It all started back in early high school. Just loved the gadgetry of photography and cameras. Learning Photography wasn’t the goal. My first love was the gear and gadgetry. Trips to the Treasury Drugs in Memphis were a weekly thing in my youth. Mom would do the shopping thing (Treasury was an early big box store), and I would go check out the cameras….gizmos with a purpose…F-stops and shutters speeds and telephoto lenses. I finally got my first real camera, a Miranda Sensomat, RE. Wow! Now I had a 35 mm camera like the ones I saw in the magazines. Not quite, but close.
I never thought of myself as a serious reader, till I got addicted to photo magazines. I would read all that I could. This is how my photo-education started with three magazines per month, plus annuals whenever I could find those. Popular Photography, Digital Photo Pro, and Outdoor Photographer. I was so hungry to learn that magazines were bought knowing that only a few articles would be meaningful to me. A lot would be way over my head, but I had a plan. I read what I could comprehend and enjoy all the pictures. I’d shoot pictures and more pictures. I was learning.
The magazines would be stored away and a year or so later scanning the contents would show new information that I could then learn something from. More to read. Like a new magazine with my gained knowledge. Yeah!
I was shooting pictures pretty regularly. My folks would take me to the zoo early and return near the end of the day and I’d have had a new set of experiences. Before I could drive, my dad would drive for me out in the countryside and I would shoot barns and horses and anything I could find to compose a landscape photo of.
Finally, got to a point where I could look at photos and figure out how they were made. Started making increasingly more pictures. I joined the Annual Staff in High School. Won First Place and Third in a high school photo contest.
On to work, I graduated in eleven years and worked for the year while my buds were seniors. The highlight of that time was making a trip with those seniors to Italy. Dove into photography for that 9 days and loved it, but I still thought it could only be a hobby.
In my youth, there were references in books and shows about “finding your calling”. I felt that much more than a calling was happening. “Scream” would describe it better. Needed a real job.
My job at the time was real estate at 20 years old. Great experience dealing with people and the business of business. Considered a Top Notch school in Santa Barbara, Brooks Institute. Decided there were more important things than leaving my city. Namely, my girl Tina. I fell in love with that beautiful girl and married that beautiful girl. Best decision. After a year in a sales job I got an offer at a custom photo-lab, making title slides and managing the other departments. Met people daily that also needed photographs and started making money making photos! Yeaaaa! I was still reading magazines and books.
Opened my first studio. It had 2100 square feet in a brand new building. It was designed to my specs. Lots of wide open space. Spent much time in the darkroom with mostly commercial/advertising photography. Learned a lot at the “School of Hard Knocks”. Quite a way of learning photography. If someone needed a picture, I could produce it. Always interested in passing it on. I did not have a mentor that gave me personal attention and Q/A time. Now I know some of the local pros that were around then, I know they would have been glad to help. They are awesome folks and great friends. I’ve made it a practice to give information freely. Once I took a class on graphics slide-making in Cincinnati given by Andre Proulz from Canada. He made a strong point of sharing what you learn. The giving that I may do now is a product of the things that have been “given” to me. If you learn things from me, I may have a question for you someday.
Find your sources. Maybe I can be part of your “source” for information. Soak it up like a sponge. Study and read what you can. It all has to do with what you’d like to create. Whether it’s a hobby or work, I can take you there. I am a giver. Shoot lots of pictures. Stick with TEKeez and you’ll learn. Learn and then learn to break the rules. Use the rules and bend them to make your creations. Enjoy.