Whats your story?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by newrmdmike, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    okay, so i'm curious about people here, and their stories.

    like, what brought you to photography, how do you pay for it, where are you from, basic photo-life story.


    so everyone post theirs!

    now the unfortunate task of reading mine.

    i grew up in a town outside houston, photography was slightly above average in my family. i played around a little with it and soon was running my dads minolta. i got into night photography thanks to troy paiva, and then pinhole. slide film at night, polaroid transfers and lifts, emulsion lifts. 8 hour days in the darkroom toying with my own concoctions of developers. i ate slept breathed photography. bought a digital camera and decided to make it my career. i started doing portraits, weddings, whatever i could to gain experience. i read everything. went to seminars etc.

    i was more and more cocky and confident.

    i'm now more socially inclined, or rather am more interested in using photography to inform people, or to make political statements and within a month of deciding that flew to thailand and have been avoiding portrait jobs with se asias ceo of chevron and the likes of others. i'm working on
    several stories here and have never been less confident in my ability as a photographer, but have never been so confident in my ability to help change peoples circumstances in life.

    i'm 19 and was a bs major in photography now a bfa art-photography perhaps becomming a ba major in sociology. i'm lost. i'm on the same journey siddhartha was on minus his good looks, brilliance and so called religious insight.

    and now i'm ever so curious about those of you reading this.
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I am much, much older (my son is only a year younger than you are, Mike, and he is only my second-born son, the oldest would be 26 today, had he lived for more than the 10 years that he did live...), but still one part of our stories is similar: also I was exposed to photography from earliest on in my life.

    My dad and uncle ran a bit of a photography and film business on the side (both had other day jobs for all their lives till retirement age), which allowed them to invest in some nice equipment over time ... so I even got exposed to darkroom work (b&w photography only), albeit just as witness.

    It was, however, my sister, who really started taking over from my dad and uncle, and she made a nice amount of money on the side by doing private portraits and the occasional wedding (not for Germans but for the Turkish people in our community).

    She and I both got our first "good" cameras in 1973, I was 13 at the time, a Rollei 35 (my sister had been given a Kodak Instamatic for her 8th birthday by our uncle, that was 7 years previous to our getting the Rolleis).

    I don't really remember how often and for what I ever used mine.
    The only photos I still have from that far back in my life were photos I took while on a class trip in 1975. They are slides, and that slide box is here with me. Are there negatives from back then? I don't even know.

    For years and years I looked up to my sister and considered her to be my mentor.

    But I never did very much more than snap.
    Also all the baby and toddler pics of my first-born son are nothing but (sometimes even horrible from a photographic point of view) snapshots.
    You will understand that I love each and every one of them to no end, all the same!

    When I met my husband (yes, first son first, husband later), he had a cheap SLR, no brand. Soon enough he no longer had it. I used it all the time. But it had flaws and began to show that it was a no-name, old SLR, and when my dad saw the last set of pics taken with it, he said to me: "Put that camera into the cupboard and never use it again!" And he helped me get my first Canon, the EOS 500N (SLR).

    That was in 1999 and the beginning of my really LIKING to take photos and WANTING to get better. I used that EOS 500N still exclusively when I first joined TPF in Feb. 2004.

    The transition to digital came smoothly: at first I was given the task of "press person" for the swim club my daughter belonged to at the time, and was therefore given the club's big, clumsy first-generation digital camera.

    We had a bit of a disagreement in that club then and after a couple of months the time came for me to resign and hand the camera back, and on the day I had to hand it back, I went to buy myself the Canon Powershot A95 (Feb. 2005). Some six weeks into having that little compact digital camera I started pestering my husband about "the absolute necessity to have a DSLR!!!" - so when my birthday and Christmas rolled around in 2005, I got the 350D.

    I never ever planned to "become professional" or do my photography for money. As you can see: for someone who only got her first SLR in the year she turned 40, photography CANNOT have been planned as a career. And wasn't. It was always just wonderful pasttime.

    But now things have accelerated A LOT.
    And I have a nice amount of commissions these days which do bring in a bit of extra money. Money that I plan firmly to put aside for myself to by and by get myself additions to my photographic equipment.

    That is my "photographer's story" --- in as "short" as can be told, I'm afraid...
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What a nice thread, Mike. :)

    No real photography background in my family. I have a mother who took dozens and dozens of snaps of her kids, and she went from B&W to Polaroid when it came out. (Amazing how fabulous those Polaroids still look, too.)

