Since Shauna, Paul, and I launched Project Prescription there has been a ton of buzz building about how valuable it is for photographers in helping them learn how to build successful client relationships – and one of the most important aspects of what we teach is how to vet your clients (and why it’s not just ok to say no to a job, but sometimes necessary to save your sanity and business).

Over the past few years I’ve been honored to be an occasional contributor to the blog of living legend/photo god Scott Kelby – and last week I was able to share my latest piece, which features a lot of wonderful tips from Project Prescription about vetting clients, learning what factors to consider when deciding who to work with, and what kinds of red flags you met look out for. Learning how to vet your clients is an incredibly important but often overlooks skill for many emerging photographers to learn.

Scott and his crew always go above and beyond to bring the best information and educational opportunities to the photographic community and I’m thrilled that they have featured a number of my articles on the business side of art. Check it out here.


WNY Attorney James Harrington

Defense attorney James Harrington for Super Lawyers Magazine. This WNY based lawyer has, for the past few years commuted between his home office in Buffalo, NY to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where he has been involved with one of the most notable cases in recent American memory – the defense of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, the man once known as “The 20th Hijacker”

Harrington is sometimes reviled by critics for his role in the case, but just as often celebrated for his dedication to the American legal system and the ideal that all accused, regardless of of how heinous that alleged act, deserve competent representation and a fair trial in court. I think his philosophy can be best summed up in a quote he gave to the magazine I shot tis assignment for: “If the law doesn’t work for the worst of us, it doesn’t work for the best of us.”


Robert Caplin of The Photo Brigade and I sat down a couple weeks back at Adorama’s event space in NYC to talk at length about my work with rescue dogs, amazing rust belt entrepreneurs like Wrafterbuilt and Lake Effect Ice Cream, how ASMP helps photographers run smart and sustainable businesses, and how Project Prescription can help you build amazing relationships with clients.

Check it out in the video above!



As Buffalo’s first Nickel City Drink cocktail festival comes to an end I thought it appropriate to share this portrait of one of the event’s organizers, Jason Wood, that I recently shot on assignment for Buffalo Spree Magazine. (But really, is there ever an inappropriate time to celebrate amazing cocktails and those that make them?)

A WNY transplant originaly form Michigan, Jason is a motorcycle enthusiast, musician (formerly of metal core bands Still Remains and It Dies Today), and currently serves as the manager at Vera Pizzeria – the bar that many feel served as the catalyst of Buffalo’s growing craft cocktail movement and its rapid expansion over the past few years. Since stepping out from behind the microphone and getting behind the bar full time this multitalented bartender has become a tireless advocate for quality spirits and thoughtful recipes that excite those tired of Buffalo’s mass market beer and shot dominated bar scene.


I’m very excited to have been a recent guest on This Week in Photo with Frederick Van Johnson!

We talk about my experiences developing Project Prescription for photographers and how it can benefit creatives who have troubles with workflow and dealing with clients. We also touch on my work with ASMP, and the importance of not just being a great artist, but also a great business person in order to be successful in today’s photography environment.


Elliott Douglas for Bureau Custom Menswear in Buffalo NY

A sneak peek of one of the images I’ve been working on with Bureau for their upcoming 2016/2017 lookbook and promotions. This amazing custom menswear shop in Buffalo has been helping this city dress better (including yours truly – Joseph and Jon made the suit I got married in last year) for the last few years and I’m so happy to be working with them on this project. As you may remember Bureau was one of the small businesses featured in my Rust Belt entrepreneurs series and I am thrilled to see how they have grown since they first opened their doors.


Christine Gallisdorfer of Buffalo Les Amis Fencing ClubJodi Hamann of Les Amis fencing Club

Christine Gallisdorfer of Les Amis Fencing Club – a member-owned and non-profit training club in Buffalo NY that has been offering classes and camaraderie to those interested in the sport since 1982.

Competitive fencers themselves, Christine serves as the treasurer of the club and shares her experience as an instructor to the club’s intermediate students, while Jodi teachers the beginner level classes.


imageThe always mischievous Iggy McDonald.

Perhaps it was a mistake to give him the slingshot, he looks way too comfortable with it. Thankfully (for my camera’s sake) there were no misfires.


