Today we are talking with up-and-coming photographer RJ Goodwin. We first got to know him through Daryl Calfee, one of his college professors, and our friend Sam Stroud, with whom RJ shoots weddings. With everything on his plate photography-wise, it’s a bit hard to believe that RJ is still in college! In today’s Photographer Profile, learn more about this photographer who is quickly making a name for himself, both inside and outside of the classroom.
RJ carries the Camps Bay backpack in field tan.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
RG: I was just a kid who liked playing with cameras, honestly. It wasn’t until I was on my high school’s yearbook staff that I realized I really enjoyed photographing people. So I bought a Canon T3i and started photographing friends for free. I eventually started getting paid to do portraits. Since then I’ve upgraded my gear and improved my shooting style, but I’m still enamored with the whole process. An incredible hobby turned into an exciting job.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
RG: I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and I love it. My “go-to” lens has to be the 50mm f/1.2. The combination of the Mark III and the 1.2 is just incredible. I also use a 5D as a second body, usually with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 attached.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity?
RG: I’m driven by the passion and personality of others. I primarily shoot weddings and portraits, so discovering the personalities of my clients and figuring out ways to represent them beautifully really excites me.
ONA: What is your dream project?
RG: I’d love to work internationally with a humanitarian cause. I’m determined to see the world, but wouldn’t mind doing some good while I’m out there.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
RG: As a young photographer the hardest thing to overcome has been self-doubt. It sounds cheesy, but confidence is a game-changer. Once I felt comfortable with the images I was putting out, my work got better.
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
RG: I’d describe my style as open and natural. I love natural lighting. I often shoot portrait sessions in locations where I know the environment will enhance the quality of my shots. Working with clients has always been exciting for me. You can see the positive energy created between us in the finished product.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
RG: Never get complacent with your work.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
RG: My friend Ellie told me I should check out this company that “makes sick camera bags.” She was right!