Around two years ago I applied for a position to be a second photographer. I read the job description online and I seriously had my fingers crossed that I would be called back. It seemed like the perfect position for me to learn some great new techniques, and I would be working with a ridiculously talented photographer! At the time I didn't have a whole lot of experience as a wedding photographer. I had only shot a handful of weddings as a second shooter and even less as a main photographer. So I was in serious need of an opportunity to prove myself, and what I could accomplish behind the lens. When I got the email back from Robyn of Robyn Rachel Photography I was ecstatic, I was really hoping that this was going to be the opportunity I was waiting for. My heart sank when I found out the wedding she wanted me to photograph with her fell on the weekend where Julia and I planned a backpacking trip in the U.P. of Michigan. But Julia knew this was exactly what I was waiting for. So I ended up shooting the wedding and then Julia (because I'm a baby and fall asleep on night time car rides) drove us all night long into the Upper Peninsula. Some how everything I shot that day was an award winning image! Alright so maybe the images weren't THAT amazing, but it was good enough for me to land another job with Robyn. That was it, Robyn and I have worked together ever since then. Even though I go out of my way to disagree with her on every single decision she still kept me around. Which was hilarious especially since I can't even count the number of times I've fallen asleep working in her studio. I would be sitting right next to her, not even 4 feet away and I would dose off. But that's just part of my charm, haha.
I know I have been exceptionally lucky to have such a phenomenal group of mentors around me over the years. I also know that I wouldn't be anything that I am today with out all them. Thank you all so much for supporting me, encouraging me, and being there when I didn't know how to shoot in "M" mode. Tiffany and Tony from Studio T. Photo (a wedding a portrait Studio), you were the very first people to believe in my work and you took me under your wing without a single portrait in my portfolio. I still can't believe I got an internship with you just out of my "enthusiasm"! Then there's the amazing faculty of Columbia College Chicago, specifically Elizabeth Ernst, Caroline Juhlin, Matt Siber, and Dawoud Bey. Each of you pushed me to create something more than technically sound photograph. You showed me the meaning behind an image and I constantly try to incorporate what you've shown me into all of my work. And finally there's Robyn, you have truly shown me how to develop my skills and make a career out of it. Without everything you taught me and your continued help I would be just another art school kid struggling to get by.
Here's some pretty pictures to look at from our trip to Las Vegas's Neon Boneyard!