The Modern Classic | Defining a Style

It's so hard to believe we're nearing the end of January already.  Unfortunately, I've been sick for most of 2014, which has been a huge downer considering the new year is such an exciting time.  Fortunately, however, it's given me much-needed time to reflect.

I'm about to enter my 5th wedding season.  During the past 5 years, I've changed my logo, my website, my camera, and my business cards.  I've learned a lot about photography, have witnessed so many beautiful moments, and met incredible people.  One thing that has remained the same: my desire to document and share a couple's story.  Some may frown on the word document and think it's a little harsh when referring to weddings, but I disagree.  To document is to preserve.  To document is to create evidence that something existed.  To document is to record a memory.  And that is what I do.  
How I document a couple's story is one of the most important parts about me as a photographer.  It's why a bride and groom should hire one photographer over another.   Basically, this comes down to style: every person has one, it's my job to convey my style to you and your job to make sure it matches yours.  After much thought and consideration, I have finally defined, in words, my style:  The Modern Classic.
Classic is timeless . It will never be considered trendy or dated. I don't apply a one size fits all action, preset or filter to my photos.  Your images will look beautiful and relevant to every generation after you. 
Modern refers to keeping the images fresh with new techniques, angles, and creativeness.  
We've been blessed with modern, classic brides and I'm so thankful my couples can recognize their style in my work.  I will continue to photograph weddings (and all photo sessions) in the modern, classic mindset and am thankful to create art that I love while documenting a couple's love story.


Laura + Nick | Philadelphia, PA Wedding Photographer

I love nothing more than the chance to photograph a beautiful couple in a new location.  So when Laura and Nick said they would like their engagement session in Philadelphia, I jumped at the opportunity.  We started off in Rittenhouse Square, which is an adorable, quaint little neighborhood amidst the big city and ended up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Although Laura and Nick have a slight height difference, they are perfectly matched and so in love :)  I am honored to be photographing their wedding at The Arts Ballroom in downtown Philly this spring.

Laura is absolutely gorgeous.  Can't wait to see her as a bride!


A Little Insight.. | The Photography Business

In the past year, I've been asked by several budding photographers for my insight on a few photography and business related topics.  While I'm NO expert in either field and am still learning every day, I love helping out where I can.  Although I didn't have a mentor in the photography field, I was blessed to work for my Dad's business for 10 years and gained invaluable experience working with customers, bookkeeping, and general business knowledge.

50mm 1.2 shot at 2.0

Recently,  someone asked me for general advice when it comes to this field and business as well as what's in my bag.  As for general advice, well, that's a broad subject and I could literally go on for hours about it.  As for what's in my bag?  That's an easy one.

Since I'm primarily a wedding photographer, my equipment reflects that.

Canon 5D MIII - This is my main camera and, next to Aaron, the love of my life :)  It's focusing system and low light capabilities are crucial for wedding photography.
Canon 5D MII - This is a backup camera in case my primary stops working.
Canon 7D - This is a backup to my backup.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L - I use this lens a lot - it's on my camera 80% of a wedding day and 99% for portrait sessions.  I rarely shoot at 1.2, but knowing I have that much low-light capability is reassuring. 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L  - This is my main lens for getting ready photos and any time I want a wider angle shot.  I also use it during the ceremony processional. 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II - This is a must have for ceremonies because of it's low f-stop, focal length, and IS.  It's an amazing lens.  It's expensive, but crucial.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro - I only use this lens for details on a wedding day: rings, jewelry, flowers, etc.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L - This is a great workhorse lens.  I used it more when I first started, but now only use it for receptions.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L - This was my first professional lens so it has a soft spot in my heart :)  It's great wide lens, but not really my style.  The only time it is brought out is during the reception (usually by my second photographer) or if we need an ultra-wide shot in a church.
Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L - I bought this lens before I could afford the 70-200.  It's an amazingly crisp lens at a great price.  It's only downfall is lack of IS (image stabilization), which can be difficult in low light situations.

2x Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT - This flash is amazing.  Canon is the first company to use a built in radio transmitter, allowing the photographer to control both flashes from his/her camera.  I use these for receptions with one on camera and one off camera on a flash stand.  Also, I occasionally use the off camera flash with an umbrella for details.
Canon 580EX II - This is a great backup flash, but was discontinued when the 600EX-RT came out.
Canon 430EX II - This is a backup for my backup.  If you're still reading this, you might have figured out that weddings require a lot of backup equipment.

- TONS of rechargeable Duracell batteries for flashes.  I shoot with my flash in manual, so I have found that rechargeable batteries work fine, but if you shoot in ETTL you may need something else.  I also have 2 Lumedyne Battery Packs that I occasionally use.
- 3x Canon rechargeable camera batteries
- 252GB of 8GB and 16GB CF cards + one 128GB SD card for backup in my 5D MIII
- flash stand
- 42'' white umbrella
- reflector/diffuser
- Tripod - we only use this for family portraits and night time shots
- lens hoods

As you can see, A LOT goes into shooting weddings.  I'm a little bit of a nerd when it comes to photography, so I love it, but it can definitely be a little overwhelming at first.  I was a little apprehensive to answer the part about general information regarding the photography business since there is SO much to say, but two main thoughts came to mind.  The two most important things I can tell anyone starting out in photography are: learn your camera settings inside and out and become comfortable with them.  This is especially important for weddings.  Also, always use a contract for weddings and portrait sessions.  It's vital to know what your client expects from you and what you're willing to offer.  Everything else (flashes, lenses, reflectors, umbrellas, etc) are simply tools in your toolbox.

35mm 1.4 shot at 2.0


Valentine's Day Mini-Sessions | Hagerstown, MD Photographer

Bring you favorite sweetheart(s) to our Valentine's Day Mini-sessions!  This love-themed session is for children 3 months and older (no families or large groups) and will take place at our studio in downtown Hagerstown, MD.  Our loft-style studio and simple Valentine-themed props are perfect for updating your children's photos or to get the perfect shot for a unique Valentine's Day card!

The mini-session includes 20 minutes, several poses, and 5-10 digital files delivered on a USB flash drive 2 weeks following the session.  The cost is $185 - this is half the price of our regular sessions so it's a great time to update your children's photos at a discounted rate.  If you and a friend sign up, you each receive $30 off a session!

In order to schedule a session, choose the day and time that best suits you and email or click the contact me link on the blog header.  I will confirm that time slot is still available and send you further information for your session.  There is a non-refundable deposit of $50 due to hold your time.  Please see below for available days + times (this will be updated as times are booked):

Saturday, January 18th:
11:30am: BOOKED
1:30pm: BOOKED

Saturday, February 1st:
1:00pm: BOOKED