The Newest Member of CFP – Welcome, Sam!

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May 3, 2018

I shared a really exciting announcement LIVE on Facebook earlier this week, and I’ve been keeping it under wraps for over a month now!

Watch the live announcement HERE!

We officially welcomed the newest member of CFP, Samarah, so of course, to kick off her introduction, we had an impromptu  photoshoot! I needed some updated headshots/content and of course I needed some photos of Sam for her blog intro! 🙂

Back in 2014 I did Sam’s senior photos, which ended up being one of my favorite senior sessions to date (you’ll see why a little later 😀 ) and she later enrolled in my photography class up at SUNY, and then enrolled in Greg’s photo class up at SUNY as well. Surprisingly, she wasn’t sick of us yet and here we are!

I’ve played around with the idea of bringing on an intern for CFP in the past, but to be honest, I wasn’t confident in the fact that I could create an “intern experience” worthwhile.

Let’s just get this right out there – I feel like the term “intern” has preconceived expectations and assumptions. I don’t want someone doing my paperwork or mindlessly replying to emails. I want to teach someone the actual, real-life, on the job stuff that will actually make them a better photographer.

At our little photo session, I gave very little direction beforehand, saying that I just needed her to take some headshots and content for the website/blog/social media. After a stop to Dunkin, we arrived, Sam got out of my car, camera in hand and said, “I don’t really know exactly what you’d like me to do” I replied, “that’s perfect, and it’s the best way to learn.” I handed Sam my 50mm lens, a new SD card and off we went.

Obviously, Sam is no where NEAR clueless when it comes to photography or her camera, she was one of my best students! But there is a difference between the classroom and an actual photo session. SO many different variables, so many different things to keep in mind about your surroundings, lighting, composition AND your camera setting. PHEW!

Back a couple years ago, when Ashley joined CFP, I had mentored her one-on-one for almost a year prior to her actually joining us at a wedding. There are certain things that you need to know about your camera and photography in general at first, but I am a strong believer that the rest must be learned from experience and actually physically being “on the job.”

I know this probably sounds mildly terrifying, but I would never put someone in a situation like that if I didn’t think they could do it. I knew Ashley could do it then, and I know Sam can do it now. Of course, taking my headshots are (hopefully) not as stressful, intense and intimidating as a wedding day can be, but I know that the best way I teach is by “walking and talking” with a hands-on approach. And that’s how I am making this “intern experience” FAR from traditional.

Sam will be joining us at everything from wedding days, consultations to post-processing at my desk. My goal is to be the teacher and mentor I would have wanted to learn from. I always say I don’t know WHERE I’d be if it hadn’t of been for Greg taking me under his wing, mentoring, and believing in me. Sometimes I say that he didn’t have a choice, I just continually kept showing up and asking questions and after a while he just accepted the fact that I wasn’t going anywhere 🙂 Haha!

OKAY. Now that my little rant is over, check out our photos!!! Sam did an AWESOME job, and I couldn’t be happier!


Okay, I HAVE to do a little throwback Thursday action, with some of my favorites from Sam’s senior session back in 2014 🙂



Welcome, Sam!!