Well damn... guess that's a wrap for 2015, huh? What a crazy little year I had. Shot a ton of weddings, met a ton of awesome people, and all the other nonsense that happened. Lets recap all of the "other nonsense" and some of the other shit that went down. Then we can look forward to the FUTURE (or next week since that's when 2016 happens).
1) I blew up my old website, built a new one, blew that one up and landed here with this little space (ha, cause I'm on squarespace now). But holy crap my old website sucked! The color scheme was offensive, the pictures didn't really fit any theme and it wasn't even mobile friendly. Frankly, I have no idea what I was thinking with that dump. Yet somehow I managed to book some of my early gigs with it.
2) I met some amazing photographers. Since the inception of the digital age the number of photographers - wedding photographers, boudoir photographers, street photographers, momtogs - has exploded. I've had the good fortune to meet a number of people who have been in the game a while and have taught me some awesome things. They've taught me everything from how to nail those pesky dancing photos (turns out I'm not supposed to dance while taking them), to how to get creative with my shots. Kevin, Angie, Alicia, Erin, Daria, and Anne, y'all are awesome and I'm so thankful to have met everyone of you.
3) My buddy Kevin (kevinshoots.com) moved himself back to LA which sucked. Kevin really gave me a taste for how to shoot professional modeling work and was never afraid to be brutally honest about when my work was subpar. Plus, that dude knows food. Seriously missing his restaurant recommendations around Baltimore.
4) I upgraded ALL THE GEAR. Talk about a huge jump forward for me. The gear I had before was good, it got the job done. It's not the gear that makes a good photograph its the photographer. While I TOTALLY agree with this statement, shiny new toys are a lot of fun. Every piece of gear I upgraded was done specifically with the goal of becoming the best wedding photographer ever (that's a 2016 goal).
5) I started shooting film for fun. A good friend of mine was kind enough to give me a bag of what she described as "junk old camera gear" to add to my ever growing collection of vintage cameras. Little did she know that I had every intent of using this gear and exploring the ancient world of film. Turns out I'm in love with it and have carried my tough little Cannon AE-1 Program with me to every social event and vacation I could. I freaking love that thing.
2016 (aka the year I become the best wedding photographer ever)
1) I'm going to blow up this website! Yeah.... so this website is cool and all but in my pursuit of becoming the best wedding photographer ever (TBWPE) progress must push forward. The end goal is my use of an exciting new platform known as The Grid (www.thegrid.io) which if my calculations are correct should have be beta testing by July. Its a crazy cool platform and I can't wait to go nuts on it.
2) Shoot even more weddings. This one should be a given. In 2016 I'm going to hone in on my perfect clients and capture the shit out of their wedding. I know they are somewhere in either downtown Baltimore or maybe Hampden sipping on a beer I haven't tried yet arguing the finer points of how Dr. Who's time travel works and which restaurant serves the best vegetarian burger. But we all know the answer to that second part is On the Hill Cafe (www.onthehillcafe.com) and they already know that. So seriously y'all. Once you're done drinking your beer I want to be your wedding photographer. Seriously.
3) Learn even more awesome techniques. Wedding photography, just like any creative industry, is in a constant ebb and flow. Especially in this current age of Instagram and the social media explosion things are moving faster than ever. This means constantly staying on the ball with learning the latest techniques and making them my own. Hoping to make it to at least one conference this year. This of course will lend itself directly to becoming TBWPE.
4) Meet even more awesome creative professionals. There's so much that each one of us can teach to each other. There's a shit ton of wedding professionals and other creatives who don't do photography that I really want to meet. Thankfully there are amazing resources for this kind of cross-professional tomfoolery. Hopefully this will lead to new and awesome projects, maybe even a few stylized wedding shoots (there may or may not be one in the works)!
5) Keep shooting film. So digital is a lot of fun, you can do so much with it in so many situations. But, hey, we all need a hobby right? What does a wedding photographer do as a hobby? Take more photos obviously, you should know that. Film is so much fun, you don't know what you're going to get in the end. It's forced me to learn and plan further ahead. Definitely had a positive impact on my professional work.
So that wraps it up. 2015 happened, 2016 is going to happen. I'm going to become TBWPE, my new website will be amazing, my perfect clients are going to give me a call (right about now...) and everything will be rainbows and sunshine. What's your plan for 2016?