So I have been at this photography thing (and life) for a while now. What have I learned?
Be careful about using the word "never." It started for me as a teen in high school when I first picked up my Dad's Pentax SLR 35mm camera and began studying photography. It continued into my college escapades and early twenties. "So, are you gonna work for a newspaper when you grow up?" That was what I always got asked when folks found out I was an aspiring photographer. It seemed as though the Fourth Estate was the only accepted - or at least imaginable - place for photographers. Or at least photographers who liked the idea of having food in the fridge and the lights on. "Never!" I quipped back. "I have no interest in ever working for a newspaper."
Yeah. So I wound up spending nearly a decade in the newspaper industry, a fair bit of which I owned my own paper. I guess you could say I got side tracked. Or maybe hijacked would be a better choice. Either way, it is what happens when you have no plan. That's another thing I have learned. Anyway, through it all, I always had in the back of my head the crazy idea of running my own photography studio. Someday...
It was only after being blindsided by an unexpected layoff from a corporate job that I finally got up the nerve to open my own studio in 2006. Truly, I was out of options and it was the only door open to me at the time. While I have always been a self-described "photo geek," since hanging out my shingle, I have gotten really serious about honing my craft. Have you ever been flabbergasted by what you didn't even know you didn't know?? I have learned more about photography in the last few years (a lot of which I wasn't even aware I should have known it) than in all the years prior.
I guess this is the part where I brag about all my accolades and titles and such. So for the record, here we go:
• Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photographic Design cum laude with General Honors from the University of Georgia
• Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), one of just a handful in Georgia and around the world
• Director at Large, Georgia Professional Photographers Association (GPPA)
• Member, Professional Photographers of Amercia (PPA)
• Member, International Christian Photographers (ICP)
• Member, Southeastern Professional Photographers Association (SEPPA)
• Member, Nikon Professional Services (NPS)
• Member, National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)
• Photography Instructor, North Georgia Technical College
I'm not someone who brought home my first camera from the big box store last month and am now calling myself a pro. We just see so much of that these days. I do feel there is a place for those people. However, I firmly believe that if someone trusts you to do the job of creating and preserving their precious memories, ya dang sure better be able to deliver. I take the trust placed in me by my clients very seriously. I work my tail off for them. And I love doing it.
My most important asset in this venture isn't a camera or a computer, however. It is my darling wife, Sheila. She is my partner, my love, my kite, my… everything. While I am not fortunate enough to have Sheila with me as my full-time associate, I do make extensive use of her outstanding talents for creativity, composition and capturing feeling as much as I can, especially for weddings and other major events.
If you want a truly professional photographic experience, from first contact to final delivery to enjoyment of your treasured images for years to come, I would love to discuss becoming your trusted partner. If you are tired of being disappointed by people who can't produce what they promised to you, contact me. I can't wait for you to find out why I call what I do "portraiture refined."