Shooting Gallery 2009 Slideshow in “Feedback” blog post!: January 26th, 2010
During our first year as professional photographers, Lyndsay and I have had some of the greatest opportunities imaginable! We’ve not only had the chance to meet, but sit down and have a beer with industry leading pro’s like [b]ecker and Gene Higa! It may not mean a lot to some of you, but as a newly turned professional wedding photographer, hearing Higa drop the f-bomb as he welcomes you into his home, you get excited! That same night we had the pleasure of meeting Becker, who has schooled more photographers in the past couple of years, than quite possibly every photography instructor combined! Becker’s ground breaking ideas about sharing information through [b]school and networking taught Lyndsay and I some invaluable lessons about how the new ways of business work and are a major reason why our photography business has thrived in such a short time.
During my first few years as an avid photographer I came across a few photog’s that continue to inspire me and to this day still blow my mind. Although I don’t consider our photography to be anywhere near their level, Sarah Rhoads, Jeff Newsom and The Kaisers from The Image is Found each continue to make us strive to better ourselves with our craft. From the most soulful and fulfilled photographer like Sarah Rhoads to the mind-blowing—and as Nate Kaiser might put it—the eyehole melting photos of Jeff Newsom and The Image Is Found, we grab inspiration from all over. On a side note (I know I probably sound a bit giddy here), during a party at last year’s WPPI convention in Vegas I found my way into a side room where the big-kids were hanging out and I got the chance to speak with Jeff Newsom…the dude seriously blows my mind! Honestly, to spend five minutes seeing the world through Jeff’s eyes, would be a chance to become enlightened!
With all of that said, the single most valuable connection we’ve made in the industry so far is a guy who I jokingly call my “unofficial/official” mentor Scott Shoemake of Scott Andrew Studios. I’ve asked more questions, taken up more time and have been given more opportunities by Scott than I ever would’ve guessed. Scott’s been gracious enough, even when I get to rambling about things, to always give me more information than I’ve asked for and always provides advice on every aspect of our business without asking anything in return. I learned early on with our graphic design business that you always give back more than you’ve been given, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that since Scott continues still, to answer any questions I have. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked now on several occasions to 2nd shoot for Scott and I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from seeing him work firsthand.
Finally…and most importantly, my family. My parent’s and Lyndsay have always been supportive of what I do, but when it came to somewhat giving up my graphic design career and leap head first into photography, I wasn’t quite sure what they’d think. All I can say is that I’ve never felt more confident than I do now with the praise (as biased toward their son/husband’s work as they may be), and support I get from them. They’ve all sacrificed things in some way for me to get to this point, but it looks like the wheels are turning on this train and I don’t intend on looking back! Lyndsay has been a huge support in keeping me grounded (and calm) when I’m scatterbrained and has put certain things in our life on hold while I pursue my passion and she works away on her Masters degree and Teaching. Without my family, there simply wouldn’t be any Shooting Gallery!