Age is Only a Number

People hire someone based off of the experience in their craft and how long they have worked at it. Right? Now, when you hear the label "student", you think, "someone who is in school working toward their desired career." Correct, I totally agree. But just like any other label, it holds people back, it can hide what is truly underneath it. At 22 years-old, I am still a student. I have been for 18 years and in December I will be done, I will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Photography; and what I am most excited for is to rid the label "student".

This is an example of what a photography class looks like... looks a lot like being on set.

This is an example of what a photography class looks like... looks a lot like being on set.

Throughout the last seven years of school, I have also been working hard to build my photography portfolio and business. I have been lucky and found something I am truly passionate about early in life. Because I immersed myself entirely into the world of photography, I have been able to work for a few publications, have opportunities to meet and work with many amazing people, and have won several awards for my photography. Even after this, I still struggle with people, specifically older people, using my age and the fact that I am a student as an excuse for lack of knowledge, talent, and experience, and a way to undervalue my work and pay me next to nothing for the work I do for them. Most of the work I have done to date I have been underpaid, and the funny thing is, I have been a photographer longer than some professionals. For years, this has affected me but it no longer does. Finally, I know my worth and I value my work and time.

Recently, I photographed my first editorial and when I saw how much I was getting paid, I cried instantly. Pathetic, I know...! Even though it was a small editorial pay, it had been my biggest paycheck yet. This photo editor didn't know my age or the fact that I am still in school, she solely paid me based off of my work and the 'about me' section on my website. I was given a small taste of what it feels like to have people trust me and what I do based on my portfolio and what they see online. Now, obviously, as I continue doing work such as this, I will become more credible and more and more people will start to trust me. Fingers crossed!

I am so f*cking proud of what I have done at such a young age. And there are so many other young photographers that should feel the same. Of course, we are still learning and there is so much for all of us to learn but that shouldn't be an excuse to degrade someone and their work; even the most high-end photographers have new things to learn.Let's stop this stigma that just because someone is a student or of a young age that he or she fails to do as good of a job as someone who is older. 


Deconstructing the Shot | Brady Drobny

I feel like I spend all of my days either shooting, editing or sleeping; thankfully those are all of my favorite things. I work a lot and when I have nothing planned I get the urge to create. I am lucky enough to have an apartment full of creatives who are always down to make things. One evening I was looking the beginnings of my print portfolio and was figuring out what was missing or what could be better. I needed more creative environmental portraits which is where this idea began. 

I live with my boyfriend, Bryce, his younger brother, Brady, and my friend, Molly. Brady has always had a really cool vibe to him and I have photographed him a few times before but never felt that I have captured him honestly. 

CONCEPT | After bouncing around some ideas with everyone we came to the decision to photograph Brady fully clothed in his bathtub. Brady is quite a careless man so I wanted to create an image that portrayed that through the location and what he has around him. Molly staged his coffee, cigarettes, pills and alcohol around the bath and also made the bathtub look dirty with her makeup artistry magic. 

LIGHTING | For this photo, I wanted to create relatively natural lighting but still have there be dimension and shape on his face. This bathroom is tiny so fitting three bodies and my 47in umbrella in there was tricky. We made it work and the strobe was held by Bryce right above Brady with the undiffused silver umbrella. 

SHOOTING | I knew I wanted something slightly more overhead. My portfolio was certainly missing images with different angles. I decided to sit on top of a wobbly toilet and shoot down over him. I wanted him to make eye contact with me and just interact with the environment and items around him, keeping the pose fairly natural and candid. 

POST PRODUCTION | This is definitely one of the more simple edits I have done. Right off the bat I knew I wanted the image to lean more towards the green/yellow side. I wanted the image to feel grungy and dirty. So most of the work in post was perfecting the color while keeping the skin tones neutral but on the warmer side. Not much retouching went into this aside from removing unnatural streaks on the bathtub and his arms that just seemed too much.


Here is the final image:

On to the next one...