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Today I am sitting in my make-shift office set in the suburb of Baltimore, MD. I have a cup of coffee at my side and I’m sitting in a room thats full of beautiful, soft, elegant light. I love moments like this were I can turn inward.

I’ve been thinking a lot latly about what it means to master something. These days it’s common for people to go back to school several times in order to “master” their chosen field of study. It’s common for businesses to require at least some verification that you are a “master” at your profession.

But…we’ve all got to start somewhere. You don’t become a “master” over night. It takes hours upon hours and years upon years of practice and  the pursuit of something to be deemed a “master.” I mean, think of Jedi Knights and all the rigamaroo they have to go through! Luke had to go to Dagobah to find Master Yoda who had been alive for 900 years! I want to know when in those 900 years he achieved “master” status. Was it year 300 or was it closer to 5?

At the precipice of my 6th wedding season and with this thought in my noggin, I decided to take a look back on where I started. I warn you, it’s not very pretty! I made A LOT of mistakes and poor choices, but I did notice some important elements that have shaped my current work.

All of the following I posted on my blog or website in my first year as a full fledged wedding photographer. That means at one point or another I was proud f them….

 Apparently textures were my thing for awhile…and they weren’t a good thing! As the phrase goes “you can’t polish a turd.”

I still believe there is a time and a place for a subtle texture, but rarely is it ok the plaster them all over a photo for no apparent reason other than to “look cool!”
Hiding the problem doesn’t fix it.


The “Tilt!” A sure fire way to make your photo instantly artistic! Or not. My brain wants to fix the tilt so my head instantly will tilt to one side or the other.
Plus we’ve got some serious color correction issues going on.


What are you focusing on Mabyn? WHAT IS THIS?

See! There was a ton wrong when I first started out. Yet, my clients loved their photos!

There’s a very good reason for that. Along with the “artsy” pictures that I took, I also took some very genuine moments. Even though they’re still not the best compositions or edits ever, the moment is so strong that it trumps anything bad.

This particular image I still have in my galleries today. It encompasses all that I feel my photography represents…and I captured it in my first year.

Please don’t be discouraged with where you are. We all have to start somewhere! If you’re passionate enough, you will strive to “Master” your craft. Here, at the beginning of 6 years I still have only seen the tip of the ice berg. I can’t wait until the day I can look back 15, 25, 30 + years and say “I remember when.”


You Can’t Polish a Turd – Mastering the Craft of Photography