Time off…


Well November is almost here and my long awaited ankle surgery with it. Try as i might once again i way over estimated my ability to get all the jobs edited prior and i am truly sorry. I have put up as many samples and temp sites at enjoyphotos as i can. I tried to take on more Senior and Family Portraits to set up next year. With the new ankle i will have to limit the weddings i do yearly so i will need the jobs, loyalty and support of my past clients and couples more than ever.

Many have asked what is going on with your ankle, wasn’t it your knee?  It was my knee a few years ago, it needs to be replaced but has healed pretty awesomely and is doing fantastic this season.

My ankle is and has been my real issue for sometime. Little history. I was involved in a car accident when i was 17 years old and completely fractured my tibia, fibula and blew the ankle and foot bones apart. I had many other injuries and broken bones and even had some awesome work done to create this beautiful face i have now. A phenomenal doctor reconstructed my ankle to the best of his abilities but couldn’t save the joint and i had it fused in 1989. For many of you this is how we met. I was actually going into the Navy but lost my enlistment after my accident. Without having a career path besides the military at the time i decided to enroll in photography school, so here we are.

Things have been great but i noticed about six years ago the aches stayed a bit long and hurt a bit more after each wedding. As time went by it was apparent something was not right with my ankle. Gradually the pain became constant and excruciating and limiting me in all aspects of my life. There was no data on how long ankle fusion last but it was clear arthritis was becoming the issue and i would be forced to have more fusion in the front of my foot. I can’t tell you how bad foot surgery hurts, hope you never have to go through it. I was honestly considering simply amputating the foot and moving on. I have talk to other fusion patients, doctors and amputees and was ready. I went to a consult with my wife last Fall and met a doctor that gave me some exciting news. I was a candidate for an total ankle replacement. The way my ankle was fused left the door open to having the joint replaced, again my old surgeon was a miracle worker. Apparently ankle replacements have been around for some time but only recently have been working out.

Being a wedding photographer it’s really hard to schedule any free time for yourself let alone a surgery where rehab may be several months to even a year. So even though i needed it last year i put it off to fulfill my 2016 wedding bookings and prepare everyone for the down time. I have tried my best to educate the 2017 couples on what might be my mobility issues. I think you all know, if we say we will be there , WE WILL BE THERE!

Not going to lie, i’m scared. Its going to be a long painful process. Not to gross you out but i have muscles and tendons that have not fired for almost 28 years, going to be PAINFULL! But i want a normal life and want to give it a shot, if it doesn’t work out i can always simply have it removed and move on. I accept it now.

Next week when i walk in to the hospital i should be happy but the only thing i can focus on is letting couples,families and clients down by not making deadlines. I will be off grid a few weeks so if you need to contact me you can reach Laura via Facebook or email at elljay68@gmail.com. But be nice, Laura assists and does the books but she isn’t part of the delivery process.

Well that is the best i can do to explain everything to everyone. Many of you know i have a love hate relationship to social media and sharing personal info and this is by far the most i have spoke about it. I am prepared. I have a knee walker, new crutches, bought a kick as scooter (which made Wes M sale his because he is afraid to race), bought a computer desk to work and edit in bed, and even sold my SEAHAWKS tickets so you know its serious! i am ready.

PS, Sorry for all the bad grammar, typos etc. My wife hates my typing and i know many of you laugh at how use there,their and they’re! oh and remember it’s election time, no matter who wins be nice to eachother, be kind and accept everyone. Hug a soldier or sailor and live laugh and love!

Please hang in there with patience, kindness and understanding,





James and Lyndsie…

Enjoy these absolutely random and quick samples from Saturday’s event at St Francis and Cedarbrook, many more to come later!!!  To see these and the rest when they post visit enjoyphotos.com username JLNeely and pass 3202.

The Rubert family

Man have the years gone by. We caught up with Dan and Amber (wedding class of 2003) at their new home for some updated family photos. Weather was dicey yesterday but we got a few, enjoy these samples!