It all started with a love for art. As a child, I enjoyed drawing and painting and experimenting with color. And when I began taking photographs, I felt a spark that eventually burst into a burning desire to develop those skills. It was a blessing to discover this creative outlet early in life.
The Twenties – Capturing the Moments
My camera became a constant companion because I wanted to visually document the world around me – especially my young children – as often as was practical. It was a thrill to drop off my 35mm film at a processing lab and return to see how the prints had turned out. I was lucky if half of them were worth keeping.
The Thirties – Photographic Expansion
Returning to full-time work opened up opportunities to travel and photograph more unique environments. I became interested in architectural and nature photography. This was a period for learning and growth.
The Forties – Artistic Integration
Armed with my first SLR camera, I became obsessed with honing my craft. When I moved from the Midwest to Northern California, my passion for photography exploded. In my career as a manufacturers’ representative, I worked with a variety of independent retailers. I assisted some of them with their merchandising and took pictures of their displays and stores. Between visits, I often stopped and photographed the magnificent beaches and forests in the area. This was the decade when digital photography became available to the masses, and I became hooked on its instant gratification.
The Fifties and Beyond
At this point, there was no turning back. I invested in more equipment and studied how to use tools like Adobe Photoshop. In 2008, I decided to take the plunge and start a photography business. Before opening my company, I spent three months taking individual and family portraits for no charge. During the first year, I volunteered to take pictures at many business and charitable events and have continued to do so throughout my career. By the second year, I was bundling my photography with my website and marketing services, and my business continued to grow. For 11 years, I’ve been able to turn my passion into purpose and profit.
Smartphones and social media platforms became ubiquitous, and photography became a form of everyday visual communication. Rather than thinking of it as competition, I fully embraced the technology because so many people recognized the joy that photography brings to their lives. I made this discovery four decades ago, and it changed my life for the better. We all see the world through a different lens with our unique perspectives and talents. Because of the extraordinary advances that have taken place during my lifetime, this is a positive, purposeful experience that I can continue to share with my grandchildren – and the rest of the world!