Best damned photographers in Annapolis

| October 22, 2014 | 2 Comments

BEstDamnedWelcome to a new, purely subjective and opinionated column highlighting the best damned things in the area.  They could be people. Places. Services. Or whatever I feel like writing about.

This is pure opinion. 100% biased. There is no voting and your opinion may (and probably will) differ from mine; and that’s OK. I base my opinions on experience. I moved to the area in 1996 and have seen places come and go. I have had some of the greatest experiences  and some of the worst. Your results may vary, but I hope this periodic column will give you some food for thought if you ever need to find the best damned thing in Annapolis–or the area!

There are a few disclosures though….scroll down and read them!

Best Damned Photographers In Annapolis

With the advent of digital photography, everyone with an iPhone is a “photographer” these days. Wrong!  The equipment does not make the photographer. The eyes do. And the ability to connect what they see to the equipment they hold.  If you will notice, whenever I take a photo and post it to this site, I call it a “snapshot” and there is no copyright–steal it at will, it’s not that good. But whenever a true photographer’s works are featured, they are copyrighted and, not being a hack, they are referred to as a photographer. But all photographers are not created equal! They all have their own styles and specialties. And here for your consideration are five of the best damned photographers in the area!

Best Family Photographer

gallery1_021Hands down, Heather Crowder Photography. She has a studio on Maryland Avenue in Annapolis and does an outstanding job with families and children in particular. She also does wonderfully professional headshots and occasionally will put on a fancy makeover/head shot extravaganza in coordination with some other local businesses.  If you want to capture your family or children. Go there. Little babies work best in the studio, but if you can–go outside with her. I have learned from personal experience, that she will not compromise. I was scheduled to have a long-overdue family photograph and trying to wrangle two college kids and a high schooler at the same time proved challenging for more than a year. Finally we got it, but the weather sucked. I wanted to go. She refused saying that neither of us would be happy with the results. Disappointed for sure, but in the end– Heather knows best. ([email protected])

Best Sports or Events Photographer

Screenshot 2014-10-13 14.41.53a digital cure photography. Kevin Carroll has the knack of being at the right place at the right time. All the time. He shoots all of our Naval Academy stuff–football, basketball, boxing, hockey,  commissioning, Blue Angels, sea trials, etc.  In addition, he shoots larger events and festivals for us–Merriweather Post Pavilion, Verizon Center, etc. If you are looking to capture an event, maybe your superstar lacrosse kid, or something that involves the unpredictable–Kevin is your go-to guy. In fact, he is really good across the board. Well, maybe not weddings or families, but–definitely check him out. I don’t know how he does it, but he is always at the right place at the right time–like when George Clooney got arrested in DC. He works from home based in Annapolis and does not have an “office” so, shoot him an email ([email protected])

Best Live Entertainment Photographer

johnpopperMusic, entertainment, events, parades. Glenn A. Miller Photography is the way to go. Glenn shoots most of our Rams Head On Stage shows, some sports, most parades and events. He is incredible with cars (and even homes–listen up realtors); but where he really shines is in live music. He is into music and knows how to make an artist look great. He is a schmoozer and will often get production people to make adjustments to lighting to make sure his shot is just perfect. Glenn is also a great news photographer. You have seen a lot of his stuff in The Capital and on Eye On Annapolis when there is a big fire or bad accident. He is always mobile and usually never far from the action. He is also based in Annapolis and works from home.  You likely have seen his work if you have any kids that attended a prom or homecoming–he is usually the photographer capturing all the fun. I have seen his modeling portfolio (well, not his, but the people he photographs)–top notch! ([email protected])

Best Scenery Photographer

frozenbayMark Dignen of Dignen Photography is one of the best landscape and nature photographers around. Like many photographers, he started shooting as a hobby. And then it grew.  Entry level cameras became mid-level cameras, which became small mortgages. But it is his eye that really stands out. He is patient to get a shot and very enthusiastic and wanting to make sure you get what you want–sort of like Heather with kids. But he doesn’t like doing families and all that. Been there, done that. He finds the unusual in the usual which is a gift for a photographer. So, why go to him? If you are looking for some Chesapeake Bay or Maryland themed photos..he’s your man. If you have a unique home, give him a call. Great story, he shot a really unique old farmhouse in winter a few years ago. It had a fire and burned to the ground. On his own, he sent a framed copy of the photo to the owners  and it turned out to be one of the last photos of the old house they ever had–all because Mark saw something extraordinary when everyone else may have passed it by. Mark and I met about six years ago and he is the co-administrator of our Facebook page. ([email protected])

Best Wedding Photographer

nataliefThree easy to remember words–Natalie Franke Photography.  End of the conversation. Ridiculously great wedding photography–and that includes engagement sessions as well. She also does senior portraits, but I think that is taking a backseat to the wedding gigs.  When people hire her to photograph their wedding overseas–you know she is good.  Natalie is local, grew up in the area, went to Towson and Penn and came back and is taking the wedding photography arena by storm. She knows the little nooks and crannies to shoot the perfect image. She blends into the background so you can focus on your wedding day. But most importantly, she makes you feel at ease.  One time over coffee, she told me that she will never shoot a wedding unless she also shot the engagement photos. She is that adamant about having the right chemistry between bride/groom and photographer. I am an old divorced guy with no plans of a marriage any time soon, but when my daughters get married–Natalie is on my speed dial. It is hard to put my finger on it, but when you look at a Natalie Franke photo–you just know! Hey, here’s a tip for your wedding photos–don’t cheap out on them. This is a big day and you need to look at them as an investment. Natalie is also a partner in Bayside Bride which is the Chesapeake Bay’s go-to resource for anything wedding on the Bay! ([email protected])

Disclosures: Most of our things do not advertise with us. Some will. For the most part, we don’t like to partner with people whose things we don’t like. So when you see an ad on our site, we believe in it.

But this is not a part of any advertising program. You cannot pay to be a “best damned thing.” If you want to pay, there are plenty of other opportunities elsewhere. But, if you feel we might be a good vehicle for your advertising in general–check it out (shameless plug).

Finally, if you have any ideas for the next “best damned” column, please leave a comment and if we have an opinion, we may take you up on it. Or if yours is strong enough–maybe you can write your list for us!

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About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.