A perfect image doesn’t just capture a moment, it conveys a feeling — an emotion to be felt — 20, 30, 50 years later. When you see my work, I want you calling me thanking me for this moment that perfectly captured the day. As a photojournalist, I believe a great moment is happening every second, and I just need to find it. I take this attitude in to everything I shoot because it pushes me to work harder than everyone else.
I became a professional photojournalist accidentally. Back at La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor, PA, my interest in learning how to take better pictures became a permanent fixture when I was a sophomore with minimal skills. The senior I was learning from got caught doing drugs in the darkroom, and was subsequently banned. So the yearbook staff, newspaper staff and literary magazine team all looked at me and said, if I don’t start taking pictures, there wouldn’t be any for three years. I never had any real training. It’s all on the job, learning from my mistakes and fixing them. I found myself loving photography and design, becoming Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook. The summer before I started college, I worked for another area photography studio, learning the ropes, and understanding how weddings worked, not thinking anything of it other than temporary work.
For undergrad, the political junkie I am found a home at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. There, I found an appreciation for political science, but it was journalism that grabbed my attention and held it. Then, on Sept. 11, 2001, living just blocks from the Pentagon, U.S. State Department and White House, I was thrust in the center of the action, but being a photographer, I still wasn’t close enough. I wanted to find out more, so I took to writing, and became the first regular joint writer-photographer for the GW Hatchet, and used these skills to find internships in Washington D.C. and suburban Philadelphia. After graduation, I continued to find internships, but not a full-time job, and sadly, I was unemployed in 6 months.
It so happened that my cousin Laura was getting married in the Outer Banks, and my family asked me to shoot the wedding. Everyone loved what I did so much, the kind words pushed me in to this field. I was still looking for a newspaper job, too, and a few months later, in March 2005, I finally said, that’s it, I’m starting JPG Photography. IRONICALLY, that very next day, I got a call from a local newspaper, The Smithfield Times. I had already started the business, and along with my beautiful wife Rebecca — then- fiance — we agreed to find a way to do both. And until 2010, I did both, but after moving to Philadelphia, the business doubled in size. In 2009, 34 weddings. In 2011, 82.
I said I never wanted to be in business just myself. I thrive off people and energy. So growing my business with a team of funny, charismatic and talented people was a natural progression. Today, JPG Photography is proud to be an industry leader in the region, nation and around the world, with expertise photographing families, children, pets, maternity, infants, delivery, boudoir, engagements, headshots, corporate, commercial, non-profit, charity, weddings and all types of special events. From jpgphotography.com, we’ve expanded to our Blog, photographerphiladelphia.com, our corporate and non-profit dedicated site: jpgcares.com, our boudoir-dedicated site, boudoirphiladelphia.com and soon, jpgfamily.com, where we focus on seniors, families and the changes in our clients’ lives.