Nick Carver Photography Blog

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Featured Testimonial: Private Lessons

One of my long-time private lesson students, Cheryl McClusky-Chavez, was kind enough to share a glowing testimonial with me that I wanted to pass along to you. Cheryl is the artist behind Sadie James Photography, specializing in family portraits, maternity, children, boudoir, senior portraits and more. Her work is fantastic and she is truly a great, creative mind. Cheryl hired me to help her out in the technical aspects of photography (understanding shutter speed, aperture, ISO and all the rest) as well as streamlining her workflow so as to reduce processing time behind the computer.

Photo by Cheryl McClusky-Chavez - Sadie James PhotographyAfter Private Lessons

I've been doing photography recreationally for over 12 years. Five years ago, with the birth of my twins, Sadie and James, also came the birth of my professional photography career. They were born extremely premature at 29 weeks and spent 10 weeks in the NICU. Out of necessity I had to take portraits of them as they were not able to go to a commercial studio. The doctors warned us that their weakened immune systems could not handle being around all of the potential germs. With each passing day, I found myself documenting their miraculous journey. I always had a baby in one arm and my camera in the other. As they grew and got stronger so did my passion for photography. A few months later, what used to be a hobby had grown into a part time job, I started doing portraits for family and friends on the weekends. It was at that time that I decided I wanted to hone my photography skills and bring my photography to the next level. I went in search of books, photography courses, and anything that I thought would help me expand my knowledge.

I was so very fortunate to find Nick at Nick Carver Photography. At the time, I don't think I realized just how fortunate I was. Looking back now, over 3 years later, I can honestly say I do not know where I'd be without Nick and all of his teachings. Sometimes when people are experts in the field they are just that...experts. They do not have the ability to teach what they know to others. That is not the case with Nick, he not only takes amazing shots but can also explain how he did them in a language that everyone can understand. In all my years of working with him there has never been a technical question that he was not able to answer. More recently, as my business has grown from a part time job to a full time one, Nick has been instrumental in helping me manage and streamline my workflow. He has helped me shorten the time I spend editing and helped me organization my images more efficiently, which cuts down the time it takes me to get sessions processed for my clients.

I cannot say enough great things about Nick and his work. He is friendly, easy to work with, and has a wealth of knowledge well beyond his years. I would highly recommend him for private tutoring sessions or any of his classroom/online courses. His courses are well thought out and he has spent an immense amount of time developing and fine tuning them for his students. Whether you just got your camera or you have been shooting for years, there is always room to grow your photography knowledge and skills. Having a resource like Nick to support that growth is priceless.

- Cheryl McClusky-Chavez

Here are a couple pictures from right before I started with Cheryl:

Before Private Lessons

Before Private Lessons

Here is the kind of work Cheryl is doing today (and see the image at top):

Photo by Cheryl McClusky-Chavez - Sadie James Photography
If you're in Southern California and need some portraits, check out Sadie James Photography. You won't be disappointed.