In 2006, I was just another guy in a relationship. My girlfriend’s son was a high school wrestler, and I was looking for a way to connect with him. It occurred to me that taking pictures of him on the wrestling mat would be a great way to memorialize his achievements. Plus, my girlfriend would certainly appreciate a great photo of her son.
I bought my first camera, and began taking pictures of anything and everything. I wasn’t very good, and I had no idea why my pictures were as awful as they were, but I enjoyed every second of it.
On the wrestling mat, I was hoping to freeze the action, but had no idea how. I saw other photographers with fancy cameras and equipment, so naturally I tried to follow suit. I bought my first DSLR camera and a telephoto lens. With this new gear, I believed my pictures would improve. That wasn’t the case. My pictures were still awful. I saw a newspaper photographer walking around with a light on his camera, so naturally I needed one of them too.
I had accumulated more gear than I intended, but still didn’t have an understanding of how to take a good picture, or why my pictures were as bad as they were. It was at this point that I turned to YouTube for some education. I digested a ton of videos, taking in as much information as I could.
I stumbled across a video where Peter Hurley, the foremost authority on headshots in the world, was speaking. He was a powder keg of energy. He had a magnetic personality and was absolutely hysterical. On top of that, his images were beautiful! It was instant inspiration for me. I needed to find a way to learn more, and I needed to meet Peter.
I knew that if photography was like any other profession, there would be a conference at some point. With the help of Google, I made arrangements to attend my first photography conference in New York City. There was so much to see, and the classes were chock full of information. I made my way to Peter’s talk, anxious to hear his thoughts. I listened for 2 hours, as Peter not only discussed his craft, but also did a live demonstration. He was just as funny as he was in his video. The energy he put out was incredible. I didn’t understand how he did it, but becoming a headshot photographer was my new goal.
I found my way to a party that Peter was co-hosting with the F-stoppers crew. To me, he was a rock star, and wouldn’t make time for a new guy like me. But, if I was going to make any sort of progress with my new goal, I was going to need a mentor. I grabbed a drink and introduced myself. He was so personable! We discussed his antics on stage, and had a few laughs at the ridiculousness.
Peter asked to see my work. This was the moment I was dreading. I showed him a few pictures on my mobile phone. With absolutely no hesitation, he informed me that I “fuckin’ suck.” I thanked him for the confidence booster. Instead of walking away, however, I let him know that if I suck that badly, then he should teach me. He invited me to join his coaching platform, formerly known as Ph2Pro. Today this platform is known as The Headshot Crew.
This was progress. Sure, I got roughed up a little, but at least I was on Peter’s radar. I began the coaching process with Peter. He didn’t sugar coat his critiques, but I did learn. He helped me establish the foundation of my new career, both from a technical and an artistic perspective. With time, I began to understand my previous errors, but most importantly, I was correcting them.
It was at this point that I made one of the dumbest, but ambitious decisions of my life. I stepped away from my Wall Street career as a bond analyst, and embarked on a life as headshot photographer. When Peter found out, he thought I had lost my mind.
An important part of Peter’s coaching system is to promote his students as they successfully assemble a portfolio of images, which meets his standards. Through a review process, He studies each image, provides feedback, and if 15 images are accepted, Peter bestows the designation of Associate Photographer. This means that Peter believes the work is of the highest quality and consistency, and that he can confidently refer work out. Some students require more time and work than others.
After my first review, I was left with some good feedback and areas for improvement. After the second review, I was a bit discouraged. I had made corrections, and yet He still wasn’t happy with my work. By this time, Peter and I had formed quite a friendship. He would beat me down, in the name of tough love. I suppose he just expected more of me. Of course, he was always there with a big hug and an open ear when we saw each other.
I primed myself for one last shot at making Associate. I had no intention of submitting my portfolio to him unless I was sure to make it. I even promised myself that I’d walk away from it all if I didn’t make it.
Coincidentally, the Headshot Crew had planned a cruise to Bermuda. We would do some learning on board, and also make a nice vacation of the trip. As plain as day, there was my opportunity. I was going to make Associate ON the cruise.
