I started photography my freshman year of college (2011). I had some extra scholarship money and decided, "hey, I've always wanted a camera, why not?" So I bought a little "digital Dan" as I call it and shot with that for awhile. I quickly realized that I needed a DSLR if I was going to be doing anything worth my time. So I kept my eyes on Craigslist until I happened upon a good deal on a Nikon D5100. It was basically brand new and came with a warranty, and I got it for $500. So I started taking more and more pictures, and eventually asked my RA (featured in the "then" photo) to model for me. That was my first portrait shoot. I was scouring the Internet for ways to get better at photography and came upon The Photo Forum. I quickly discovered that this was a very active community and the members here helped me to become the photographer I am today. I frequently cite The Photo Forum and its members as one of my main driving forces towards becoming a better photographer. Bynx taught me about HDR and how NOT to do it. Tirediron (John) was my "mentor" for awhile and has always given me good advice and feedback on my photos. KmH has always been a reliable voice of reason, Pixmedic and his wife have always been very kind and generous, and gave great feedback as well. Michele knew how to really rile people up, and countless others have been so critical to my development as a photographer. And I thank you all. On the right is a recent shoot, 5 years later. I think I've come a long way since then. I still have a long way to go - the goal is to always be learning.