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As an artist, I am always a perfectionist and I am sure if you ask any artist, we are all a little insecure with where we are in our path to success. I struggled a lot in the beginning with my work never being good enough or never matching the level of quality I was seeing presented on the web. It was discouraging, frustrating, and I eventually learned that I could just be me. My personal goal has always been to remain humble and to seek out others who share that same belief. It is so easy to go online, look at the vast array of others, and declare them as competition without getting to really know them. The problem is that while most photographers/videographers are so connected online, it is hard to see the real person past the work & online persona. Every year there seems to be an opportunity to finally meet the people you follow and this year it was WPPI.  Two weeks ago when I traveled to Las Vegas for the show, I had no idea that it would be a life changing experience.

I signed up for WPPI after I saw that two of my favorite filmmakers, Joe Simon & Kevin Shahnian, were teaching a class the same week. It was an amazing opportunity to go to somewhere I had never been, and to meet up with many industry friends that were attending the conference. I have truly learned over the last two years that trips and new experiences are what flood my mind with inspiration, so Vegas was a must. My neighbor and good friend, Caleb Jenkins, decided to come along with me for the trip. He shoots mostly film and focuses on Polaroids. He had been looking to get into the portrait side of the industry and I thought this could really help him out. We both arrived in Vegas on a Saturday, and our first stop was the amazing In-N-Out Burger. I have to say that it lived up to the hype and it was completely amazing. Afterwards we spent the day exploring the strip and our hotel, the MGM Grand. On Sunday, the conference began, and all my friends were flying in. At Zack & Jody Gray’s workshop, I was standing in the entrance when two familiar people came up to me. It was Natalie Franke and Serena Severtson. I am actually shooting Natalie’s wedding in May, so it was absolutely awesome to finally meet her. They were both the sweetest people and we all became good friends as the week progressed. Another surprise that day was meeting Holley Maher and Marie Hines. If you have been following my work, you will know that I use a lot of their music in my films and even commercials. I used Holley’s “Perfect Day” in the national Pandora commercial and it was so amazing to finally meet her in person. She surprised me with a hug and said, “Josh! I love you. Thank you so much for supporting my music!”. It was so neat that she even knew who I was and I even got a few signed CDs to take home. Supporting musicians by licensing their music is one of the things I am most proud of with our company and its always amazing to meet & hear the artists perform live. It is just a completely different experience. I ended this amazing day by going to Mon Ami Gabi at Paris for my French fix. It was delicious and well worth the trip. I also joked that it would be the closest to Paris I will be this year.

On Monday, I attended the Event Cinema workshop with Joe & Kevin, who were amazing. They managed to fit their 3 day workshop into one day and it was fantastic. We were there from 9AM to 7pm and my mind was melting at the end of it from all the knowledge I soaked up. Joe & Kevin run completely different event cinematography businesses that focus on two distinct markets (traditional & South Asian), and it was interesting to see the similarities and differences. They also were extremely humble and very open to answering all of our questions, which I greatly appreciated after having bad experiences at other video workshops in the past. After the workshop, I headed over to the MGM Signature and met up with Jeremy Mitchell, Ashley Mitchell, Jen Jar, Ashley Goodwin, Katie Nesbitt, Serena Severtson, and Natalie Franke. It was everyone that I love in the same place & all of us live on the East Coast, besides Ashley Goodwin, yet we never see each other. The best part is that I got to know Jen, Katie, Serena, and Natalie beyond photography and as people. We all shared so many interests, and it was just awesome to be with a group of people that were fun, humble, and so willing to share.

