My Favorite Creative Resources

Hey guys! I'm back with another post, and today, we're talking about inspiration and education

I threw together a list of the resources that I actually use on a daily basis for stay motivated and keep the hustle alive. This list covers my favorite books, YouTube channels, websites and blogs - long enough to provide substance, and short enough to be actionable.

Books

More Brides - www.shotkit.com (eBook) 

Originals - Adam Grant 

Things Are What You Make Of Them - Adam Kurtz

Speaking of Originals... here it is!

Speaking of Originals... here it is!

 

Websites/Blogs

www.shotkit.com - my #1 recommended site for photo business resources. There is so much to use here, it's amazing!!

www.thephoblographer.com

 

YouTube 

Mango Street

Peter McKinnon

Sean Tucker

Casey Neistat (general inspiration)

Drop a comment below if you have any questions or new recommendations!

First Time as a Second Shooter

This past weekend was my first time working as a second shooter. I worked alongside my friend and mentor Mark Spooner, an award-winning wedding photographer based out of Beverly, MA. I've worked with him for a couple of years on editorial shoots, but I finally got to accompany him during a full wedding in Lenox, MA. The experience was incredible and I wanted to share some thoughts and lessons learned from my first time second shooting!

1. Say Yes

It goes without saying that weddings are stressful events to shoot. Countless moving parts, delicate wardrobe, a crowd of friends and family, and an ever-changing schedule - all on the biggest day of two people's lives - can leave a photographer feeling anxious! As a second shooter, it is imperative to look for moments to alleviate stress from your photographer. Change a lens, carry a bag, move a step ladder, hold a purse, find a water bottle - whatever it is, say yes. And, when you can, try to anticipate changes and offer help without being asked.

2. Have Fun

It surprised me just how fun it was to work as a second shooter. Sure, some parts of the day are stressful, but when all is said and done, I found a lot of freedom to be creative with the photos I was taking. I had the time to lock shots and do long exposures, spray some atmosphere aerosol here and there, wander around the property to take establishing shots, and even pull out a prism for a couple photos. It was the most fun I've had as a wedding photographer and I'm really grateful for that.

Stonover Farm / Lenox, MA

Stonover Farm / Lenox, MA

3. Ask Questions

It's a pretty cool opportunity to work with a professional in a career that you love - make the most of it! You get anywhere from 6-10 hours observing someone who does this for a living, and that's really cool. In all fairness, being friends with Mark gave me a unique comfort in talking shop with him, but the principle still applies even if you don't know your photographer that well. Step out, be bold, and ask questions! We're all in this together and it's important to keep learning as photographers. Don't grow stagnant. 

4. Be Thankful

This one might sound obvious, but take the time to thank the photographer who brought you. You're getting valuable experience and (hopefully) great photos to add to your portfolio! That's a pretty cool thing, and an opportunity you otherwise wouldn't have had. So, Mark, if you're reading this - thanks a ton dude, I'm so grateful I got to be here. This was one for the books. 

Any questions? Feel free to comment below - I'd love to talk!

Rebecca & Josh

In May of 2016, Josh and I embarked on a three month stint living in summer housing together. This was a program run through our college, and it was one of the best living situations I've had, save the lack of air conditioning and generally long, hot days. One afternoon, I sauntered back into our room to find Josh at his computer, working on preliminary wedding planning. We talked for a few minutes before he asked me if I would photograph their wedding.

Me?

An aspiring photographer with literally no wedding experience whatsoever?

Does he know what he's saying?

"Yes!" I declared, albeit with a hint of waver in my voice.

While I was nervous at first, I was determined to do a fitting job, one that captured the love that these two share. As a close friend, I had unique access to them, as there was already a strong base of trust between us. That trust enabled us to work well together and it permitted me to have a lot of creative freedom. It also allowed me to feel free to cry during the ceremony, which I not-so-subtly hid with my camera pulled up to my face. That's why I brought it in the first place, tbh.

Josh, Rebecca - it was an honor to document your wedding day. Thank you for trusting me with it.

 
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Matthew & Erin

I was sitting in Citi Field beside my girlfriend, father, and grandfather when my phone buzzed. My friend Andrew had messaged me, asking if I could photograph his twin brother's upcoming engagement. I promptly responded with an enthusiastic y-e-s! and got down to planning. This particular engagement was a surprise, so I had to be sneaky when the time came.

In the next five days, I'd spend a total of 21 hours traveling home, down to PA for a wedding, back home, and then over to MA in time for the engagement. It was exhausting, to say the least, but those days were packed with time to reflect on why I'm so grateful to be a photographer.

The day of the engagement arrived and I was all too ready for it. It was a rainy day, but God reduced the deluge to a drizzle for what seemed to be the exact moments we needed better weather. I was tucked away on a bench in sight of the gazebo where Matthew planned to pop the question. My faithful Canon hidden underneath my rain jacket, I waited for the moment his knee touched the ground, and off went the silenced shutter.