Sam: I have 7 pictures of myself as a child. Why? Parents never saw the need to take family photos. This pissed me off. Enough so to purchase an SLR camera, (Canon Rebel) in Spring of 2007 in honor of my first sons birth. After his 1st birthday and having been on the planet 365 days he had his picture taken over 10,000 times. Overkill, no. I love them all.
My venture into photography never started with film. I am a TOTAL digital baby. I couldn’t load film into a camera if you asked me to. I also of a very additive personality. Luckily for the family, photography was a “good” drug to spend money on. After my initial purchases and further research, gear envy to over and I found myself wanting more, better, sharper, pro gear.
As my gear list grew, so did my skill level. I took the advice of a random photography blog that suggested shooting 100 images a day of everything and anything for 100 days. After the 100 day I compiled the best 100 shots and edited them. This exercise made me a better photographer and is advice I give to new photographers who email on a weekly basis.
Sam: My motto is “I make you look good”. A bit arrogant perhaps but goal I reach for every shoot. Some photographer pride themselves in capturing the subjects as-they-are. While thats perfectly fine and very respectable, I make no qualms about the fact that MY goal is to make my brides look like models and my groom like studs, seniors like celebrities and rockstars like well….rockstars.. It’s sort of an alter ego sometimes. Every subject can channel a superhero-ness about themselves they didn’t know existed.
Sam: Whimsical. Creative. Editorial. These are the adjectives I hear most often from clients and contemporaries.
Canon 5Dmk II x2
Canon 5D original, (backup)
Canon 15mm F.28 Fisheye
Canon 16-35L F2.8
Canon 24L F1.4
Canon 35L F1.4
Canon 50L F1.2
Canon 50mm F1.4
Canon 85Lmk II F1.2
Canon 100 Macro F2.8
Canon 70-200L IS F2.8
I own 6-580Ex2 speed-lights. Nothing else.
Each one of these is equipped with a Canon CP-4
Off camera lighting gear:
Radio Popper JrX system
Think Tank Airport Security rolling bag
Think Tang Belt system
~About $400 in reachable AA batteries, (Power EX and Enelope)
~Another $300 in cords and plugs for off camera light from Flash Zebra.com, (WONDERFUL place)
~Monfroto Stands, tripods, heads, monopods.
~Reflectors from Tri-grip
Sam: No camera like the 5DmkII. It’s daddy the 5D original was a game changer and so is this one. The Raw files are delicious, the screen is a thing of beauty. Coupled with a 24L or 85L and you have the makings of magic.
Sam: There are very few photographer prodigies in my opinion. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM.
I’ve gotten to where I am by blood sweat and tears. I study more then most, read more then most
and want it more then most. Putting in your time is a MUST. There is no magic wand to super-photographer
Shoot a lot! Buy good gear. Get through your “over-cooking-in-Photoshop” phase FAST. Once thats out of your system, focus on shooting good compositions and let the extra editing compliment an already good photo.