Not only is Sam Hershberger a practicing Nurse at West Penn hospital by day, but he is also an amazing photographer in his spare time. Sam started exploring photography when he moved to Pittsburgh for school at Duquesne University. He would adventure around the city taking amateur photos on his phone of the beautiful landscapes and architecture of the new city. When his dad gifted him one of his old cameras, Sam's shooting improved dramatically.
He primarily shoots captivating portraits now, however his first expeience with portraiture had a rocky start. "I started with this girl that I didn't know very well and I hated it, the direction was off and the relaxed vibe just wasn't there. I didn't produce a single photo that I liked and I thought, 'that is it, Im not doing portraits anymore.'"
It wasn't until a friend invited him to shoot alongside him that he began working with models again. Sam described his second experience as easy and breezy. "It's so unbelievably important to vibe with the model, thats how you get the best shots. It was like night and day with my first two shoots. If theres no creative connection, nothing turns out right."
Sam taught himself pretty much everything he knows about photography. He took a course in Lightroom and photoshop in college, but didn't learn nearly as much as he'd hoped. "We learned basic stuff like switching photos to black and white and basic color editing, but I learned so much more just messing around with the programs myself."
Though he's an experienced photographer now, Sam doesn't like limiting himself to a specific editing style. "My inspiration comes from everywhere, for me its exploring things on location, once you've got that down, its okay to follow some of the trends you see on instagram. Its just another thing to add to your tool belt. If someone wants something specific that they've seen online for a paid shoot then, at least you know you can do it right."
Though paid shoots are a large part of Sam's hobby, he stressed the importance of getting out and shooting for your own personal growth as well. "I read something once that really stuck with me, they said you should be shooting for money, your portfolio, or connections, and every shoot should satisfy at least two of those things."
I'd say Sam is doing a fine job, with a little over 3500 instagram followers, he has more than proven his talent in this very saturated industry in Pittsburgh. Follow sam at @hershmyberger on instagram and catch up with his curated photo group @PGH.Creative as well!