The Evolution of a Photographer in 15 Steps

It always interests me how an individual’s photographic style changes as they get more familiar with their tools and study the work of others. Photography is something that requires a real dedication of time, money and heart. If you really want to shine and standout, there isn’t a whole lot you can do besides shoot more, read and experiment.

Evolution of Photography
A brief showcase of my evolution in photography

The evolution of a photographer can be reduced to around fifteen steps. From the initial purchase to the clichés to the stunning work that can become their art. What follows is a loose order of how things typically go stylistically for someone who dedicates their time, money and heart to their photography.

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The Seattle Public Library is a Beautiful Building

One of the things that stuck out during our trip to Seattle was the architecture. When I think of cities that have really awesome or unique architecture, in America, I think of places like Chicago, New York City, Washington DC and Charleston North Carolina.

I never think of Seattle and architecture in the same sentence. Well, at least, I didn’t.

What’s great about visiting a city where you have a friend is getting the not for tourists guide to a city. Whether it’s hitting up hole-in-the-wall diners or visiting the local library, there are all these little treasures you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see.

In this case, it’s the library. The Seattle Public Library is awesome. At the top you’re catching a glimpse of what it is like to look down from the highest point in the library, down to the ground floor stacks. I think we were 10 stories up when I took that photo. Being that high up got Sam and I both a little anxious. But the views were worth it. Continue reading

Columbia Tribune Ovation

It’s out! The article by Aarik Danielson is on the net and available in this Sunday’s Columbia Tribune.

Buy a copy or check it out online.  I thoroughly enjoyed sitting down with Aarik to discuss my photography, it’s inspiration and the history photography has in my family.  I hope you enjoy the article!  Let me know what you think in the comments 😀


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Columbia Tribune, Coming Soon

Yesterday I got an early look at Aarik Danielsen‘s article on me and my gallery show.  I must say, I was as honored by his words as I was in awe of his ability to describe my photography, something I have trouble with myself.

Sam was kind enough to shoot a photo of me at the gallery for the column and I actually like it which is pretty incredible.  Nothing against Sam but as I see it, the best way to ruin a photo is to put me in it!

I have a new respect for both Sam and anyone else who has to take a portrait of someone.  What a job!  My friend Breezy makes it seem so easy.

Perhaps it’s her confidence behind the camera.  Where I dance around the proposition of taking some random person’s photo, Breezy seems to just walk up and make it happen.

As soon as the article comes out, I’ll be sure to put an excerpt with a link to the full article.  Aarik’s writing style and ability to tell a story is incredible.  I can’t wait to see the finished product, as well as follow all the future stories he writes.

Oh and don’t forget, the gallery show continues on until May 15 so check it out while you can!

Perlow-Stevens Gallery
812 East Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201

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The Final Critique

I’ve never enjoyed a course subject as much as those in the photography portion of my degree. I’ve made so many amazing friends through the course, learned so much about photography, improved my skills in ways I cannot even measure and built relationships that I expect to last a life time.

Leah (@tigersluvpepper), Katie, Justin Rodier, the Maggies, Sarah, Kelly, Maggie, Allison, Nick, Paul… These are just a few of the incredible photographers, friends and course mates I’ve enjoyed in this series of classes.

Of course, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for our Professor, Joe Johnson. His elephantine knowledge about photography, philosophic look on life and love for the subject he teaches becomes more and more evident semester after semester.

Rarely do you find a professor who shows as much interests in his students as he does in his own work.

The close of this semester saw the graduation of several of my peers in the class. Some I’ve enjoyed the company of for years, others just a single semester. After our final critique a handful of us headed to Uprise Bakery/Ragtag Cinema Cafe for drinks, conversation and a chance to make our final goodbyes.

It was a brilliant feeling meeting up outside of class. We told stories previously untold, shared our plans for the future and enjoyed what would be the last few hours together for some of us.

While I will miss many of my classmates who have moved on to bigger and better things, I’m just as excited to join up with the rest of the class in January when we start back up.

Thanks for making this such a memorable semester.

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Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Wow, he’s everyone I want to be.  Smart, funny, talented, adorable, successful and a photographer doing what he loves and inspiring the pros around him.

Did I mention he’s like 19 years old?  Did I mention he’s the guy that shot the infamous and oft impersonated Twilight poster?

Sessions With Joey L – Tutorial Preview from Joey L on Vimeo.

Joey has a couple of DVDs out with his tips, tricks and techniques and as with most photography tools, these videos are incredibly expensive.  And yet, I’m tempted to scrounge around for the money to buy them.  The two DVDs together will cost around $500!  That’s pretty incredible.

Imagine an Annie Leibovitz that’s guy, that’s 19 years old but nearly every bit as important and successful in his field of photography.  His is the style I’ve wanted to do since I got into art photography.  Real winners are rare between while the market is flooded with fluff photographers not work the equipment they are carrying.

I hope to someday do the work of Joey, to be as successful, humble and passionate.  I also hope that my current trip into architectural fine art photography isn’t a mistake.  That my critique of educational institution isn’t a handicap for my art’s success.

Click photo to visit my photography site

Click photo to visit my photography site

I hope my love for the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf style of photography such as the works of Candida Höfer and Andreas Gursky can actively be incorporated with my adoration of Joey’s and Annie’s works.

This post started as a small plea for things to come together for me to arrive at having a set of Joey’s DVDs and wouldn’t you know it, now I’m questioning my recent vein of photography for the bigger picture.

On the internet and in business I market myself as a social media/marketing/PR guy.  It’s what I do to pay the bills while simultaneously teaching photography both at the University and in my spare time at coffee shops, photo studios and over the Internet.  But perhaps I’m not so off base.  Joey does something similar.  Perhaps I should look towards him as my inspiration in both my business and creative energies.

Would love your thoughts on all this, any of this.  This blog is as much a teaching engine for me, as a vent for the good and bad and a tool for me to learn from my readers and contributors.  Thanks for all you do for me.

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Jonas Brothers

That oughta increase my hits haha.

I’ve only heard one of their songs, Burnin’ Up and I really have no opinion on their music or care if they write their songs/instrumentals.  All I care about are their awesome album photos.

That last one reminds me a lot of Gregory Crewdson.

That’s really it.  I love the photography and art behind their album covers.  Hope their music is as good but I doubt it.

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