This Is Me
Old dirt roads, rolling green fields and small country churches were a vivid part of my childhood growing up on farm in Missouri. As a kid, I fondly remember running barefoot across the yard with the smell of fresh-cut grass filling the summer air. I remember exploring the winding creeks which usually resulted in being covered in mud. I remember the numerous fights I got into with my brothers that we still laugh about today. I also remember the hard work, values, and determination that growing up on a farm instills in you and how those carry over to my business today.
In 2005, I moved to Dallas and brought my passion of photography and humanitarianism with me. While I have had a camera in my hands since I was a kid, it wasn’t until 2010 that I started doing photography professionally. Honestly, the professional side kind of fell into my lap. A friend asked me to capture her wedding, which lead to another wedding, which eventually lead me to quitting my day job and doing wedding photography full time.
It takes some time for a new wedding photographer to develop their style. And that’s just the thing… It should be their style and not just a style. My style is me. There are very popular styles out there right now that are just not me. I like photographs that look like a piece of art. I love art from the Renaissance period and my work is heavily influenced by this. If I was to describe my style, I would say it is creative, bold, and timeless.
I soon learned that wedding photographers and videographers often didn’t, shall we say, play nicely together. I still can’t wrap my head around this since we all have the same goal, but it frustrated me enough to learn wedding film-making and add it to my studio offerings. Now, I have a great team, Frank, Rafael, and Patrick, as a part of my studio. Together, we have captured many weddings and always have a blast doing so!
Teaching & Mentoring
As my success in the industry increased, so did the requests from others to learn from my knowledge. I started off doing classes for photographers who were looking to get into photography or just starting out. I then started getting a lot of requests from photographers to meet up to learn from me one on one. So, I starting offering mentoring sessions. Because of my limited time, I only offer four mentoring sessions a month. I have been published numerous times, for photos and as a contributor, in Shutter Magazine. I am also a repeat instructor at ShutterFest, one of the top photography conferences in the world.
I think a lot of my desire to do good comes from my faith. I believe it is important to love all people and judge no one. I have been to Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, to give back and serve, but Africa is the land that captured my heart as a small kid and still has it today. I’ve been to the African continent twelve times - namely South Africa, Botswana, Swazliand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Liberia, and Kenya. Most of the time, I work with orphanages, schools and churches to do a service project as well as letting kids know they are loved and wanted.
My studio also donates part of its proceeds to Charity: Water - a non-profit organization that provides drinking water to people in developing nations. Today, Charity: Water has funded 38,113 water projects for 9.6 million people around the world. One thing I love about Charity: Water is 100% of every penny donated goes to bring clean water to people in need. Private donors cover their operating costs.