My paternal grandmother, "Nannie" as we called her, gave me this camera when I was around 7 years old. We were vacationing at Aquarena Springs, now The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, in San Marcos, Texas. I have no idea why she gave me the camera. Did she have a premonition or just think it would be fun? She was a fun loving, life of the party kind of lady who cared a great deal about others.
I got my first "real" camera, a Canon AE-1 Program, one of the first auto mode cameras, in 10th grade. My girlfriend said I had no idea what I was doing, she wasn't wrong. I just loved taking pictures. At this time not many people had cameras of any kind, making the photos extra memorable. I wasn't taking artistic photos, just taking photos. And I wasn’t any more photo savvy by the time I graduated.
I went to college to become an architect. The first two years most of the classes were more abstract design and concept studies. For example, I did a study of how wind moves around an object, creating a 3d visual representation. We also were required to take 2 semesters of photography and I got my first introduction to pinhole cameras, very cool. Most of the assignments were very vague, wide open. One of the assignments was to shoot with a toy camera, very similar to the one my grandmother gave me.
Year three required calculus, and I barely made it through the class. This is when I started to question my career, and I remember Professor Abbott telling us in a drafting class that most of us would end up doing something else for a career, not being an architect. I thought oh that will not be me, I'm going to be an architect. Wrong, I switched to journalism which offered more photography classes as well as graphic design.
After graduation I got a job assisting a portrait and wedding photographer and he taught me quite a bit, especially how to work with subjects, to keep them at ease.
A year and a half later, took a position as a customer service rep, mostly to get out of the burbs and into the inner loop of Houston.
From there went to work for a magazine in Houston as an advertising art director and budding photographer. Here I began, began, to get a grasp on photography. I remember the publisher saying he wanted "magic" in the photos. I was clueless. Now I think there might, just maybe, be some magic in my photographs.
Next was a corporate gig as an art director and I had the privilege of working with some pro photographers. Things began to click (sorry, apparently I couldn't resist). I learned a great deal about studio lighting.
Now for the best job I ever had. As a matter of fact, if the company hadn't closed shop I would still be working there. This was a city magazine and I worked for one of my best friends and my mentor. He gave me tons of creative freedom regarding photography. This is where I started shooting B&W infrared film, Type 55 Polaroid, Polaroid transfers as well as cross processing film (negative film processed as chrome (slide) film and vice versa).
When I left the magazine, I felt confident enough to start freelancing as an editorial and commercial photographer, as well graphic designer.
Fast forward to the spring of this year, 2023, and I have set my sites (and my site, again, sorry) on being a fine art photographer.
For me, there's nothing like taking a photograph to make me, and hopefully you, happy.
If I go for very long without some type of creative outlet I start to get bummed out, even now as I am writing this and working on my website, I have not had much time to shoot, but willing to wait for cooler weather, I really like shooting outdoors.