I wasn't a photographer until I met the woman who became my wife some years back. It was her idea that we take real vacations and enjoy traveling the world when we can. Along with this, she suggested we purchase some sort of camera to record our adventures. That was really the beginning of a larger journey than we had planned for. Keep in mind, this all started off with one of those waterproof Sony point-n-shoot cameras which we simply wore the paint off of in a very timely manner.
Memories from our first vacation together on the Greek island of Santorini.
This little point-n-shoot served us very well for more than a year, covering Southern California and the Central Coast, the Greek Islands, Armenia, and finally Italy. By the time we touched down in Rome, I had seen way too many people carrying DSLRs around, and to be honest my little camera felt a bit emasculating. So right there on the gorgeous streets of Rome, celebrating our honeymoon, I hatched a plan to convince my wife that I too needed one of those "cool looking cameras with the lenses you can change".
This turned out to be fairly easy as my wife really lets me do whatever i want (Yes, still today), and voila! Hello Nikon D3200 with kit lens! Lets fast forward through the very short month it took before I had moved on to the D7000, and then the next month before I decided it was full frame or no frame with the D700, and then a very brief period before I realized that I was just not going to get it done unless I was rocking a pair of Nikon D3 professional bodies with a pair of pro zooms. Okay, so I get a little crazy when I really dive into something. Don't judge!
So here I am with this gigantic and monumentally cumbersome setup just for taking family and travel photos, and in hindsight, I really had just barely began to understand exposure and composition. What can I say? The gear really had me from day one. Lets be honest though, this equipment can be as amazing as it is distracting, and I still love it, something you will not find me apologizing for any time soon. But now, I am beginning to raise suspicion with my wife who thinks I may be spending a bit recklessly on my newfound hobby. Well, being the kid that still never wants to grow up, I began thinking that one thing that many photography enthusiasts eventually ponder. "I need to make money using my expensive gear... so that I can buy more expensive gear!"
From an early road trip to the Grand Canyon
I'm just going to come clean here. I got lucky, extremely lucky. Somehow I got asked if I would be willing to take photos for a real estate agent, for a small fee, so that they could use the photos to market their listing. I already had a great job and was my own boss, but I decided to give myself an afternoon off to go and take the photos. Somehow I came up with a package that the realtor was extremely pleased with. I chalk that one up to bad taste, really. I don't even have the photos saved any longer, but trust me when I tell you that today I would consider them wholly undeliverable. Fake it till you make it though, right?
And then the phone rang again, and it was another agent in the same realty office, and he wanted photos. You could imagine my surprise, but hey, between these first two shoots, I already had enough money to start thinking of ways to spend it. Smaller and lighter camera systems began to appeal to me. Faster prime lenses really caught my interest. I must have tried almost every manufacturer at some point and every format as well, up to and including full frame. From Nikon to Olympus and Panasonic micro 4/3's cameras, to Canon DSLRs, Fuji's X series line of cameras and Sony's NEX lineup, I really enjoyed experimenting and learning, making mistakes and then making more. Sure, this was a costly endeavor, but the phone kept ringing and I kept shooting, so I took it as a sign that the universe wanted me to contribute to the stimulation of the economy.
Something else happened during this time though. I actually learned how to take a decent photo. Well, to be more precise, I learned how to expose properly, some basic and intermediate composition, and how to use lights. I am not exactly sure where I turned the corner, but the next thing I knew I was shooting very high end and celebrity real estate, followed by interior and landscape design projects, and finally breaking into architectural and commercial photography. Business became so serious that it was competing and in some months beating out my long time lucrative day job. Wait, I'm a photographer?
Celebrity & Commercial Architecture
After a few years, I am finally settled into the idea that I actually am a working photographer. I prefer "working" over "Pro", because this whole thing really hit me out of the blue, and because I am a fan of many Pro's out there who I would hesitate to place myself on the same level with. I have also more of what I love about photography, the subjects that I am passionate about, and the gear that I really need and love vs that which I do not. It has been an amazing journey which I continue to experience on a daily basis.
In future posts I will go into further depth on the gear that I use and why, the people who have influenced and inspired me, and the present and future as it unfolds. For now, this is just a short introduction for those who should stumble upon this website and wonder about the guy that took all of these photos.
In parting, I will say that the most important thing that I have learned throughout this journey is that I somehow still know absolutely nothing! How can I when I learn so much every day? This would be absolutely maddening if I wasn't having so much fun. In whatever you choose to do, I hope you have just as much fun, otherwise what is the point of it all?
Thank you for stopping by and please visit again.