I'm often asked, "So how long have you been doing this?" That's not a quick answer. Most of the time, I find that when people ask this question they really want to know how I became a photographer. It seems photography is one of those jobs a lot of people dream about and so they're curious how I actually got to where I am.
I opened my photography business almost 3 years ago. But I've had a camera in my hands since I was about 10 years old. When I was a teen, I trained in a darkroom learning how to develop my own film and processing my own black and white/color prints. I absolutely loved the smell of the darkroom and the magic of seeing a photograph develop right before your eyes. If I'd had a good mentor, I'm sure I would've pursued a photography career right out of college. But instead, photography took a back seat while I followed a military career and raised a family. I continued to take pics, but mostly just happy snaps here and there. After I retired from the military, I spent several years as a consultant teaching photo organization and preservation. Finally, I decided it was time to get back to my love of photography. It was time to pick up my camera and get serious.
I studied, took workshops, and studied some more. I've been fortunate to train with world-class wedding and portrait photographers. I've trained with a photographer who was a Pulitzer-prize runner up. I've learned printing techniques from a Digital Print Master. I continue to take classes and workshops to improve my techniques. I'm also a member of several professional associations which has helped me become a better photographer and a better business-person. Photography may seem very glamorous, but there's a lot of hard learning that goes along with it.
About the above picture. It's my absolute favorite place to go and relax. Do you know where this is? Hint: It's not on Oahu. My family and I go here to relax, unwind, and do absolutely nothing. I go here when I want to reflect on where I've been, what I've done, and where I still have yet to go. I don't get to go here as frequently as I'd like, but the few days spent unwinding is all I need to get re-energized and re-focused. I hope you have a special place where you can do likewise.