I've just finished my senior year of high school at Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts and am heading off to Middlebury College in Vermont. My goal is to become a professional photographer, and this is how it all started.
Several years ago, we were on a family vacation in Italy. My dad brought along his ancient Canon Rebel, and he was documenting everything, from people and scenery to the food we ate. On the other hand, I was using my iPhone to take photos. I wanted to see what the difference was, so I picked up his camera, walked into the street, threw the Rebel on auto, and started firing away. I soon considered myself the next Joe McNally, not even knowing who he was. I was hooked.
Later that night I logged onto the B&H website for the first time, and my cart was already full - I had googled "best camera gear" and put in my cart whatever the internet told me. After stock-piling gear, and every possible accessory, my cart amounted to almost $20,000. I then realized that even though I had been saving my paychecks from my two summer jobs, I only had about $2,000 to spend.
Once back home, my research continued. I spent hours watching videos on YouTube and reading reviews, and I focused on trimming my cart. I decided on a Canon 70D, a Sigma 18-250mm, a couple filters, cleaning gear, and a backpack. Soon after the camera arrived, I was glued to it. Everywhere I went, so did the camera. I filled up a 64 GB card in a day and a half of shooting. Slowly, with the help of Kelby One, 70D training guides, and every available resource, I started getting better. I switched to RAW, felt comfortable in full manual, and was experimenting with white balance.
I began to take photography more seriously, contacted our school photographer and began shooting with him. I also upgraded to faster cards, a 50mm 1.4, a 10-22mm, and other accessories, including a battery grip and monopod. I shot hockey, lacrosse, basketball, anything the school had to offer at all different levels. I also photograph my sisters' lacrosse games. I then got in contact with a staff photographer from the Salem News, which was fantastic. After gaining the 70-200 and a fair amount of experience, my images drastically improved. My work was featured in the Salem Evening News as well as on the school website. Two years ago, I ramped up my sports photography. I contacted people in professional baseball and lacrosse, obtained press passes, and shot my first Boston Cannons and Portland Sea Dog's games. I also photographed the Boston Pride during their inaugural season with the NWHL. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to spend a week with my photographic idol, Peter Read Miller, and learned more than I ever thought possible from having him critique my work at a both an MLB game and an MLS game. These past two summers, I've worked as the team photographer for Major League Lacrosse's Boston Cannons.
Over the past several years, I've beefed up my gear collection by adding the Canon 7D Mark II, the 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70 2.8 II, pop-up flashes, and an inordinate amount of bags.
Along with attending Peter Read's workshop in California, two summers ago my grandfather and I attended a DownEast-sponsored photo workshop in Acadia National Park. This was the first time I fell in love with the travel/landscape genre of photography, and since then it's been a constant balance between sidelines and road trips. This summer, I had the opportunity to live in Madrid for a month and had the ability to photograph, non-stop, for almost thirty days. I quickly became addicted to traveling and photographing new places, and I hope to continue traveling around the world.
Along with sports and travel/landscape photography, I've also begun to focus more on portrait/event photography. At the end of this summer, I'll be photographing my second wedding, and my calendar throughout the summer has been littered with family portrait shoots, clothing company photo-ops, and last-minute beach pictures of my sisters asking for new profile pictures.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy my work!