When Tuesday rolled around, I knew it would be a long day and an even longer night. Our first class was with Elizabeth Messina and it was unbelievable. I have always admired her work, and to hear her on stage talking about it was amazing. I even won a copy of her book and to be honest, I have not even opened it yet because it is packaged so beautifully. Right afterwards, I met up with Ryan Muirhead and Becky Earl, who are two of my favorite film photographers. They were offering a four-hour workshop and I knew I had to sign up. I am so glad I did because there were only three of us in the class, which made it incredibly personal. Ryan & Becky took us to downtown Las Vegas, where we learned advanced spot-metering for black and white, the zone system, shooting street, and communicating with film labs. The wealth of knowledge that they shared with us was invaluable. Just getting to hang out with them was so neat and I have to say it again, they were completely approachable and friendly. It is just so nice to learn from those at the top of their field that have remained humble. After a day of learning about film, Caleb & I cruised the trade show, where we met a ton of great vendors, played with gear, and took a bunch of free film from Kodak. That night, I headed out with my awesome East Coast crew to Lazers & Blazers, where we partied the night away until 4AM. I refuse to acknowledge the mindless photo booth shots I found myself in, but I will be sure to post one of my amazing friends.

On Wednesday, our final day, I took it easy. I got to meet up with Amina from Stillmotion at the Canon booth (so nice to see her again), play with Canon C100, and then hang out with the good folks at Indie Film Lab. I swear, I am sending my next B&W rolls there. You really could not ask for a greater group of people. In the afternoon, we met up with our East Coast crew again for yet another adventure. Jen and Katie rented a minivan, and all of us jumped in. We headed out of Vegas and into Red rock Canyon for a photo shoot. The park is thirteen miles long and we stopped at the first mile and never left until it was pitch black. There really are no words for what it was like. The colors were perfect and I could not get over how beautiful everything was. A huge part of this trip for me was shooting everything on film. Before I had mixed digital and film, but I really wanted to push myself and do something new. It was completely worth it and I think you will love some of the images I have to share. Overall, this was an amazing trip and I gained some incredible friends. I really learned that connecting with people and establishing a relationship is what is most important. I am forever grateful for all the experiences that we had and I am excited to share some of those with you today. Enjoy!

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Myself with Joe Simon at the Event Cinema Workshop and below with all my East Coast friends at the WPPI party Lazers & Blazers.

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 Above: A portrait of Ryan Muirhead

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  • March 26, 2013 - 5:00 pm

    Serena Severtson - Okay, first off – I love your wrap up. It was so great to hang out and have photo adventures! I’m loving all of these frames. :)

    Second: That awesome addition to the last image just made my week. Fallout = <3.

  • March 27, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Emily Shaw Lapish - These are absolutely amazing.

  • March 28, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Katie - Love this Josh! Your images came out great:)

  • March 29, 2013 - 5:00 am

    Josh Moates - love these man.

  • March 29, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    ashley barnett - I LOVE that one of Jen where she’s sitting on the rock. These are awesome and I’m so glad we got to hang out!!!

  • May 31, 2013 - 12:33 am

    Melissa - I love your photos! I live in Harrisonburg, but I am getting married in Vegas. Did you meet any Vegas photographers or videographers while you were at your conference?

We have been quite busy the last few months with editing, and some amazing adventures that I will share soon, but first I am thrilled to finally share Mary & Joe’s wedding that we captured in December. Mary & Joe were absolutely the sweetest couple. Their love was so genuine and it could be felt greatly throughout the time we spent together. The ceremony took place at Epiphany Catholic Church in Washington D.C, and it was awesome. I love how Father Park really personalized it to Mary & Joe, and the whole ceremony became so much more special through that. After the beautiful ceremony, we strolled through Georgetown before heading to the incredible Carnegie Institution for Science for the reception. From the dark paneled library to the main foyer, it was gorgeous, and with Mary & Joe’s details it was perfect. Our favorite part of the reception is always the toasts, and these were nothing less than incredible. I am pretty sure the maid of honors is one of my favorites so far, and I had to include it. I hope you enjoy a small look at Mary & Joe’s film below!