For those who are unfamiliar with Peter, he uses the word SHA-BANG! as an enthusiastic response to... well, just about anything.
The chips were down. The review began. 20 images submitted, 15 needed to make Associate. He picked out a few things to talk about here and there. Then… SHA-BANG! … SHA-BANG! … SHA-BANG! … SHA-BANG!
In total, 19 out of 20 images were accepted, and I received 4 SHA-BANGs. With that, Peter made me an Associate photographer. My dear friends, who I had known since the beginning of this journey, flocked to me and offered hugs and congratulations. My wife, beamed with pride. This was not an easy accomplishment.
That evening, my wife and I were seated at a hibachi table at a Japanese restaurant on board the cruise ship. We were seated with folks we didn’t know. Suddenly, Peter was behind us, with arms wrapped around both of us. He proudly announced to the table that they were sitting with "one of the best photographers in the world.” Whether that was true or not, was irrelevant. It made me feel amazing, and that was one of the coolest memories I’ve ever had.
Today, I am a Mentor in the Headshot Crew, a global community of 14,000 headshot photographers. I have been shooting headshots exclusively for the last 10 years, and am a brand ambassador for a handful of photography related companies. I respect my humble photography roots, and appreciate the success I have enjoyed. I look forward to assisting my clients on their journey for success, and that begins with helping them embrace and elevate their personal brands.
Richard Waine Photography was formed with the sole intention of providing you with high quality images that best represent you, your message, and your brand.
An impression is made within the first few seconds of seeing someone. You don't have the luxury of wasting an opportunity to impress. A visual representation of your personality, your competence and your approachability is paramount.
Whether you are in need of an updated LinkedIn profile photo, improving your digital identity, or you're looking for an amazing photo for a dating profile, you've come to the right place!
It is cheaper, faster and more efficient to get things right the first time. I coach and direct you into positions and expressions that resonate with your target audience.
I want you to leave my studio having had an incredible experience, and with images that not only captivate your audience, but are authentically you.
I have spent the majority of my photography career working in commercial headshots and portraiture. I have been a headshot judge for the International Model and Talent Association, am a member of the Professional Photographers of America, Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, and National Association of Photoshop Professionals. I am an associate photographer and mentor in Peter's Hurley's Headshot Crew, and am a brand ambassador for Phase One and Savage Universal.
All this really means is that I am a professional headshot specialist, and I am able to bring out the very best in you, translate your message into a visual representation and provide an experience second to none!
I am an avid fan of music, with eclectic taste and a constant desire to play the air drums. I have been a guitarist, drummer and saxophonist since I was 9 years old, and still play music that was popular in the 1950's.
I enjoy a good beer, and simply can't function without my morning coffee. Having spent my prior life on Wall Street, I’m also a business and finance geek.
I live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my family and our amazing dog, Harley.
Harley knows her best side. See, she's showing it off!
Don't get thrown off by the fact that she also has a thing for strolling through fresh mulch.
Hars, as we affectionately call her, is a Golden Doodle. Despite being a behavior school drop-out, she is exceptionally well mannered, well behaved and lives to give kisses.
She loves people, long walks in the backyard, and enjoys a good beer from time to time. She's partial to lagers, and won't even try a glass of wine or champagne. She prefers watching Football and sharing a few pretzels with friends and family.
Yes, she has me wrapped around her paw...and she knows it!
BUT WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WEAR A HAT?
Besides being folically challenged (as much as I hate to admit it, I'm losing my hair), my infatuation with hats started when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I had broken my nose in a day-camp bus accident. The plastic surgeon who stitched me up wanted to ensure that any scarring was as minimal as possible, so he insisted I wear a hat to keep the sun from my face. I never dropped the habit. Today, my collection of hats is insane, even though I'm usually seen in one particular black hat.
When you find that one hat that fits you well, is super comfortable, and matches pretty much everything, you end up wearing it all the time. Well, that's my day-to-day hat. It has a big "M" on the front, which most people tend to mistake for Michigan University. I'm sorry to disappoint, but that "M" is for Mountville, where my kids are involved in the youth sports programs. I try to support the local teams in any way I can.
I am a video. Play me!