Keeping your Bridges

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   Recently I was reminded why you should never burn bridges. You see I was doing research on a new client I was going after when I stumbled upon a job they had worked on for Tyler Mountain Water that had photos that I had taken for them last year. (To visit Tyler Mountain Water Website)  

You see, after college, I was like most recently graduated art majors. I had lots of passion but no money. So after moving to Pittsburgh, I got a job driving a truck for Tyler Mountain Water in Plum, PA. It seemed like a great job at the time. It paid great, I liked the people that I got to work with, and the company felt like a family. But if I'm to be fully honest I hated the job. The hours were long, it was an extremely physical job, and it required zero creativity. And as I looked around at many of my friends that I had graduated with, they were all  getting cool photography jobs shooting and assisting some great photographers. Yet here I was, driving a truck through the Pennsylvania countryside. But I was determined to stick with it, because I had figured out that if I worked for TMW for 15 months, I could pay off all of my student loans. Then I was going to move to NYC where I was going to become the next Annie Leibovitz.

   But after three months of driving, something happened that had never happened to me before. I was called into my manager's office and was told that even though I was a hard worker, they just didn’t think that I was the right fit for them. Then I was told the phrase that i had heard many times from Trump on his reality TV show the Apprentice: “You're FIRED!” I had never been fired in my life. Now, I could have easily said "Screw you," and walked out and bad mouthed the company. I mean, I was working my butt off for them. I had given up my summer and I was going to be able to pay off my student loans in just over a year. And now, that was never going to happen. I was a broke, out of work artist again. But I learned a long time ago that no matter what, you always treat people how you want to be treated. So I thanked Andy, my manager, for the opportunity to work with Tyler Mountain and walked out with my head up.

As I was driving away, I told myself that one day, they were going to hire me back. But next time, it would be on my terms as a photographer.  

And you know what? Almost four years later, I got a call from a friend that still worked for Tyler Mountain. He asked if I would be interested in coming back to help do photography for their new website.

So when life seems to be falling apart, and your plans no longer seem to be taking you where you want to be going, remember that just because plans change, people hurt you, or you get fired, keep your head up and keep chasing your dreams!

Now Five years later and Im still following my dreams,  but now Im a full time commercial photographer. So even though I still haven't moved to NYC and become that famous photographer I dreamed of right out of collage, I've keep my eyes on my dreams and have continued to move forward for I have learned you will never achieve your dreams if you quite when times get hard.

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This Is My Family Volume #2

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“The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.” 
                ― Tavis Smiley

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If you were to visit my grandfather, Rev. John Croft, or my grandmother, Naomi Croft, you would find them in their home in the middle of nowhere PA. My grandfather would be in his garden tending to his tomato plants or in his woodworking shop building something with his hands. My grandmother would be keeping herself busy taking care of their small home or fixing the best fried chicken in the world. To look at these two, you would never know the impact they have had on this world. This elderly couple, in their eighties, has had anything but a normal life. My grandparents met after my grandfather returned from the war, at Frankfort Pilgrim College in Frankfort, Indiana, and they have been traveling the world ever since.

  A long time ago they made a decision to live their lives serving others, and this decision almost cost them their lives on more than one occasion. They have stuck to their beliefs, and they have let their faith in God lead them to trust in something that they can't see. Because of this decision, millions of lives have been touched. From these two individuals and their descendants, schools have been built; new churches have been started; wells have been dug; orphans have been given homes; addicts and alcoholics lives have been transformed, and communities have been changed in countries around the world.

 My Grandparents are my heroes because they chose to take the path less traveled, they chose to live their lives for something bigger than themselves, and because of this, I am proud to be able to say, "this Is my family!"


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This is the second Volume in a personal project called, "This is My Family". If you would like to read the first volume it can be found at



BirdBrain Technologies

Did you know Robots are REAL!!

     As a kid, I used to dream about building robots. How cool would it be to have a robot friend that you built from random parts laying around your room and turn them into artificial intelligence? Unfortunately for me, all I had were Legos. 

     So when I was approached by BirdBrain Technologies to do lifestyle photos for Hummingbird, one of BirdBrain’s flagship robots, I have to say, I was a little excited. Hummingbird is a machine created to teach school kids how to program computers.

     BirdBrain says that “Hummingbird is designed to enable engineering and robotics activities for ages 13 and up that involve the making of robots and kinetic sculptures.” ( That means I can take those Lego sculptures that I built as a kid and program it to move and light up and make noises, just like a real robot. HOW COOL IS THAT? 

     If you have not recently taken time to look into what is happening in the world of robotics, I highly recommend you check out some of the work that is being done. BirdBrain Technologies is a great spot to start: 

     We are truly living in exciting times, and as a photographer I'm glad I get to play my small part of documenting their progress.

Follow BirdBrain at the following sites



This Is my Family

This is my Family!

 “We inherit from our ancestor's gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.” 
                                                                                                              - Edward Sellner

   I was recently reminded of how short life truly is when in September my uncle passed away unexpectedly. After his death, I began going through old family photos that I had taken over the years and realized how few images I actually had of my uncle and my extended family.  My life is made up of taking photos.  It's my job, my hobby.  But, when it came to documenting my family, I hadn't taken the time to photograph the ones that meant the most to me.  In February, I had the opportunity to travel to OH for a few days to visit my grandparents with my father.

