Have you ever felt that you were destined to do something? That everything you have done in your life has led to this one thing? That's the way I feel about my life as a photographer.
I am the son of a loving Mother, who was born on Valentine's Day, and an amazing Father who was a wedding photographer himself when he was my age. Growing up, we actually had a working darkroom in our basement and my Dad was always taking photos of my Sister and I for the family albums. They were the most loving and supporting parents I could have ever asked for. When I was very young, they saw I had an eye for the arts and always nurtured my creativity. I am truly grateful that they encouraged that talent and always inspired me to create. When other kids were being pushed to Science or Math they bought me art supplies to help me channel my creativity.
When I was 14 my Dad and I went on a trip out west with the Boy Scouts to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Arches National Parks. He gave me 30 rolls of B&W film and his old Minolta camera. He taught me everything he knew about photography and my creativity went wild. Being a bit of an introvert at that age, I was able to express how I saw the world in my own way for the first time. The next year, in high school, I took my first photography class and was developing and printing these images of mind blowing landscapes. My passion for photography was born. I was able to dodge, burn, and print these images by hand. That moment of seeing my prints develop and come to life for the first time, changed my life forever in ways I never could have imagined.
2003 - 2006
2006 - 2009
2007 - PRESENT
MY COLLEGE YEARS
When it was time to choose a major for college, I really couldn't think of anything I wanted to do more than take pictures. I enrolled at UMBC for a double major in Photography and Graphic Design with a minor in Art History. There I was, introduced to a whole new world of digital photography and became very proficient at Photoshop. Many lessons from college I still use today when it comes to color theory and leading lines.
I spent 4 summers living in Ocean City, MD as a beach photographer. My job was to walk on the beach all day and take pictures of families for free. I would photograph 30-40 families every day, all summer long.
This was the most intense photography boot camp you could ever think of. If your photos sucked, nobody would buy them. If nobody bought your images, they wouldn't put you on the beach. It was do or die. I owe so much to this experience. This job brought me out of my shell and taught me how to work with people. I fell in love with portrait photography because of this experience.
HIGH IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHY
My life would be forever changed the day Larry Sherer called and asked me to work for him. Larry owns a commercial photography studio in Baltimore called High Impact Photography, and he was looking for someone to help him with image retouching.
At first I was just working in Photoshop on his images, but soon he had me assisting him on larger shoots, and eventually taking on shoots by myself. He showed me the potential of what could be done with a camera and set of lights, and we worked for some big companies like Black&Decker, Dap, and Cover Girl. It was so exciting to see images I helped create on billboards, in magazines, or at the mall.
What was even more important was the encouragement he gave me to be more creative and the confidence to call myself a professional photographer. Working at High Impact taught me so much and I will forever be grateful to Larry.
STARTING MY BUSINESS
In 2007 a friend from college asked me to photograph his marriage. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I quickly started to absorb as many books and podcasts on weddings as possible.
There was still one problem, I didn't have any camera gear of my own. I was fortunate enough to have loving and supportive parents who really believed in me. They were able to give me a small loan, and I purchased my first camera and two lenses. After shooting this celebration, I knew weddings were the career path I wanted. I jumped in with both feet and booked 15 weddings that year and haven't looked back since.