    I married an aerial photographer, who in addition to flying and shooting for a living, was also passionate about B&W film for personal use. Shortly after we married, he thought it would be fun to get into the wedding business, so I became his assistant for some years before he decided to put a camera in my hand for B&W candids to enhance the wedding package. He liked my stuff and encouraged me to learn hand-coloring for those clients who asked (it was usually the cheesy selective hand coloring; these were all-film days so it was more interesting to see some B&W's of the bride with only her eyes and flowers colored, etc. hee hee)

    I fell hard for hand coloring, took as many classes as I could find and read everything I could about it. In the course of my reading, I came across "crossover" techniques, such as Polaroid image transfers and emulsion lifts, that could be hand colored. I thought it would be fun to learn these techniques, as well. This has ultimately led me down a path to becoming totally enamored with various alternative photographic techniques, as well as a keen desire to become a better silver gelatin printer.

    We've added our own darkroom at home where we both spend many happy hours. I've never been even remotely interested or tempted by digital cameras - just don't have any use for them in my weird little world. :lol:

    I consider myself a student of the craft and love to learn, learn, learn. I've recently taken a toning class and, later this year, I'll be taking a week-long workshop on lith printing, given by Tim Rudman.

    I hope to move into LF next - the process of developing 4x5 sheet film is fascinating to me.

    There is no end in sight, really.

    Oh, and I've also done several arts festivals over the last few years, which are always a lot of fun, and a wonderful way to connect with people over the craft.
     
  4. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I majored in Theater Arts for my first two years in college; I had everything required to be a star, drive, ambition, the only thing I really lacked was any smidgeon of talent. I gave it up when I saw the real talent in our college theater group and did something boring but respectable.

    So there I was with an incredible creative urge, couldn't sing, couldn't play any instrument - hell, I couldn't even turn on a radio reliably -but I found that I could, with some application of effort, take reasonable pictures, not wonderful, not imaginative, not beautiful, but reasonable.

    When I was living in Europe I started with TLRs (like Minolta Autocord), worked my way up through Pentax to Nikon to Rollei 6x6 SLR and Mamiya RB67. I quit when darkroom work became too much of a burden and brooded for several years and then started with a Sony PS and gradually worked my way up to Nikon D200.

    Fortunately I was able to accumulate some skills but I am still cursed with very limited talent. (In fact, I have been told very directly in PMs, that I have absolutely none.)

    Lew

    (Sort of interesting that the creative urge was passed on to my son who majored in dance in college and eventually became an allergist. He does have 4 children, though).
     
  5. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    hey guys thanks for posting this is off to a good start!
     
  6. JahLynJie

    JahLynJie TPF Noob!

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    My dad is a photographer. I have always been surrounded by his beautiful photographs and have always admired him. I remember going to photographer conventions and seminars when I was young. I remember walking through the galleries that would be set up and gazing at the photos from photographers around the state.

    I've always had an interest in following in my dad's footsteps, though in my own way. My dad is mainly a portrait photographer, while my intrest lies in nature and animal photography.

    But growing up, I always kept my love for photography a secret. I think I was scared that, being a photographer's daughter, people would just assume that I was naturally a good photographer. I could feel the pressure of that and thus kept my love of photography to myself.

    But as I've grown older (I'm 30 now), I've just had it with worrying about what other people might assume about me. I love photography. I don't believe I have my dad's talent but I have his passion for it. With time, understanding, and a lot of practice, I can gain more talent for it. I just am what I am.

    I'm hoping maybe I can mentor a little bit with my dad this summer. But he's extremely busy so I'm not sure if it will work out. But I know virtually nothing of the technical aspects of photography- until recently, even my dad didn't know that I have an intrest in it.

    So I guess that's my story, awkward as it is :D
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    This is going to sound so stupid.

    I came home from vietnam and found myself working as a reporter for a McGraw Hill company. I traveled way more than I wanted to at the time so I was looking for something else to do. I liked photography as a hobby so thought I try my hand at it for a living.

    AFter I started to make a little money, I realized that I needed a better feel for things. Photography to me was more than the techie end even then. I went to college some art a lot of psychology later I became the man I am today. Well I was on the road. Did a stop off in the local police crimelab then as a street cop. I decided about a year into it that being a photographer was more fun.

    That's how I came to it 38 years ago. My only regret is that I had so much fun I never took it seriously enough to get rich, or I lacked the talent pick either of the above.
     
  8. marthemar

    marthemar TPF Noob!