   I determined that I was going to be intentional about documenting my family.  I wanted to tell their stories.  I wanted to create photos that when people looked at the images they would get an appreciation of who my Papaw and Granny are. So, I spent time setting up different editorial portraits which were taken both inside and outside their small homestead in Greenfield, OH.  This homestead is the place where so many of my childhood memories were based. I wanted to create something that I could one day show to my kids and grandkids so that they could know where they had come from.

   It is because of the choices that Albert L. and Nancy Cox made throughout the years that I’m here.  I now have an opportunity to create, to love, to fear and to dream, because this is where I have come from.  This is who I am, and I’m proud to say that this is my family.

Emmyson Sichikrta

   September, I had the opportunity of traveling through Zambia and Malawi with Global Partners, a world aid organization. While I was in Zambia I had the opportunity to spend time with Rev. Emmyson Sichikrta a local pastor in the village of Choma in Zambia. Emmyson saw that many of the orphans and vulnerable children (children of families where the breadwinner has passed away) were not able to attend schools due to high school fees. You see, in Zambia, there is no free public schooling. This became a large problem in his community and in many others across Africa.                        

   So instead of waiting for someone else to come and give them a handout or creating some temporary change, Emmyson decided to be the change. He took the resources that he had available to him and opened his small one room church building which became a school house during the week. It didn't take long before they were no longer fitting into the small church building, so the church helped raise money to build a new school house. But as they keep building new buildings, the school just keeps growing. Now, just a few years later, they have 280 boys and girls attending with 8 teachers offering K through 7th grade. Emmyson saw a need and instead of just feeling like it was too big of a problem for a poor pastor in the middle of Zambia, he decided to take what was available to him and to be the change in his community.  

Taking Pittsburgh Wall Art to the next Level

     This past August, I had the opportunity to spend some time  photographing Dan Kitchener, a UK based muralist. The owners of New Amsterdam, along with Ziggy Sawdust Productions, arranged for Dan to create his first U.S. mural on the wall of the New Amsterdam building in Pittsburgh at 45th and Buttler St in Lawrenceville. 
    While Dan was creating the mural I had the privilege of getting to spend time with him. I learned that Dan has worked alongside Banksy and many other talented street artists over the years. This year alone Dan has created murals in over nine countries around the world. I also learned that this photoshoot was his first ever official portrait with his work. So, I wanted to make sure to create something unique for him. I've always taken the stance when taking photos that a good portrait should tell a story. It should capture their personality, so that when someone looks at the image, the viewers are able to understand a little bit more about that person's life and history. I feel that I was able to capture this with Dan. 
  If you've not had the opportunity to see the mural, I recommend you stop in at the New Amsterdam, have a drink, and take in Kitchener's beautiful mural.  

Dan Kitchener Instagram:
New Amsterdam Facebook:
Ziggy Sawdust Production:

Killer Corporate Head shots

      Corporate Head shots are something that every commercial portrait photographer in Pittsburgh has to shoot, but just because you have to shoot them doesn't mean that you can't have fun and make some killer images wail doing it. I had the privilege to shoot Turner Constructions employee Head shots the other day, and was able to create some of those Killer images. 

Pittsburgh Magazine Fall Fashion Shoot

   I had the pleasure of photographing Pittsburgh Magazine, Fall Fashion shoot back in July at Hyeholde Restaurant ( for the September Issue.  I if you missed the issue check out the images and BTS video below. But I wanted to say thanks to the amazing team that I had the privilege to work along side that made my job so easy.   

Travis  Klingler: Hair and makeup  (

Jared Marsh: Assistent

LaMont Jones: Clothing Stylist

 Adelaide Jones: Model

Trim Pittsburgh

A few months Back I was introduced to Tom and Adam, by chance at Planet Fitness in Edge wood, through a mutual friend. Little did I know that they were the owners of Trim Pittsburgh, A East Liberty Men’s underwear and swimwear boutique  Over the next few months I have been able to work with them on three different occasions, first being when Tom approached me about doing a lifestyle portrait shoot  as a christmas gift for Adam After this I was able to work with them on two different commercial lifestyle shoots for Trim Pittsburgh, Hear are a few of the photos from our shoot as well as a few BTS photos provided by Tom. 


Pittsburgh Photographer in NYC

    Even though I may be a Pittsburgh based photographer, my hart has always and will always be in NYC. So when the opportunity came up to go to NYC to shoot a Portrait shoot for Sports agent/Deal maker, Dr Glenn Toby I jumped at the opportunity, Hear are a few of the BTS photos as well as a few of the finished products. 

Actress Marie Lou Nahas

Its always a lot of fun on set, looking through outfits, working with Hair and makeup as we prep to go onto location. Pittsburgh was getting its first real snow storm of the winter, so I though why not go out and do a photo shoot, and I think that we were able to get some really great shots. Location: Penn ave, in East Liberty, With Actress Marie Lou Nahhas, with Hair and makeup by Hannah Donovan.