On The Water

I am known to have some crazy ideas from time to time. I mean, I have five kids, a dog, cat, four goats, and a flock of chickens. And most of those were my ideas.

It’s no different when I am behind the camera. I will climb, crawl, and do whatever it takes to get the shot when I have an idea in my head. So I need gear that can keep up with me and my off-the-wall plans.

Like when I wanted to take a photo of my daughter floating on our pond. From in the pond.

Say what you will, but I think that having the perfect perspective and the perfect light for this kind of vision makes all the difference. Which is why you can watch me floating right alongside her on my own animal float (watch the video to see which one I chose!) and had my trusty Profoto A1X right there in the action. Small, lightweight, and powerful, this was the only light I needed to get the results I was after.

Let's Talk Light!

Up until a couple of years ago, I called myself an “exclusively natural light” photographer. Which is just a fancy way of saying that I was scared of flash because I didn’t understand how to make it look like natural light rather than, well, flash.

But then one fateful day I was strolling around the vendor expo at a conference during a break from teaching and a friendly representative from Profoto asked if I wanted to try their newest product. I (politely) explained that I didn’t use flash and started to walk away when he asked me why I didn’t use flash. And when I told him it was because I preferred the look of natural light, he insisted I put a remote on top of my camera and try Profoto for myself. And since I had nothing else to do, I obliged.

Ten minutes later, I was the proud owner of two new fancy studio lights.

Now, let’s not pretend that I became a master of light shaping in that single interaction. Because it took me a good long while to figure out how to create light in a way that matched my style and looked the way I wanted it to look. 

BUT, that one interaction did make it so that light wasn’t so scary. Those Profoto products were (and continue to be) intuitive and the light they create is reliable and consistent shot after shot. Those products made it so that I was a little less frightened of taking control of my light and a little more motivated to study the science of light so that I could continue to create it myself.

In the time since then, I have had conversations with so many photographers like me who are scared of flash. Who don’t feel confident enough to take control of their light because photography on it’s own is kind of confusing. Who don’t want to have photos that look fake and flashy.

While I could tell them all day long about how much I love my Profoto products, the fact is that it wasn’t talk that got me to jump on board with creating light all those years ago. It was an encouraging, hands-on experience that made me feel like I could use flash in my unique style.

That’s why I am over-the-moon excited to announce that the amazing people at Profoto have given me the opportunity to create the curriculum that me from three years ago wanted and needed. I have developed a class that gives participants the opportunity to use lights themselves, with their own cameras, and see exciting results right away.

Even better, we are breaking down the variables of light shaping to make it so that no matter what kind of light you want to create, you will have the knowledge and skills to make it. This is a chance to dive head first into light to make the kinds of photographs you want whenever and wherever you want.

I will be traveling all over the United States this year sharing this curriculum and you can find all of the dates and locations over on the Shutter & Glass events page. I can’t wait to see you there and talk all things light, photography, and creativity with you! 

The Best Camera for a Beginner Photographer

As a professional photographer, there is one question I am asked more than any other. And it has nothing to do with my pricing or my availability or how I approach a scene as an artist.

Instead, the question I am asked more than any other is this: “What camera should I buy?”

Now, some photographers might get a little prickly about this question. Because many of us are businesspeople as well as artists. Should we really be educating our potential competition?! 

And we can feel a little offended. Because we know that it isn’t the camera that takes a great photo, it’s the person behind the camera. 

But here’s the thing. I am pretty confident in my artistry and am confident enough to give my gear the credit it’s due. I have curated an amazing line-up of cameras and lenses over the years and they allow me to capture the scenes in front of me just as I want to remember them.

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