The people who inspired me to believe I could.
A big factor in my decision to turn my long running hobby into a professional endeavor was the influence of other folks in the photography field. The following people are incredibly talented but their real influence has been in the way they use media to teach and inspire others like me.
Vincent is an amazing photographer and videographer. Moreover, he’s an amazing teacher. He has a deep knowledge of the technical aspects of photo and video but is able to make it super simple and understandable. His gear page is the first place I go when I have questions about gear. He provides the best layman explanations that I've found yet!
Chase has a tremendous portfolio of work that’s been a great inspiration to me. But more than his photography, his various projects and endeavors have inspired and influenced me. He’s done tons of fun projects such as interviewing other creatives and innovators. He launched CreativeLive which has been a tremendous resource for me (a special thanks to the folks that were part of Photoshop Week 2016! It was amazing to be on set for that production). I would highly encourage you to check out the work Chase has done, the blogs, the teaching, the training, the ideas, and everything else made available to challenge, encourage, and equip you at www.chasejarvis.com and www.creativelive.com.
I met Jared Platt at Creative Live during the Photoshop Week 2016. He’s a talented photographer with some beautiful work. What I most enjoyed about Jared was his teaching about the business of photography. He had some sessions in Photoshop week that masterfully wove together instruction about how to use Lightroom and various tools in the Adobe creative suite to better connect with and serve your clients. I learned a ton from him regarding how to better connect with and serve my clients. I owe a big thanks to Jared for all I learned from him in the few classes I got to take from him. Those classes are available to you too! Just go to creativelive.com and look for Jared Platt.
If there was one person I could point to and say, “I want to be him when I grow up” it would be Corey Rich. He has a few photographs I’ve seen and loved for years. But I only recently discovered Corey. His work, his blogs, his videos, his teaching on creativelive.com have all been hugely influential in shaping my vision for what I aspire to become as a photographer. When I first heard about Corey Rich I found and read an article by Hannah Theim in which she had interviewed Corey. You can read it HERE. His story captivated me so I beganreading his blogs and following his work. He’s a great teacher and has inspired me and shaped my vision for what I aspire to become as a photographer in many regards.
One of the big road blocks for me as a photographer was post production (editing the photo). I took pretty good images straight out of the camera. But they often lacked the impact that I saw in other photographers work. I had tried Photoshop Elements years ago but it seemed completely unwieldy. I assumed it was a professional application only accessible to people who had gone to college for their art and photography degree. Not to mention how expensive it was. It wasn’t until Apple discontinued their Aperture program that I finally decided to try Adobe’s Lightroom. Adobe had switched to a low monthly rate and had developed a TON of tutorials making it easy to learn. But it wasn’t till I came across Aaron Nace and phlearn.com that I really began to understand that Photoshop was something I could learn and didn’t need to be intimidated by. Aaron has a way of making Photoshop simple and fun. He’s a tremendous teacher and lots of fun to learn from. Having the ability to develop my photos with Lightroom and Photoshop has taken my images to a whole new level. I've got far more control and ability to create the images that I have pictured in my head. I owe a huge thanks to Photoshop for making their tools more accessible and to Aaron for making learning those tools fun!
One last photographer that’s had a big influence on me is a friend named Angie Langford. She picked up a camera for the first time just a couple years ago and shortly thereafter began her photography business, shooting lots of maternity and infant portraits. I saw her business begin to flourish.
As a perfectionist I had resisted doing photography professional because I didn’t believe my photos had the same degree of impact as the pros I followed. What I learned from Angie is that you start where you’re at and grow over time. Angie does solid work and it keeps getting better and better. She’s a few years into her photography and has grown a great little business. I’m about 20 years into my photography and realized it’s due time that I start my little business! Thanks Angie for encouraging me to take that first step!