of 2010:

Now Caden is 14, a freshman in high school, a stud baseball player, and he has cool hair!:

Addison is 11, in 5th grade, makes her own short films on her iPad Pro, and loves singing and acting. She recently played Belle in her school's production of Beauty and the Beast:

Birthday steak:

After lunch, I got a much-needed haircut then Ashley shot my official 46th birthday portrait:

My girls on my birthday:

Do you want to build a snowman?:

Fall Photos:

Christmas cuteness:

Audrey loves Santa. Aria... not so much!

So there you have it!

The past decade has been very, very good to me! 

I can't believe how lucky I am, but I assure you... I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life... especially those named Ashley, Audrey, and Aria!


My #2020vision:

A quick word about the coming decade.

New Year's is a time for a fresh start... and when it's a new decade... all the more reason to be excited!

My top priority is to continue and grow and evolve into the best husband and dad I can possibly be.

My girls are my world!

It's so fun watching them grow up and turn into actual human beings... each with their own distinct personalities. 

And Ashley... what can I say? I hit the jackpot marrying someone so talented, kind, thoughtful, funny, sexy, and smart. She is my best friend, my wife-for life, and my soulmate. 

Another priority for the coming decade it to continue on my own personal health and fitness journey.

Now that I've lost all this weight... I am interested in actually getting ripped! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

When I started my I never thought it would be possible to get into really good shape, but now that I know that it is possible... I am really going to go for it!

I am building habits so that every day... I do something to make myself stronger, leaner, and more flexible.

I have also been adopting other healthy habits like prioritizing my sleep, managing stress better, getting adequate sunlight, and removing as many toxins from my environment as humanly possible.

Finally... I am on a mission!

My goal for 2020 is to help 500 people lose at least 50 pounds!

In the last 4 years, I have only coached about 300 people, so it is a lofty goal... but I am going to go for it anyway!

The clients who have signed up for my weight loss coaching have been experiencing life-changing results, and I am always tweaking and refining my programs to help them get the best possible results in the shorted amount of time.

I have a new program called kicking off on 1/1/20. You can get on the waiting list here.

If you made it this far... thanks for hangin' and I wish you all the best in 2020 and beyond!

GO FROM FAT TO FIT IN 2020

When you are ready to make your health and fitness a priority...

I can help!

VISIT KETOLOGY.CO
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