Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my photography. My career as a professional photographer has spanned 15 years beginning in 1999 when I joined the Marines and was trained to be a U. S. Marine Combat Photographer. My first step into professional photography started with black and white film and, although I’ve always been a bit of an artist, the day I picked up a camera my lifelong passion was realized. I fell in love with the type of raw photojournalism featured in vintage LIFE Magazines and classic environmental portraiture. My first four years of photography werehistorical documentation of American life from the perspective of an ambitious, young Marine. I really enjoyed meeting and connecting with people and when I wasn’t out on assignments I was spending endless hours in the portrait studio perfecting lighting techniques.
Being a full-time, professional photographer for all these years has been a truly amazing experience. In D.C. I’ve photographed formal events at the White House, Capitol, Pentagon, State Department, FBI Academy, Marine Barracks 8th and I, and the National Cathedral just to name a few. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been selected to photograph VIP events all over the world, in places such as Prague, Tokyo, Seoul, Sofia, NYC, Hollywood, and the distinct pleasure to serve as the official photographer for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. I’ve photographed the Secretary of Defense, Senators, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ambassadors, American war heroes from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, multiple celebrities in Hollywood, business leaders - including multiple owners of NFL and MLB franchises - and even Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin. My work has been published in the Washington Post, and numerous other magazines, and if you search in the C-SPAN archives you’ll find a video of me photographing a Senate confirmation hearing.
So how do all these people, places, and experiences translate into me and my style of wedding photography for your big day? Well, I’ve had to work under extremely dynamic, stressful, and unpredictable circumstances. On top of that I’ve had to photograph the full spectrum of personalities - from the most relaxed to the most demanding- and I didn’t know what category an event and its attendants would fall in until after I got there. I learned I had to be ready for anything, with multiple back-up plans for everything - backdrops, lighting, equipment, schedule of events, etc. You name it, I planned for it to go wrong and how I would recover the situation and not lose the moment when it did. If things went perfect, great but if not, it didn't matter because I was ready. But let’s be honest when do things go perfectly in highly-emotional, historic occasions? Right. So I learned that I had to plan. I also learned that there were going to be times when I had to transform from the guy just “blending into the background” taking pictures to the pillar of stability when unexpected chaos erupted around me (and it did). I had to be the guy who could see everything happening, restore balance and regain control for everyone caught up in the chaos, get things back on track - and then fade into the background again. I was responsible for making sure I documented history and that was far more important than any temporary glitch. So, whatever your wedding day has in store for us, I’m ready.
So what’s your style? I get asked this a lot. In one word: editorial. My goal is to capture images of you that look like they came straight out of a magazine, that make you appear larger than life. The extraordinary, not the ordinary. An ordinary photo is achieved using your Smartphone - aim, hit the button and done. An extraordinary photo is achieved when a skilled professional grounded in decades of experience assesses the surroundings, fine tunes dozens of variables using state of the art equipment, checks the position of the sun (and knows why that matters), has the vision to see a photograph before it happens and then, without anyone noticing, positions himself to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time shooting from exactly the right angle and click, they capture magic.
So how much about photography do you really know? In a world of outsourcing and computer technology this is a legitimate question. I’ve been a certified a Master Photography Instructor since 2006 and have personally taught over 3000 people in the craft of photography since 2004. I learned on film, developing photographs in a darkroom, and personally lived through the evolution of film to digital as a photographer. I understand the science and the artbehind it.
Although I specialized in weddings and engagements, I photograph a limited number of lifestyle family sessions on location and newborn portraits in my studio in Northern Virginia where I live with my amazing wife and two kids, two dogs, and two cats.
If you think my experience and style match your vision 99,111,110,116,97,99,116,32,109,101em tcatnoc with any questions and to setup an initial meeting. - J.P. Goss