Music licensed through The Music Bed

  • March 21, 2013 - 8:40 pm

    Mary Leonard - Josh it’s beautiful!! Thank you so much – we love it and we will treasure this video forever:) You captured every single special moment – it’s amazing!

  • March 21, 2013 - 10:43 pm

    Kraig Adams - Great job!

  • March 21, 2013 - 11:16 pm

    Deborah Guardado - beautiful!

  • March 21, 2013 - 11:30 pm

    Jacklyn Rivera - Awww I love it!

I am absolutely to thrilled to finally share Sarah & Khuong’s wedding film with you! Last November, we headed into Washington D.C for their gorgeous wedding. The heartfelt ceremony was held at the beautiful Church of the Holy City and guests were served lunch by Lemongrass, Sarah & Khuong’s favorite food truck. The reception was held at Sequoia Restaurant in Georgetown and we had quite an adventure getting there. They recently put in an ice rink, and a ton of lighting, so we were sure to take advantage of that before heading inside. During cocktail hour, Sarah & Khuong’s friends mingled and a few friends played music. It was awesome! Keeping with the movie theme, they also had a red carpet area and a photobooth area, which was really fun. The Elements, a band from NYC, got the party started and it did not stop. I hope you enjoy Sarah & Khuong’s film below!


Music licensed by The Music Bed

  • March 11, 2013 - 4:48 am

    Sarah Lacsamana Pham - You are the best, Josh! :-)

  • March 11, 2013 - 8:35 am

    Lorena Motrenec - Lovely! thanks for sharing.

  • March 11, 2013 - 8:36 am

    Lorena Motrenec - Lovely! thanks for sharing.

  • March 12, 2013 - 6:38 pm

    Christine Bierke Daniels - Absolutely amazing!!! You look so gorgeous, Sarah! So sad we could not be there. Lots of love to all of you. Thank you for sharing the video. :) <3

In November, we headed over to Castle Hill Cider in Charlottesville, Virginia for Angela & Joe’s beautiful wedding. While we were first overwhelmed with the amazing details to capture, we quickly learned that Angela & Joe are immensely talented, as well as their friends & family. From one of Angela’s friends singing “Come What May” (with the quartet playing the instrumentals) during the ceremony to Angela herself performing for Joe during the reception, it was exceptional.  I was so glad to be capturing this with my sweet friends Jodi & Kurt from Jodi Miller Photography. We always have such a great time collaborating. The ceremony was very heartfelt and meaningful, especially with the performance.  After the ceremony, guests were treated to some delicious food, and s’mores + cake for dessert. After a sparkler exit, Angela & Joe headed off for their next adventure on their motorcycles. I am so excited to share Angela & Joe’s film with you below!

Venue:  Castle Hill Cider
Cinematography:  Josh Gooden Cinematography
Photography: Jodi Miller Photography
Caterer:  20 South
Cake:  Cakes Unlimited
Florist:  Buttercups Floral
DJ:  Derek J. Tobler
Quartet:  Quartet of UVA
Officiant:  Michele Quesenberry
Lighting/draping:  Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting
Hair:  Daphne Latham
Makeup:  Tish Perkins
Dress: Augusta Jones
Shoes:  Jimmy Choos

For the past year and a half, I have been working on one of my greatest personal projects & I am thrilled to finally unveil it to you. For the first three years of my business, I struggled to find a studio space to call my own. No matter how far I searched, the spaces were either too expensive or unavailable, so I decided that my only option was to build it myself. With the help of my parents & an awesome set of contractors, we turned our unfinished garage into a fun, inspiring, and functional workspace (maybe even a man cave).

In December of 2011, we cleaned out the garage and our contractor helped us envision the room. We chose to go with a light color for the walls that would compliment my logo and we worked from there. By far the hardest part was choosing the flooring. I hated the idea of tile, but then we started looking at older homes in Colonial Williamsburg that used it for an entry way and found a color scheme that did not immediately draw attention. While it was stressful at first trying to envision it, I think it turned out wonderful and matched the colors in my brand almost perfectly. With my limited interior design knowledge, I turned to my great friend, Ashley Goodwin, to help design the space. Ashley came up with detailed drawing for each section, which really helped us to envision the space.

