• Archives
  • Mar31


    About a week ago I started to write my business plan. I got stuck on my mission statement. I need a mission statement. It’s like proposing to marry someone – it seems so permanent. That’s when it occurred to me, if the entrepreneurial world has drastically changed so much, why do I need to do a traditional business plan?

    On the way home from the grocery store a few days later an idea came to me. Why not create a new kind of business plan? Why not ask for involvement of my peers, while giving advice about what I already know from my other business? An interactive business plan that changes with the business! I thought of a domain name for my new idea – I hurried home and immediately looked up joegoespro.com to see if it was registered and oh, the photo gods were looking out for me that evening.

    So, I kicked off the site this weekend with 3 articles covering the psychology of becoming a professional photographer in today’s climate. These articles are based on not only my experience as an entrepreneur, but from the teachings of current top creatives and business people, books I’ve read on the subject, and my own observations about what’s going on in the artistic community.

    The first article talks about branding yourself, the importance of taking care of your health, and defining your style in all aspects of your life. The second article tackles the fear of success and how to identify and work around it. Finally, the third article is about finding your place in the saturated world of photography.

    To help kick off this venture, I’m giving away a copy of one of my favorite photographer’s latest books. It’s “Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images” by David duChemin. All you have to do is go over to JOEGOESPro.com and comment on one of the first 3 articles linked above. Say something encouraging, something insightful, or just say hi. Make sure to use a real email address when you comment so I can contact you! I’ll pick a winner in two weeks to a random commenter. The only other rule is that you have to live in the United States (sorry, but I don’t know enough about international contest laws).

  • Mar26


    Dr. Colleen Boylston’s husband tasked me with the job of creating a portrait of his wife for a new brochure for their medical practice, Sweetgrass Pediatrics. She was not happy about it at all! She’s not the type of person who likes attention (in fact, she’ll hate that I’m including her in this post). She doesn’t like having her picture taken, especially when I set up an on-location studio in one of their offices and all of her peers and employees are peeking in on the shoot. Can you imagine looking like that and not wanting to show it off?

    Regardless, this is one of my favorite things about photographing real people. Sometimes it takes time, and it can take a lot of effort on the part of the subject and the photographer alike. When you can finally get them to open up in front of the camera, it’s such a rewarding feeling. I actually shot two little sessions with Dr. Boylston that morning. The first session was OK, but she was really not being herself – she wasn’t comfortable and I knew it. Thanks to one of her employees, Lakeia, who has done modeling before, she was able to get inspired:


    I told her she couldn’t let her employees show her up! She was uncomfortable with posing techniques at first because she thought it was going to look too “Glamour Shot-like”. Once she saw Lakeia’s shots she got it! I was able to get her back in front of the camera with a new attitude and we got the shot up top. Now, if only I could have Lakeia hanging around at every photo shoot! Check out the set of photos from that shoot here.

  • Mar24

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-27

    Friday night was a big night for the Low Country’s style scene, as Charleston Fashion Week had a big sold out show in Marion Square. I was on hand to capture images for Charleston’s TheDigitel.com and their non-stop coverage of all that is Fashion Week.

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-7

    The photo pit was noticeably more crowded on Friday, and I had the pleasure of not only shooting with photog buddy Robert Donovan, but I also sat next to Paul Zoeller, who’s a local photog I’ve been a fan of for quite a while. He also happens to be a really nice guy! I also made new friends from Charleston Scene, including Marie Rodriquez.

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-1

    So, you can read the entire rundown of the event in tomorrow’s Digitel article, I’m just going to show you my favorite looks and shots.

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    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-6

    In addition to the local showcases (which were Mary Mojo & Gwynne’s of Mt. Pleasant) and the featured designer (which was designer Chris Benz), there were two competitions as well. In the first competition, the models got to duke it out in the “Rock the Runway Model Competition”.

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-31

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-32

    Nikki Jansen took the women’s title and Samuel Roberts took the men’s title.

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-28

    The Emerging Designer showcase was the most exciting part of the show for me, mainly because the design’s are the equivalent to concept cars you see at the car expo – they’re just far out there and interesting.

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-11

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    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-13

    Hannah Goff advanced to the finals, which will be held tomorrow. Here’s a couple of her looks:

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    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-44

    I was happy to have a different vantage point from Wednesday’s show, I was able to get some more creative shots from this low angle. Thanks to Paul for letting me in his spot for parts of the show!

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    Charelston Fashion Week 3.23.2012-2

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    To wrap it up, here’s a few more random shots. I’ve got a bunch of “red carpet” shots that I’ll be putting up soon, so come back if I took your picture out there! You can view all of my shots from Friday night here, and don’t forget to check out Wednesday’s post here.

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    Look, it’s Charleston Fashion Week creative director and the style editor for Charleston Magazine, Ayoka Lucas:

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    That was a lot of fun, I can’t wait to do it again!

  • Mar22

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.21.2012-10

    Last night, I shot my first runway show at Charleston Fashion Week. It was a pretty intense scene, but it was also very light-hearted at the same time. Lots of people dressed to the nines, but no feeling of pretention or fashion snobbery that I saw. It was actually a lot of fun for this fashion show noob!

