A Year in the drivers seat…

Exactly one year ago today I had what our insurance company called a life changing event for what I consider to be the better.  Exactly one year ago today was my last day working as a full time staff photographer for the Indianapolis Star.  It was a tough transition and concept to be sure, because lets face it; Photography is kind of a tough gig amirite?  Staring into the face of the unknown isn’t always bad though.  I’ve had a lot of neat opportunities that I wouldn’t have had any other way, which I thank my lucky stars for.  It all started when the Indystar decided it was time for us to part ways.  I thought of it as taking the wheel on a new adventure, my grandmother to this day refers to it as my being “Kicked me to the Curb”.


That was one of the last frames that I took for the Indianapolis Star as a Staffer.  Driver Ryan Newman’s Burnout after winning the 2013 Brickyard 400.  For some reason my grandmother is a lot more bitter than I am and I have no regrets about working there.  Not one.  Nor do I have any regrets about leaving.  I simply would not be who I am, the photographer that I am, or most importantly, I would not have met my Shannon had I not worked there.  Really though, what have I been doing since there?  Obviously I’ve still been writing blogs, and also doing some workshops for Roberts Camera here in Indy aside from my teaching at Ivy Tech which will continue this fall.  Most importantly though I’m still doing all photography.  I know lots of shooters from having been a shooter for a while now, and it’s really discouraging to see the number of them working full time jobs on top of shooting on the weekends.  It’s a tough industry though and you have to do what you need to do, what is best for you and your family.  I get that.  Gear is expensive, insurance is expensive, and there’s not as much money in company budgets for photography as there used to be.  What have I personally been doing though?  I shoot almost every day.


My commercial product photography skills have improved greatly over the last year.  I can’t talk about all of the projects I’ve worked on but that light bulb is straight out of the camera.  No Editing.  Obviously the frame got edited after the fact, but that’s how it started and to be honest I was really happy with how little really did have to be done to it.  Honestly thought now that I think about it, the commercial product stuff has only been a fraction of what has kept me busy.


That’s at the McKinley Law Library at IUPUI here in Indianapolis.  This shot was for an advertisement for Indiana University which ran double truck in their Alumni Magazine.  The three folks in the shot are three generations of IU Law grads, two of which worked for the same firm here in Indianapolis.  That shot is almost straight out of camera and we most certainly did interrupt a library full of law students for an hour during Finals week.  Make no mistake, it definitely happened.  I just hope that none of the lawyers got my name off of my gear bags so they can sue me after becoming a lawyer for obstruction of learning or something.  No we were pretty unobtrusive, even I did have a 40″ Octabox and a C stand set up so that I could practically shoot through the doorway into the library.  I’m sure nobody noticed…..


I shot that for the new Indy Eleven Soccer team a few months ago.  My friend Trevor over at TR22 Photography is their team photographer and his second shooter was unavailable for a game.  He gave me a call and well… I shot the soccer game.  If you were waiting for a more exciting punchline I’m sorry, it’s all I’ve got for this one.  Anyway,  I’ve shot lots of other sports over the last year, including the NBA Playoffs, but the Soccer was one I really enjoyed because it was a sport I haven’t shot a lot of over the years.  I am greatly looking forward to more sporting opportunities as this next year continue including football season with USA Today, as well as possibly some more hockey with my friends John and Kelly over at White Shark Photographic.


Of course it’s not all been commercial and sports either.  I also shot a bunch of branding materials for the Kinney Group here in Indianapolis.  Great group of folks, in fact I’ll be doing some more stuff for them in the future so wait for a blog post about that.  Also, I have installment #2 of the “What’s the right lens” series I started at the beginning of the summer written.  Expect that here soon too.  Lots of exciting video related and still related stuff coming up.  I’ll be better and write more blogs.  I promise.  To make it up to you, how about I tip you off to something cool.  My Next Roberts Sports photography workshop is Tentatively set for September 27th.  It’s shooting a Pro team here in Indy.

Do I like being a freelance photographer full time?  I love it.  Sure there are lots of little things that make it like any other job.  For example you’d be blown away at the amount of paperwork I make myself do… For myself.  As well my boss is kind of turd sometimes.  It took all year and a Kernel Panicking mac to get him to let me buy a new computer.  Turns out all those budgeting things that the Newspaper used to tell me when I asked for gear really did exist!  On another note though, I am incredibly thankful that my one true love Shannon has embraced the tumultuous existence of my life as a Freelance Photographer.  As I sit here in the dark on my computer at almost 10pm getting ready to watch some tv with her before bed, I know how lucky I am in that I couldn’t do anything without her.  Also I want to thank the folks who have stopped to read the blog over this last year.  Because of you I’ve been doing more work with Roberts to bring you gear reviews, as well as workshops.  Thank you, and I look forward to this next year behind the wheel.  Lets see where the road takes us.  More Soon.