I am in my senior year of high school at Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. My goal is to become a professional sports 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 on the trip, 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 1D Xs, 70-200s, 24-70s, 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 mind-numbing 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. I had fallen in love with high speed continuous, so I went out to shoot some birds. Not knowing about AI-Servo, I was devastated when my images where blurry, soft, or there wasn't even a bird in the frame. 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 have always loved sports, so naturally I thought sports photography was the way to go. With the dregs of my bank account, I bought Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography. I inhaled the book and couldn't get enough of it. Thinking I now knew what it took to photograph for AP, I proudly went to my first shoot. It was my sister's lacrosse game, at high noon. My images were terrible; they were cluttered and not composed well.
Gradually, I began to get better - my shots sharper, my backgrounds cleaner, and my composition better. While I was mainly pursuing sports photography, I still loved every other type, including portraits and landscapes. For the past several years, my camera has accompanied me everywhere, and I continue to practice and improve in all genres.
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. I was a contributor to the school sports slideshow as well. 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.
I have three sisters, all of whom love to have their picture taken, so I have also worked on portraiture. Recently I have photographed for local yoga teachers and fitness coaches for their websites and done some family holiday shoots and senior portraits, as well.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy my work!