what’s in my bag?

And does it matter what’s in there? You bet!

As someone who loves to document events – from weddings to protests to family reunions and everything in between – I’ve learned that yes, “gear” does make a difference in how well you’re able to tell the story of a moment.

I always shoot with two camera bodies, one with a lens that lets me capture a fuller view of the scene (we call these “wide-angle” lenses) and the other with a long (telephoto) lens that creates that dreamy portrait look we all love where the subject “pops” and the background is beautifully out-of-focus.

With the help of a trusty harness, I’ve got each of these cameras ready to go at all times which means I don’t have to waste one precious second fiddling with gear when the action happens.

Here I am at a community event in Midland. Hundreds gathered on the lawn at Lincoln Park Performing Arts School to stand united against the forces of division and hate in our culture. Part of why I photograph these events is to fight the numbing pain of despair. Finding, showing, and amplifying the voices of those who are working to build a better world is where I find hope. [Photo Credit: Shelby’s Photo Factory]

This year, I let go of my beloved Nikon gear to step into the future: mirrorless! That’s why you see the camera away from my eye in the image above. Mirrorless cameras have a screen on the back that allow you to see (and I would argue, to perfect) your exposure and composition before you take the shot. They are smaller, lighter, and a joy to shoot with.

Because I photograph all kinds of events – indoor and outdoor, including some where flash isn’t permitted or appropriate – I need lenses that help me “see in the dark.” That’s why I love primes! I use a 20mm, 35mm, 85mm, and 135mm. Prime lenses are legendary for their sharpness and image quality, and help you think more creatively as an artist.

So, now that you know what’s in my bag and why, let’s talk about making some photo magic! Start here to see packages + prices, or if you’re ready, book me!

a good photograph is. . .

“. . .one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it.”

– Irving Penn
A Unity Vigil was held at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA in June to memorialize the lives lost to police violence and call for meaningful change to end systemic racism. After an eight minutes and forty-six seconds of silence, “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke echoed through the stadium. This gentleman raised his fist as he sang along.

Photography, for me, is a way to reveal the truth of our lives and relationships. What do we love? What do we fear? What brings us joy? What have we overcome? What do we aspire to? What do we value? What moves us to act?

Every time I pick up my camera, I’m searching for these answers. I’m looking to find the real you and the markers – the people and places and experiences – that you’ll look back on and remember a life well-lived.

So that’s what this is all about for me. In future posts, we’ll talk photo gear and lighting, packages and options, everything you’d want to know to trust that I will deliver the beautiful, emotion-filled images you will treasure for years to come. But today, we’ll start with the “why.”