.Wedding. Brandy and Justin @ Prairie Song Museum

Brandy and Justin shared a charming wedding at one of Oklahoma's best kept secret locations, Prairie Song Museum, located west of Dewey, Oklahoma. I had the opportunity to second shoot the event for Andrea Mann Photography.

This was actually the first wedding I have ever shot. I am extremely fortunate that my first wedding was such a beautiful one. The Prairie Song Museum is a meticulous replica of an Old West town. The buildings were constructed with period correct materials, and even expertly filled with goods and decor that emulate that 1800s theme. It is truly outstanding to witness and imagine the 30 years of work and passion that went into the construction. Of course this all provided a fantastic backdrop for Brandy and Justin's special day. 

Congratulations to the bride and groom, and much thanks to Andrea for the opportunity!



Tomorrow at noon my college career will come to a close.

In 2010 I applied to Oklahoma State University; Go Pokes! I did so for several reasons, most of which were related to the fact that many of my best friends were also attending OSU, and the relative closeness of the school to my home town. It has been an amazing 4 years, and I wouldn't change my decision for anything. I think I've received a worthwhile education, and I've had the opportunity to get it along side some great friends, old and new.  There are of course some things I wish I had done differently during my time here, but overall I think I got a lot out of the experience, and going to college certainly helped me discover my passion for what I think I would like to do with my life. 

I started off an engineering major, however my penchant for mathematics isn't high, so that journey wasn't meant to be. During that time I picked up a camera and really fell in love with the photography world. Halfway through my freshman year, I switched my major to marketing. I will make no objections to anyone saying marketing is an easier major. However, choosing this degree gave me the opportunity to explore my new found passion a lot more than an engineering major may have. I also believe my b-school education will be vital to helping me survive as a professional photographer.

I am extremely thankful for all of the opportunities I have been presented with in life, including of course my education. I am truly one of the luckiest people in the world, and I would like to thank the people that gave me those opportunities,  those who pushed, supported, questioned, and sacrificed for me. I can't imagine where I would be without these people and I hope I don't let you down.

Thank you.

John: Broken Film and a Snapped String

A couple weeks ago my friend John mentioned to me he had taken up playing guitar. John's a dapper guy so naturally I asked if he would like me to take some pictures. The next day we met up and tooled around the OSU campus for awhile; John serading passerby while I snapped photos. I started with some film. Unfortunately the only roll I had brought decided to break off inside the camera. Wompwah. When I opened the camera the film got all light-leaked and double exposed, but at least they came out nice and artsy. So I switched to digital. Shortly after, John broke a string on his guitar. Sort of a doomed shoot, but the pictures came out cool nonetheless.

Thanks John!

Briana: Senior 2014

Last Saturday I had the chance to photograph my first senior ever! I've known Briana and her family for several years, and I was honored when she asked me to take her senior portraits. She wanted her pictures taken primarily on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was an absolutely beautiful day with great light during golden hour, and I am very happy with the results -- so much so I ended up photographing 2 more seniors the same weekend. Shout out to my fantastic assistants Tabitha and Sarah!

Thanks for the opportunity, and congratulations to Briana, Bartlesville High School 2014 Graduate!

Here are a few of my favorites:


When photography goes from hobby to profession.

As somebody who has wanted to be a photographer for a number of years I have taken a very slow and deliberate approach in achieving that end. Some would say too slow. I've been taking pictures for over 3 years now, but I haven't really charged or even sought after paying gigs until quite recently. I'm very personally conflicted about this decision. I know I could have at least made some supplementary income taking pictures over these last few years, but there was always a nagging voice in my mind saying I wasn't ready to charge yet.

One of my favorite pastimes is trolling my local Craigslist "Creative" section, and checking out the ads that people post for their burgeoning photography businesses. If you haven't done this then I strongly urge you to do so, It's some of the best entertainment I've come across. Many of these people appear to have picked up their first dslr with a kit lens, taken out an unsuspecting family member for an ill conceived photo shoot, slapped on some "creative" special effects to the resulting images, and posted an ad promoting top quality photos for bargain basement prices. The results are usually (always) unflattering to the point of being frightening. 

I spend my days pondering what becomes of these fauxtographers? Do they actually get jobs for this stuff? Do they ever get better? Most of all I wonder where these people get the gall to post these ads. I have taken plenty of bad pictures. I still don't think I'm a great photographer.  I've probably made some questionable retouching decisions. That's why up until recently I wasn't comfortable charging for my work. That's why I find fauxtographers so unconscionable, not because I actually believe that they're taking away work from real professionals, but because they have such confidence in their abilities that they are will to actually take money for this work. 

If I buy some duct tape, and a pipe wrench, am I a plumber? No. It would be insulting to other plumbers if I advertised top quality plumbing at a cheap price just because I was able to fix my sink at home. Learning the art of plumbing takes experience, knowledge, and lots of practice. For me photography is the same. I won't charge for my work until I can honestly tell myself that it is work worth paying for. Fake it till you make it? Well sure, but you at least have to know how to fake it. Self confidence probably isn't my strongest suit. Sure I may have grown up in the participation trophy generation, but I never really bought into that mentality. For that I give the fauxtogs props, they are a confident bunch. Unfortunately their confidence gives real photographers a bad name.

Note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a beginner photographer, and getting paid often has little to do with the quality of the work you produce. Everyone starts somewhere. I've never seen someone pick up a camera for a day and come away with an outstanding portfolio. That's why it is so hard to draw the line when it comes to Craigslist photographers. I wouldn't fault anyone who advertises a free photo session for the purpose of building their portfolio or getting experience. I do that kind of stuff all of the time (though I don't advertise it). There is a huge chasm between doing free work for experience, and bad work for money. A customer who isn't willing to pay should have implicit knowledge that they might not get a quality product. 

And in the end the pictures you take are equal to the money you make -- or something like that

Any entrepreneur will tell you it is nearly impossible for a new venture to compete solely on price. Low cost, low quality photography is simply not sustainable as a long term business venture. Therefore, the fauxtog will eventually get bored/broke and quit, OR they can raise their prices and raise the quality of their product to compete.

Honestly, I probably should spend more time practicing my own photography rather than railing on others. Plus I get way too much joy out of bad photography for me to ever hope it actually goes away.