Monday, July 19, 2010

How did I get here?

 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.