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    I am really just starting to learn photography, so not much of a story. I wanted a decent camera for a 3 week trip I was taking to London and I was always interested in photography, so I bought my Lumix. I have not had a hole lot of time to learn much about it. Between this site and my boyfriend knowing some about it (he was a photographer for a school newspaper in college), I am learning a good bit. At this point I just take pictures for fun and am learning what Adobe Elements can do.
     
  9. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    I was the guy in the family pictures that hated being there, because I would much rather be doing something else than posing for "one more shot" that always turned into 15 shots. When I was with my group of friends ALL the girls would have cameras and would assign one person to take all the pictures, so again I was sitting waiting for all the pictures to be taken wishing I was doing something else. In July of last year, I was promoted to a job that I had internet access, and I would spend my down time downloading cool pictures for my background. I came acrossed this one picture from a guy on the forum (wxnut - Doug Raflik) of an amazing tornado. Well that got me excited about storm chasing but not really into photography. Well I discided to get a film camera to record some of these tornados that I hopefully going to go chase and in August 2006 got my first film SLR (from my sister for cheap because she was shooting digital). Because it was not storm season anymore, it was a great way of learning the camera and how to compose shots. That's when my love for photography really started to blossom. Now that it is storm season I hope to continue my photography, but it's just been a really really expensive hobby. I'm not good enough to sell my work, so I have given most of my pictures away. The plan is one day that I can sell some but I haven't found a market for storm photography:(.
     
  10. JimmyJaceyMom

    JimmyJaceyMom TPF Noob!

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    Well, I always loved everything that had to do with taking pictures. I love preserving memories and stopping time like that. In high school I didnt party at the parties, rather, I photographed them. THey weren't good photos but I loved it anyway. :)
    I got my first semidecent film camera (not SLR) in 2001 and I took about a million pictures of everything. The kids I watched, the trees, all the american flags that people hung out for September 11th. Everything and anything.
    I loved it but never considered doing it even as a serious hobby because a good camera was always too much money for me. And so I didnt give learning a second thought.
    Then I had my son and took about 40 million pictures (lol - not really) of him and they were all awful and all taken with my first cheapy crap digital camera which I used all the way up until November last year.
    I had belonged to a message board whose members were all due to have their babies at the same time as me. There was a awoman there who took outstanding photos and told me all about her DSLR. I started wanting one SO BAD. I joined here and the need to have one got worse and worse.
    I think I drove my husband crazy enough with my whining so much that he actually went and sold his firebird and his golfcart to get me an SLR. :heart: Either that or he just knew it would make me really happy.
    And it did. I went out the day I got it and borrowed liek 20 books from the library and a video and I bought the feild guide and I read any post I could on here to try and figure it out.
    I'm still learning. Doing the New York Institute and when they have classes at community I'll do those. I ask a bazillion questions on here and I attend photography outtings at the Silver Eye gallery. I'm really trying, and understanding a little more every day even when I think how could there be more? There is.
    Thanks to you guys for your patience, information, honest opinions and for sharing what you all do. I am not too far into this - so much to learn but I would seriously not be ANYWHERE without this place!!!!!!
    WOW that is long if you read - bless you!
     
  11. blackdoglab

    blackdoglab yeah I'm easy.... but I'm not cheap

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    My recollection of photography in my family is my father taking vacation pictures with an ansco 110. I remember that my sister bought a disc camera at one point, but that's all. I was interested in photography off and on during childhood. When I was about 14, I got one of those time cameras. You know the ones. They's 35mm point n' shoots with three f-stops, a hump on the top, and a hot shoe. I took that darn thing everywhere and eventually broke it. No big loss, it had only cost a buck at goodwill. About a year and a half ago, my interest renewed when I heard a story about toy cameras on the radio. Then I heard about alternative processes and knew that I had to get a camera. Now, I must confess that I still don't own a holga and I havn't made as much as a cyanotype yet, but i've been saving my nickles and dimes. My first camera was an Olympus OM-10. I loved it simply because it was an slr and that I got it cheap. After a short time, I wanted something else and started to hunt. I really wanted something that was manual, mechanical, and simple. Then I found my Zenit 12 and knew that I had found my best friend. At that point i said why the hell not and got a tank, reels, and chemistry.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I bought a zenit 12 because it was the only new slr that used the old universal screw mount lens. I had a box full of them from the early days. The camera was a tank but all the other stuff just fell off. meter was trash ect. But the shutter worked and the body was tight. It was enough for me for years. Of course it mostly sat on the shelf but I carried it as a back up now and then on realty shoots. Wouldnt dare carry it to wedding. Thing would probably leave a trail of parts at the wrong time.
     

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