MacArthur Genius grant recipient Will Dichtes photographed at Cornell University for Northwestern University

Imagine a material so porous that little more than a gram of it contained the same surface area as a football field.

It sounds like the kind of made-up miracle substances you usually hear discussed solely in the realms of sci-fi or comic books, like Adamantium, Unobtanium, or Nth metal — The kind of elemental MacGuffins that exist to explain away the fantastic powers of those that use them. The primary difference is that supramolecular chemist Will Dichtel has taken his material out of the world of science fiction. In fact, he’s on the verge of taking this and other revolutionary nanomaterials out of the lab and giving them practical real-world applications that could potentially change our planet for the better.

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Legendary Buffalo Sabres winger/enforcer and Sports broadcaster Rob Ray

It’s time to throw down your gloves and start swinging when Legendary Buffalo Sabres enforcer Rob Ray is in your studio. (maybe not, I’m pretty sure I’d come out on the losing end of that one)

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Phillip Brunner - Addiction counselor and photogrpaher


Fashion Consultant - Rabiyyah KhanTheres so much happening here right now, and a lot of it is good. Buffalo is a city that many people once wrote off, but we’ve been getting a lot of attention lately. Travel + Leisure just named us America’s favorite city, our restaurant scene is exploding, we have amazing artists and museums, and people are finally starting to make some noise about how much they love this city. We’re not perfect, and we’ve got a long way to go, but its amazing to see so many people so excited about what’s going on here lately.

But the best part?

The people.

On that note I’m so excited to share this small selection of portraits from a recent series I shot for Buffalo Spree that features some of the key personalities in Buffalo’s style, music, design, and art communities. These are just a few of the people doing their small part to make this city amazing again. Be sure to visit Spree’s site to see the rest of the collection.

Phillip Brunner - Addiction counselor and photogrpaher

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Vivienne Grey Copping

Vivienne Grey Copping

My new favorite picture (Thanks Shawna!)


Andrew Emerson - Owner and designer of Emerson James Lighting

Light is a pretty dominant element of my life. I think about it constantly — how to manipulate it,  see it, record it, and how to anticipate and predict its behavior. Whether I’m charting the movements of natural light to plan a location shoot or designing and rigging lighting solutions in the studio, playing with light has become an integral part of my day both at work and at home (just ask my wife Erin, she’s woken up to me experimenting with lighting her with my iPhone in the middle of the night). But there’s a certain way of talking about light that seems to be native to those passionate about photography or painting — an excitable and sometimes cryptic form of shop talk that is truly in the realm of the passionate (or obsessive). The kind of talk that Erin dreads whenever I run onto another photographer.

Naturally, I was pretty excited when I met someone recently who was really obsessed with light in a very different way than I was. Andrew Emerson isn’t a photographer or a painter — and his obsession with light and design is expressed in a more practical manner than mine. As the owner of Buffalo, NY based Emerson James, Andrew uses his skills in metal work and industrial design to create unique custom lighting fixtures for businesses and homes.

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You didn’t think that postcards was all I had up my sleeves did you?

Following up on my last post, where I went over the new tri-fold mailers that I had just sent out. I wanted to share with you another promo piece that was soon to be on its way to  some of my favorite people (and some people who I have my eye on getting to know better).

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My new promos are on their way to the mailboxes of editors, art directors, and clients across the US and Canada. For this batch I’m continuing with the very clean and minimlaist trifold format that I really fell in love with at the end of last year (which you can see here in this roundup by Rob Haggart of some of his favorite promos of 2015). This one features a collection of images that includes: actor and historian Guy William Gane, Buffalo Bills Quarterback EJ Manuel, violinist and recording artist Yuki Numata Resnick, US Marine Tony Nash, and attorney and farmer Ginger Schröder.

Keep an eye on the post for those dark gray envelopes with the hand stamped labels — you might be lucky enough to have one coming your way.


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Buffalo, NY photographer Luke Copping - Portrait by David Moog/ Courtesy Burchfield Penny.

Photography by David Moog / Courtesy Burchfield Penney

It’s rare for me to make an appearance on this side of the camera. I’m usually the one behind it — directing talent, trying to set the mood, and trying to make an image that connects. But every few years I come out from under the dark-cloth and get in front of the lens for someone else.

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