The vast majority of my test shoots are with agency models, but once in awhile, a model catches my attention that I just have to work with. Sidney’s Instagram posts and stories sold me on her, not only from her unique and beautiful look, but from her enthusiasm to model and the ideas for shoots she was always posting. The tipping point was her fascination with 90s supermodels – Cindy Crawford, Gisele, Heidi Klum, etc. – and wanting to make images in their styles. Speaking my language!
In late October, Christina (my wife) and I were driving through the worn down mountains and coal towns of southern Pennsylvania, and it hit me that just a few miles back, we’d passed through a perfect metaphor for the year: Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. It was almost foreign from our perspective, a little rough around the edges, and – being only 15 miles wide at the point we drove through – passed by in the blink of an eye.
It’s taken awhile to get past the sting of losing one of my favorite gigs. When VIP Wichita Magazine’s parent company pulled the plug on us, it blindsided me and I spent a few days touring the local watering holes with my editor in a mix of reminiscence and mourning the loss of a publication he built from the ground up.
In January, something happened that I never expected: I got hired on as a staff writer for Fstoppers, a top-tier photography news and education site that I’ve loved for years. A wedding photographer friend (and fellow Fstopper), Levi Keplar, thought I’d be a good addition to the site and suggested I apply. Within hours, I was signing papers. To be a part of such an elite community has been absolutely wild, and I regularly feel like the impostor of the bunch.
It’s no secret that I’m terrible at self-promotion, so I wanted to take a minute to share some of my work as an Fstopper.
Black and white, blurry, grainy images have been on my mind for the past year. The imperfection of it makes it feel like action is happening, and the camera just barely caught it. Perfection is overrated.