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.21.2012-8

    The festivities kicked off with a musical number by King Sing. The first designer, Tommy Bahama followed.

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.21.2012-13

    JLINSNIDER is a local favorite, and the place was buzzing to see what the Charleston designer had to show.

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    I have to admit, I really liked the cyborg themed stuff:

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    After a break, the Emerging Designer contest began. Here are some of my favorite shots from them:

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    Bob & Kris Galmarini took home the people’s choice award, but come on, they might as well of had puppies on stage! How cute are these kids dressed like it’s 1995??

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.21.2012-12

    And the winner who’ll move on to Saturday’s finals is Angela Sum (who’s collection is featured at the top of this post):

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.21.2012-3

    Prior to this event, I’d searched high and low for a decent picture of what the photographer’s pit looks like at a fashion runway show. I couldn’t find much, so without further ado, here’s the photographer’s pit at Charleston Fashion Week:

    Charelston Fashion Week 3.21.2012-9

    I have a ton of photos from nearly every look at the show, you can check those out here. I also have a bunch of candid shots, and I’ll be posting those soon as well. Make sure to follow The Digitel Extra on Twitter for full live coverage of this week’s events. I’m heading back into the pit on Friday night, so hang tight as there is more to come…

  • Mar19


    If you read Sunday’s post about my kids’ gift to their mother for our wedding anniversary, you heard me gripe about how difficult shooting your own kids can be. While we were shooting, some of the neighborhood kids came over to play with my son (our house is the place where the neighborhood kids like to congregate – I blame the cute dogs). Bryce & Olivia took an interest in the photo gear that I was breaking down and asked what we were doing, so I showed them the finished photos of my kids. They thought it was really cool, so I asked them when their mother’s birthday was, to which they replied next week. I asked them if they wanted to make a photo collage for their mom for her birthday, and they were ecstatic over the idea! I told them to dress up nice and come back the next day and I’d take their pictures.



    They were so easy and cooperative! Every direction I gave was taken without complaint. OPK (Other People’s Kids) are a joy to shoot. They even convinced my son to get into a shot with them, although he was wearing a T-Shirt and his hair was a mess – it’s still a cute shot of some awesome friends.


    Now hopefully their mom doesn’t read this blog, or else her birthday surprise is ruined! Although I’m sure she got a clue when here kids asked to get all dressed up to go over to the photographer’s house down the block…

  • Mar18

    Mac & Kegan Collage

    Yesterday was not only a day for dying the river green in Savannah, it was also my 13th wedding anniversary. My wife Amy had to work during the afternoon (the weekends are prime time for real estate agents), so I took advantage of the time to put together this collage for her with our kids. I initially wanted to do a triptych featuring two portraits of my children and this shot that I thought up of:

    Mac & Kegan

    The problem was that I couldn’t find a picture frame that was oriented correctly, so I went for a four photo shoot and added another shot of the kids together, which was the most difficult to shoot. Your own kids are the most challenging subjects for portraiture and I think I figured out the reason – they lose patience quicker than a kid that doesn’t know you! They know what the limits are already, and aren’t timid to straddle that line. You really get a couple of frames to get it right and then they bolt. And the chances of getting them both looking decent at the same time are like winning a triple crown – it doesn’t happen often. I begged, pleaded, and came very close to losing my cool to get them to get it right. Don’t let them forget that you already bribed them with milkshakes to do this in the first place! Note to self: Milkshakes should come after the shoot, not before.

    Here’s a shot of the finished product:


    The shot at the top of this article was used in my Facebook post to my wife celebrating the best part of our marriage, which is our beautiful kids. Ahh, the power of still photography – if it was a video you would have seen what goes on between the shutter clicks, like “Look it’s a bee – AHHHHHH – RUN!!!” or “He’s touching me” or “Hurry up dad, I wanna play Zelda”. Photos are so much more romantic 😉

  • Mar17


    Welcome to my second post of photos of Haley from her photo shoot. This time, it’s all about composites. This first one uses this picture of a road on a foggy morning in Landrum, SC.


    The rest of these are a combination of multiple images found on Flickr as free backgrounds and textures, such as these from Flickr user Moosebite. There are a plethora of different types of images that are offered completely free for this purpose.


    As for the art of making a composite, I used Photoshop and experimented with different blending modes, opacities, and manipulation of the images through Free Transform. I also used a combination of Snapseed and Color Efex Pro from Nik Software to finish these off.


    The challenge for me is not to overdo it, as I did in this photo. It looks like the 80’s threw up on the 90’s and had a bastard child of a background, and poor Haley is stuck looking pretty in the midst of it all. But, it’s about experimenting for me, and I think the photos above work for their intended purposes.

    In other news, I’ve got an exciting week ahead of me as I will be shooting some stuff at Charleston Fashion Week. It will be my first time shooting a runway show, so I’m pretty stoked! TTYL.

  • Mar10

    The Shaniqua Brown

    The Shaniqua Brown

    Last night, I went down to The Pour House in Charleston to catch some loud and sleazy rock n’ roll. It was the last show for the local rock band The Shaniqua Brown and they were pulling no punches. I’d never seen them before, and I’m sad to see them go, but I was happy to be there.