We divided the space into four distinct sections, which are the gallery, workspace, equipment storage, and media center. The most challenging part of the room was choosing prints & laying out the gallery wall. I decided to devote one section of images to lifestyle and the other for travel. Currently I have a small section for weddings, modeling work, and my adventures in Paris & Boston. My goal is to update this every few months with new images. To light up the area, we found some wonderful track lights at Pottery Barn.  The second area is the workspace that includes my two iMacs for editing, an inspiration board, client schedule, and a mountain of hard drives. The third area that is located near the entrance is our equipment rack and storage. It is so nice to come home at one or three in the morning from a shoot and be able to quickly stack our gear in a secure location without dragging it through the house. We found the industrial shelves from a company in Norfolk, Virginia and I think they compliment the space well. Above it, I have a collection of film cameras that I frequently use, as well as a Super 16mm projector and some fun 8mm cameras. With my Leica obsession, I found a  vintage Leica dealer sign to put above the door frame.  The fourth area is the media center and I went all out on this. I finally was able to justify a 62-inch television with surround sound to really let my clients experience our films. Once clients have experienced our work, they can sit in my small Parisian cafe while sipping Coca-Cola from the 1956 Vendo machine. I know the Coke machine sounds slightly out of place, but I just do not think I could live without it. It not only holds 120 bottles of the finest Coke (we are talking real sugarcane), but Cheerwine, Fanta, Sprite, water, and a selection of beers as well.

While the studio will continue to evolve, I am so excited to be able to have a space of my own where I can create & share in. I plan to create a few films in the studio this year that will show more of the space and to share a little bit more of us with our clients. If you are near Harrisonburg, Virginia, we would love to have you stop by and check it out. I hope enjoy some images of the space below!

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Contractor: Lawrence Eby of Quality Trimworx, LLC

Sketches and design: Ashley Goodwin

Furniture & lighting: Pottery Barn

Antiques: Factory Antique Mall in Verona, Virginia

Paintings: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Images: Josh Gooden & Caleb Jenkins (Leica Polaroid)

  • February 10, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Ashley Goodwin - Looks FAB josh!! Love all the details that pulled it together. Although I am about to come kidnap all that pretty gear! ;)

  • February 10, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    Lizza Maryann - Looks great! Congratulations Josh!

  • February 10, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    Debbie Amato - looks awesome Josh – a calming place to work with everything in its place.

  • February 10, 2013 - 9:37 pm

    Luänne Brown Austin - What a great space, with all the things you love best!

  • February 10, 2013 - 9:50 pm

    Vicky Baugher Hensley - Congratulations and best wishes!

  • February 11, 2013 - 2:09 am

    Larry Lamb - Great Space, Good luck! Keep on following your Dreams.

  • February 11, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    Abby Grace - It’s so RAD. I love the light fixtures and ceiling fan- everything looks AWESOME!

  • February 11, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Rachel Kolb - I LOVE this space and all the details. Great job!! Also, can I ask where you found your fan? I’ve been looking at flea markets and thrift stores for several years now, but I’ve never been able to find one. Just curious where you stumbled upon that treasure. :) Your hard work has paid off . . . the space is amazing!

  • February 11, 2013 - 6:08 pm

    Anna Burke - It looks great, Josh!

  • February 11, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    Rob Dunlop - That looks amazing! Can I live there please?

  • February 19, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    Randy Lowery - Very Nice !

  • November 10, 2014 - 11:58 pm

    Lotus Buccola - I LOVE the idea of putting the older cameras and film projector out on a shelf. I’ve been trying to figure out where to place mine. I think I now have the perfect idea thanks to you. ^^