as the flashes blinded us in the photo booth

If you’ve been to a wedding post-2009, then it is safe to say that you’ve been to a wedding with a photo booth. Not to say that this is something that had never been done before then, but I will say that the likelihood of there being a photo booth at any given wedding these days has increased significantly. 

Last month, I had the pleasure of being the photo booth photographer at my friends Mike and Delaine’s wedding and it was a mind-blowing experience. 

This was not your typical photo booth with silly props or with the automated digital, instant gratification feel. This was Delaine’s vision; inspired by Mark Seliger’s Oscar x Vanity Fair portraits. Below is an image that I took of Delaine and her sisters.

Breathtaking, right? Now I can not take full credit for this, as it was Delaine’s vision and I only directed the guests and took their photos. The editing and retouching was all her handy work. Want to see more images from that night? You can view them here.

In case you were wondering, Delaine is an incredible photographer. Her work encompasses this vintage, film quality that is also often moody, but still light. Not only was I so honored to have her trust me (as one photographer to another) to photograph her special day, but being a part of this really pushed me to get the guests to open up and step into the vision that she had for this. Previously, in other sessions, I have struggled with directing some of my subjects (and whether or not asking for too many adjustments is too much). Because of that, I often end up with more candid results, but this was a rewarding challenge to see that if pushed I could get that original idea to come through. 

Slightly unrelated, this also really made me realize that I need to finally buy myself a prime lens.

Best of 2018

I’ve never done this type of post before, but all I’ve been hearing lately is that “old ways won’t open new doors”, so here we go! Below are my photography highlights from this past year. 

Photographing 100+ Buttonians

In my previous post, I mentioned that I would be kicking off a big photo project at the company I currently work for. Since I onboarded in May, I have taken over 100 headshots to showcase the amazing team I get to be a part of. You can view the photos by clicking the link above. 

(More) Family Portraits & Engagements

While some of these faces aren’t necessarily new, this year I continued to photograph families (for birthday parties or holiday cards) and engagements! 

Better Headshots

Studio headshots have been the bane of my existence since I took my first studio lighting class in undergrad at PCNW, which was 10+ years ago. Since then, I have always preferred natural light due to my fear of not being able to consistently control studio light. Over the past year I’ve mastered the art of bouncing a flash and have gotten waaaaay better at balancing color temperature and removing color casts, if need be. These headshots are the first that I’ve taken that I’ve been really proud of. 

Photo walks in Italy and France

Before these experiences, when I traveled abroad I’d always return home without any real photos outside of the ones I’d taken on my phone. I’ve never felt great about my street photography and these two photo walks have definitely improved my technical skills and confidence in shooting while out and about. 

While 4 highlights from a full year may seem like a short list, this is the first year that I’ve ever been able to see growth both technically and creatively. 

Looking forward to what 2019 has in store! 

What is an Employer Brand?

This past May, I started a new job. If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned where I work full-time before this post, it is mostly because my full-time work isn't and hasn't been connected to my photo work. 

Though that isn't exactly true.  

I've been doing employer branding work for the past three companies that I've worked for. Not sure what employer branding is? Below is my definition:

Employer branding is more than marketing your company culture to potential candidates and passive job seekers, it is creative storytelling that focuses on what makes working at your company unique. Whether that be the physical office space, the women in leadership, the work-life balance policies, the vibrant personalities of your employees, or all of the above – the main goal of employer branding is to establish a clear and cohesive visual story that spotlights what it is like to be an employee at your company.

At my previous company, I helped re-design the website and created some photo content to start to tell the story of what it was like to work there. You can view some of that work here. I also did similar work when I was at Etsy that you can view here.

Very, very soon I will be kicking off a big project and will have more photos to share. 

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