    The Shaniqua Brown

    Lead singer Rachel Kate Gillon took the stage with a fury that made you feel like she was fighting for survival and if this was goodbye, she was taking the crowd with her.

    The Shaniqua Brown



    This was the second time I shot CUSSES, the last time was at Kulture Klash 7. This three piece band sounds like a wall of crushing sound thanks to guitarist Bryan Harder’s recipe for making one guitar sound like four.


    Hailing from Savannah, GA, they’re hot off the release of their debut record. Singer Angel Bond screams out with such power while slithering across the stage, she channels part Mick Jagger and part Iggy Pop in her movement, but she’s got a voice all her own. Let’s not forget that their drummer is a fucking madman, and that’s a good thing.


    Bully Pulpit

    Bully Pulpit

    Bully Pulpit is a fucking heavy blues band from Charleston. Reminiscent of the classic punk rock sound of the Dead Boys and the New York Dolls, I felt like I was back on Bleecker Street as they tore up the stage. I think it’s safe to say that these guys aren’t capable of doing anything quietly. They also have one of the coolest band names I’ve heard in a long time.

    Bully Pulpit


    Hey Rocco

    Heyrocco is another local up & coming band. I shot them once before about a year ago at the Change For Change Art Show. In the time since I’ve seen them, they’ve really grown into their sound. I was very impressed to say the least.


    They just successfully funded a kickstarter project to release their debut record, which is due to come out very soon. I’m looking forward to hearing what they come up with, because they have a really interesting sound live.


    I also got to shoot alongside Tracy Grant, who was on the receiving end of my elbow when I got blindsided by a pit dancer. Pataford was also there taking shots, both from the crowd and with his camera!

    I have a full set of photos on Flickr for you to check out. Have a great weekend!

  • Mar6


    Rebecca is the latest friend to come to the home studio for a portrait session, and man is she amazing to photograph. It’s becoming quickly apparent that it’s impossible to get bored with portraiture when you have amazing people to work with who are creative and are game for anything. This time around, I had several shots pre-visualized before we began. The first one is this natural light portrait using windows as the light source. We took advantage of the fading afternoon light and went for a bedroom scene (in my dining room).


    I put a bed sheet on an ottoman to act as a bed. The problem was that I forgot how tall Rebecca is, and any shot that showed her whole body on the ottoman looked quite strange. It made her look like she was in a toddler’s bed, which is less than sexy when you think about it. No problem, I just shot tighter on her and got an implied photo. Sexy’s back!

    Next, I wanted to showcase her amazing long auburn hair. We broke out the industrial fan and had her whipping her head from front to back to get her hair to catch the wind like a sail.


    My goal was to have her flip her head enough times until she passed out. Not really, but I’m sure it felt like that to her. This kind of shot is all about timing. Hit the shutter at the perfect time while the hair is spread out and her face doesn’t look like someone who’s moving up and down vigorously. That’s not an easy shot to get without a lot of attempts. Saying that she’s a trooper is an understatement.


    This is my final pre-visualized shot. I wanted to get this angle showing the piano and guitar on one side of the wall and Rebecca on the other side. This is one shot – not a diptych. I was inspired to use some of my old records in it after a friend of mine from back in my punk rock musician days posted vintage photos of girls with records on his Facebook page. Thanks for the inspiration Frank!


    Katie, who works with Rebecca and is also just plain awesome, was helping out with the shoot and got drafted into a similar shot. I’m blessed to know such beautiful people! This shot rocks almost as hard as Katie at an Avett Brothers show at the North Charleston Coliseum (I’m still indebted because she invited me into the box seats with her friends at that show).


    The above shot was a suggestion of Rebecca’s, which was to shoot her on a magenta background to compliment a green dress she wanted to wear. With such big bright blue eyes and the rich colors of her dress, her hair, and the background (I used a speedlight with a magenta gel on it to get that), I wanted to get a big smiling portrait. Rebecca’s such a fun girl that it’s more than easy to get a natural reaction out of her.


    This was the final frame of the shoot. I love to do a head shot like this at the end of a shoot because at that point the person has been coached so much that they just easily connect with the camera. They’re all warmed up and comfortable, and it’s also quite a slow-down from the rest of the shoot. I just use the modeling lights and a 50mm lens, and really tone it down. I can fire off multiple shots while talking and complimenting the subject on the work we just did, and it really makes for a beautiful expression.

    As I do this more, I’m really seeing the importance of vision over technical ability. You need the technical ability for sure, but without the vision, making a good photo becomes a game of luck. Why take only chances? The photo at the top of this post is an example of free-styling it. It might be one of my favorite shots that I’ve made in a long time, but it really was a lucky shot that I got while we were working out some fashion poses. Her expression is amazing and it was a decisive moment that was lost in the very next frame of the same setup. The blowing hair shot though, which was heavily planned and worked on, was destined to succeed because I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like before I took the shot. Sure, luck is a great thing, but it’s not predictable. Hard work and visualization can be.