During High School, I got interested in music. I got a guitar and even took some lessons, for a short time. When I realized that my guitar instructor was actually sleeping during my lessons, I decided to go it alone. I was part of a garage band (our neighbors really loved that!). After high school, my interest in music continued. I was pretty sure I was going to be a rock star.
I still can’t believe that I’m not! Several bands all going through the same progression; form, practice, perform, break up. That really just seemed to be the way it went for every group I was in. I’m not blaming anyone, as far as I know, some of the break-ups were my fault (?) Who knows?
It was a great time in my life regardless of the eventual failure that it became. It taught me a lot and, looking back on it, it really helped to shape me.
Once the realization that I wasn’t going to be a rock star set in, I knew that I had to decide on something else to do. My father suggested going into the military and I probably should have. Although I really don’t like being told what to do and I hated it even more in my youth, so that may not have ended well either.
Anyway, I decided to go into electronics and started classes at a local Junior College (not ivy league by a very long shot, but better than nothing). In college, the experience was much different than my time in high school.
In college I did what I was always told was necessary to succeed; “apply yourself.”
It worked, I excelled, graduating with an Associates Degree in electronic technologies (whatever that really means) and with a GPA of 3.85. Way better than my grade point average in high school (I won’t even go into that!) Another lesson learned.
I was actually contacted by a local communications company and asked to come in for an interview – that was a first for me! Now, about 28 years later (as I write this) I’m still with the same company and I’m really grateful for the opportunity. The people I work with are as much family as my real family. Many other people have been employed there as long, or longer, than I have! It’s a pretty good company.
As good as it is and as much as I appreciate it, let’s be honest; electronics isn’t exactly a ‘creative’ type of endeavor. That hard fact has kept me searching for other things that were more creative.
When my daughter was young, I wanted her to have similar memories of her childhood as I did so I purchased a model train set to go around the Christmas tree. This lead into a model railroad hobby. As you’ll see, I don’t “dabble” in anything. I’m either ALL IN or I’m not in at all. The model train hobby takes up a lot of room and I realized that I enjoyed building the structures along the railroad more than anything else. That led me into a another hobby; Plastic models.
I had built models as a child, but hadn’t touched one in years. Again, I was all in, airbrush, spray booth all the tools…. the whole nine yards!
This hobby led me to even open an online hobby shop. It did pretty well for a few years, but eventually, it also was shut down. Interestingly, the model building hobby created the need to take close up photographs of the models that I built for yet another website that I created. Can you see where this is going?
One father’s day, my wife, Mendy, asked me what I wanted. Well, I had always wanted a ‘real’ 35mm SLR camera – so, she got me a 35mm film Canon Rebel! Just what I wanted!
All the other cameras in my life were always used in whatever automatic mode was available. I quickly decided that I wanted to learn what all those buttons and dials were for, so I enrolled in a continuing education class at yet another local community college, this time one called Delgado. I took three semesters and learned quite a lot. This knowledge led me to give professional photography a go. Mendy and I started a portrait and wedding photography business and it went very well for several years.
Finally, the toll of both of us working 40 hour (at least) per week jobs plus the stress of a full time photography business were just too much and we discontinued that venture about 2015 (give or take). We’ll still take the occasional wedding or portrait client if they are referred by a past client or family member, but we no longer actively advertise for an ongoing stream of clients.
Finally we’re getting to the point of this post. I want to thank you if you’ve stuck with me for this whole thing.
After the wedding business, I finally had the time to create photographs for myself and of subjects that appealed to me, without the need to do so for a waiting client.
Thus this fine art photography business was started. In our next installment we’ll get into other aspects of photography and videography that I’m also currently interested in. Stay tuned!