killer, bam You have something new in your
bag of tricks and your style just got pushed
BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO
In my first year of shooting, I started every
shoot with a lie. I’d show up on set with my
“professional photographer” mask while I
left my sarcastic, introverted, pun-making
personality at home. I had myself convinced
that I needed to act a certain way if I wanted
to be seen as a professional by my clients.
The result was that during my first few years, I
never felt creative because I was too worried
about being professional.
Yes, be a trustworthy businessperson, but
also be yourself. What’s important is to make
sure that the expectation of who you are is
set well before you meet a client for the first
time. So, if you make puns all the time, make
puns on your website. That way the clients
who appreciate who you are and how you
act will be drawn toward you while others
who might not be into who you are will be
encouraged to look elsewhere. You still
need to be a respectful, kind human being,
but being who you want to be allows you to
create how you want to create.
PUT YOUR HEART INTO
Our most meaningful work is the stuff we
put our hearts into—it’s the work that comes
from a place of personal vulnerability or
inspiration. Consider yourself lucky that
you’re a human. You have emotions. Feel
them. Understand them. Use them. Put
what you’re feeling into your images.
Conceptually, symbolically, spiritually—who
cares? If you want to create powerful work,
it needs to come from a powerful place.
STRIVE FOR ORIGINALITY
If 50 people are running in one direction
and one person is running the other way,
who do you think will stand out? Lately it
seems like I’ve been inspired by weirder
and weirder things. I’m assuming it’s a
byproduct of seeing countless images every
day and realizing that it’s only the strange
ones that stand out—the ones that run the
The reason that originality is a rare thing
is because it’s not the easy thing. It usually
doesn’t come naturally. Originality requires
thought. Think about what you’re creating.
Don’t stop at your first idea—that’s the easy
one. Push further until you find something
that runs the other way.
inspiration & creativity
i couldn’t believe the amount of relief i felt during one of my couples sessions
when the bride-to-be dropped an f-bomb. weird, i know. i was young and still
stuck on being overly proper in front of my clients. i make jokes that you might
not tell your grandparents and i love people who find humor in silly things.
sharing our true personalities allowed me to capture photos that felt closer.
lyrics are the artistic medium i find myself the most inspired by. i love discovering
little hidden meanings behind the words. it feels so rewarding to learn why a
certain word was chosen over another, or how a specific line (that might not
make sense to me at first) becomes one of the most powerful lines of the song
once i finally understand it. realizing that was a turning point for me in terms
of what my creative process looks like.
i want to give meaning and symbolism the priority so i can create images that
mean something to me. sure, the rope in this frame is pretty and adds a great
texture, but there’s a reason that there’s a rope and a 5-foot braid in here—the
inspiration i find in other artists is woven together into what i create (among
other things—but i’ll let you analyze the rest). this is the type of meaning, the
hidden one, that i love finding in song lyrics, and that’s why i wanted to inject
more of that into my own work.
The reason that
originality is a rare thing
is because it’s not the
easy thing. It usually
doesn’t come naturally.
thought. Think about
what you’re creating.