All images taken by Todd and edited by Kate at The Image Salon.
How did photography find you?
It was my mother who got me interested in photography when I was 17. She had this little makeshift darkroom in the basement. By day it was an ordinary laundry room, but by night, it turned into an “enchanted laboratory”! I was totally hooked and blown away that you can make photographs in your laundry room in the basement. After high school I went to the Maryland Institute College of Art where I earned my BFA in photography.
How do you use The Image Salon?
I use the Image Salon at the Basic+ level *shout out to my editor Kate*! I used to have a personal editor for several years, but when she moved on to focus more on her own business last fall, I needed someone to fill her shoes. The Image Salon has been a wonderful fit. See what I did there?
How do you stay inspired?
Staying inspired can be challenging for sure. I try to combat stagnation with going to photography conferences like Fearless and Mystic Seminars. Immersing yourself in hearing what all the different speakers have to say can be a real eye opener. I usually work a few extra days in for sightseeing which can also be inspirational as well. Not to mention meeting new and wonderful people too! It’s good for the soul.
Describe your photography style in 3 words:
Quirky, clean, and fun.
Where do your weddings typically take place?
Most of my weddings take place here in NJ, and some in either NY or PA as well. I usually do 1 destination wedding a year too.
How do you spend your day away from the camera?
If I’m not using my camera directly or working on my business, I’ll most likely be hanging with my kids, Zoe and Emerson, along with my main squeeze Danette. Other than that, I’m usually either playing Words With Friends or Hearthstone on my iPad, or mountain biking.
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer?
My favorite thing about being a photographer is doing all that accounting stuff, numbers are awesome! But seriously, I enjoy the creative freedom it affords me. The fact that I earn my living from photographing happy events is pretty cool. I also enjoy making my own schedule more or less and working from home in my pajamas. But while I’m actually shooting, I really enjoy when I’m able to document true, genuine, and emotional moments, that’s a real buzz!
What’s in your bag?
Mostly Gatorade! But I have a few other things too. 2 Canon MarkIII’s, my workhorse the 70-200mm, and my other most used lens the 16-35mm. Yeah, I’m a zoom guy! I also have a 24-105mm, 15mm fisheye, 24mm, and an 85mm.
What was the last piece of equipment you bought?
At this point in my photography career, I think I’m over that “gear” curve, so I don’t buy gear unless I really need to. That being said, the last thing I bought were some Canon 600 flashes.
What is the last tip or trick you picked up?
The last tip I picked up was from a client at the end of the reception! One of my favorite “tricks” is the take the groom’s jacket off and use his body and white shirt as a reflector to bounce light back onto the bride’s face when they are in close.
What has photography taught you?
Photography has taught me patience. Often times to get great images you either must wait and be stubborn, not giving up on a shot too early, or be patient in the sense of thinking things and situations through, and not rushing. It has also taught me to not be so critical of pictures of myself, because in the end they aren’t for me, they are for my loved ones, and those people don’t see the imperfections, they just see me. I still struggle with this, but I firmly believe it.
What is your favorite marketing tool?
I’m not very good at marketing to be honest. I mainly focus on creating good and authentic work and then showing that work on my blog or on Facebook.
If you could work with one person who would it be?
If I could only work with one person it would be my significant other, Danette. We work really well together and know how each other is feeling at any given moment and can help steer the other person a better direction if need be. Plus she pinches my butt throughout the wedding day!
Who are your favorite photographers?
Ben Chrisman was the first photographer that stopped me in my tracks back in 2007. He ignited a spark within me, and demonstrated that wedding photography didn’t have to be boring. I also enjoy the Mann’s work, and Andrea Corsi.
If you weren’t a photographer, what other career path would you have chosen?
Probably either a urine farmer, or a cheese sculptor! That or maybe a graphic designer.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were starting out?
I wish someone would have told me to stop doing selective coloring and dutch angles sooner! I wish I knew sooner that being “fancy” and “clever” with no real purpose or meaning and without any emotional content was a dead end. But I suppose it’s all part of the learning process and growing.
What has been your biggest learning curve? What is your greatest challenge as a wedding photographer?
My biggest learning curve was trying to unlearn what I had learned in the first few years of shooting weddings. Trying to have my own “voice” with my work was a challenge in the beginning. Also struggling with having a good work/life balance can be difficult as well.
Do you have any routines or rituals before starting a big day on the job?
I do have some rituals, but it’s probably best I don’t go into those!
What and where would your dream assignment be?
It would be on the set of a Wes Anderson movie, shooting movie stills. If anyone knows Wes and can pass this on to him, that would be great!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Aside from not spitting into the wind or tugging on Superman’s cape, I’d say it was something my father used to say to me as a kid before leaving the house. He’d say, “bring some extra layers because you can always take it off, but you can’t put on what you don’t have”. I suppose this can apply to wedding photography too, bring extra pants in case you split yours on the dance floor!
What are your next career, photography, and/or personal goals?
I need to make time to do more personal work with regards to photography. It’s something I always want to do, but never seem to get started with. Baby steps I guess. Personally, I’d like to find pleasure in the simple things in life, and keep a more positive outlook with less worry.
Thank you, Todd!
Images taken by Todd and edited by Kate at The Image Salon.