Passionately Pursuing Our Craft
"Don't worry, we're professionals," goes the joke which is usually followed by some kind of ironic foreshadowing to a job gone wrong. It seems anyone with a nice camera is a "professional photographer" these days. Yes, Chad and I have been full-time "professional photographers" since 2010, but that's not a phrase we take lightly.
Based on our areas of interest, our passions, and our expertise, we have chosen to specialize our work in engagements & weddings, high school & college seniors, and Real Life Sessions (everyday family life, births and parties). We take joy in making artful photographs of unique details and candid moments that tell true, visual stories of the people we meet. We believe life is beautiful—flaws and all—and should be captured and preserved in its most genuine form. This focus has motivated our growth and talent development as photographers and business owners.
Our clients would not receive beautiful, genuine photographs from us if we weren't dedicated to these three important values: quality gear, practice and people skills.
1. QUALITY GEAR
We are proud to be shooters of Canon 5Diii camera bodies that we pair with top-of-the-line Canon lenses, flashes and accessories. We believe our clients deserve the best images, so we've never been willing to compromise in this area. Top-notch "professional photographers" amass several thousand dollars worth of gear to produce work with the utmost quality. We rented equipment for a couple years until we were able to purchase it and our collection is always growing and changing as upgrades are available.
2. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Quality gear is really just a pile of expensive glass, plastic and metal if you don't know how to use it, though. Upon receiving the compliment, "Wow! That picture looks so good! You have a really nice camera," my favorite response is always, "Thanks! I taught it everything it knows." A really nice camera and a really nice lens certainly help, but unless we know how to use our gear well, adjust our settings, understand and utilize light and position ourselves for the best shot, a "good photo" is merely luck.
We've poured countless hours into learning our craft, improving our skills, grasping the science behind the art, and mastering digital post-processing. It would be nearly impossible for me to add up the time, energy and money we've spent on workshops, conferences, mentoring sessions, and online photography education. You'd probably laugh at the amount of practice shots we have of inanimate objects around our home in every combination and direction of light we could produce. Trust me—true "professional photographers" have a ridiculous amount of test shots that never surface to the public or make it onto any hard drive.
3. PEOPLE SKILLS
Because of our documentary approach to photography, we are required to get close to people—physically and relationally. To produce beautiful photographs of couples, students and families that tell honest visual stories and capture genuine moments, we have to be keen observers of human nature, curious conversationalists and sensitive to social cues. The level of comfort and trust of our clients directly correlates to the level of quality in the images captured of them. The tricky part here is that while displaying a truly interested, trustworthy and fun personality on the outside, we also have to be multi-tasking on the inside. At any given moment when the camera is in my hand and I'm interacting with my clients, I have to be secretly wrangling logistics, thinking creatively, planning ahead, positioning myself for the perfect capture, correctly exposing my camera, and artfully composing each frame before every click of the shutter. "Professional photographers" must have polished people skills.
In our opinion, becoming "professional photographers" has had little to do with business plans or income and almost everything to do with passionately pursuing all three of these important values. We're dedicated to our craft because we truly enjoy learning and developing to serve our clients well and to produce top-notch work.