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The Other Half

from Shawn

January 11, 2016

Hello everyone! This is the first in a new series that will be presented by a not-so-new face. My husband, Shawn, has been a huge inspiration for me and Britney Clause Photography. He's helped me build it from day one, and has been an integral part of everything I do. His monthly series should provide a different perspective from what I usually share, including a different opinion and more technical insight to things. Enjoy!

~ Britney

After Britney started doing photography right after college (while we were dating) my responsibilities were very simple. I would go with her to shoots as another set of eyes and hands. I would be there to carry her bag , swap lenses, hold up a background blanket, throw leaves in the air, and other tasks trivial for people with four arms. Sometimes, I had the luxury of being the model myself (free professional headshots for life!) I've always tried to support her business and fill any needs she had. It's only natural that she would soon start teaching me how to use a camera, what to look for in a shot, how to adjust for lighting, and all the other various intricacies of photography. It made it much easier that I spent years looking at her photos, giving and listening to her input on how to shoot.

Fast forward several months through a training montage, and Britney eventually trusted me as a second shooter at a wedding. It went very well, and even though I made some mistakes, it was easy to receive feedback on what I could do better. Over time, the professional training, constant input, and experience in the moment made me better and better. Now, a couple dozen weddings later, and it feels almost natural to be there as the other photographer. There's still a lot of room to grow into what Britney can accomplish as a photographer (I'm always practicing my wedding detail shots), but it's a very rewarding feeling looking at a blog post and realizing that I took some of the images.

In addition to being the other photographer, I am also the tech support and web developer for BCP. I've created the entire website by hand, including the shop and client lounge [there is a little touch of WordPress for actually writing the posts]. It's a point of pride to be able to replicate any features Britney needs without relying on other services or programmers. I've also worked to find backup solutions to ensure images are never lost, improve the website speed and security to make sure that everything is quick and safe to use, and explore ways to easily upload images that is cost effective for us and easy for clients. I'm also responsible for all the fun search engine optimization to make sure this site gets plenty of public exposure, which is a never-ending process. I put a lot of miles on my computer, so I love getting more monitors and nicer mechanical keyboards to "boost my productivity."

Outside of Britney Clause Photography, I am currently working through my Ph.D. in Computer Science at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (not coincidentally, Britney's alma mater), and I've been published for my research in Artificial Intelligence. Whenever I find spare time, I enjoy all kinds of video games and board games -- Britney and I have been collecting a lot of both. I also enjoy keeping a running list of shows and movies I spend particularly long weekends binge watching. And if it hasn't been obvious yet, I'm a big computer nerd, and enjoy talking about all sorts of technology and otherwise geeky things. And -- of course -- my favorite thing is being able to spend time with my love.

I'll look forward to sharing more insight into behind-the-scenes looks at Britney Clause Photography, including what it's like to work with your spouse [spoiler alert: I think it's awesome] and some more information and what goes on behind the scenes to help deliver the best possible quality.

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