"How long have you been doing photography?"
"What got you into photography? Did you go to school for it?"
"What are your favourite things to photograph?"
These are some of the questions I receive frequently from friends, new clients and prospective clients. So, I thought I would address it, provide my background with photography, when I started and why.
As a child I loved taking pictures. Way back then (the 80's and 90's) it was 35mm film cameras. I remember distinctively getting a cheap camera from McDonald's one time and using it for nearly a year until it broke. Following that, I had various inexpensive film cameras and still have my parents old Pentax 35mm film camera. I loved film and the thrill of dropping the roll(s) off to the local Kodak store in Haliburton, Ontario, anxiously awaiting to pick up the developed images. There was something so exciting to see the final product on glossy 4x6 paper. That is however until I opened the envelope and saw that over 75% of my pictures were either over exposed, under exposed, or just plain missing the heads of the individuals I was trying to capture! I was terrible and I remained terrible for the next 20 years!
Nonetheless, my desire to have photos of my friends and family overrode my utter lack of photography skills. To compensate for those 75%, I just took more photos to increase my chance of 'decent' ones.
I decided to up the ante when my second child was born in 2010. With the invention of digital cameras, all was not lost anymore on wasting paper (poor trees!) on my awful photos. Thank goodness! By this time I had a Canon Point and Shoot but was frustrated by trying to take photos of my two kids and have the image turn our blurry, out of focus, etc. So, blindly I ventured into Best Buy and purchased my very first DSLR - a Nikon D3100. I had absolutely NO idea what I was getting, only that it had to be better than what I was currently using because it was more expensive, bigger and looked much nicer! HA!
This is precisely the time when I remember the quote by Sam Haskins:
"A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said 'I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.'
He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: "That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove."
While I noticed a difference right away once I started using the D3100, I also came to the realization that photography was a whole new language to me and in a world of its own.
For roughly 4 years I read books, took online courses and shot religiously 5 days a week. Now, three external hard drives later and onto my third laptop, I'm finally producing images that I've been trying to make since I first picked up that camera. Thankfully I have amazing friends and family who allowed me to practice on them. One of my mentors once said that giving away free photo shoots is like gaining a free education, and I couldn't agree more! Without the unconditional support of these people in my life, I wouldn't be where I am today!
Once I understood F-Stop, Shutterspeed and ISO, I started learning about manipulating natural light and flashes. And it was only in 2015, after being a part of back-to-back mentoring programs, did my photography business really take off. I began making images like these:
Currently I shoot with a Nikon D750 and upgraded my kit with a few different lenses. I am proud of the work I am producing now, just as I am proud of the work I produced in 2010. While many, I'm sure, thought I should stop and find a different hobby, it was the people who never doubted me and my sheer stubbornness and determination that kept me going.
My advice to those wanting to start up photography is to never stop shooting! Like any skill, you need to put in the time and hours to better yourself. And don't ever let anyone tell you that you should stop pursuing your dreams and passions!
If you are looking to work with a mentor who loves people and photography, look no further! I am currently offering 1 hour mentoring sessions at $125. This session can include various topics, such as finding the light in your home, how to take better images in your surroundings, Aperature, ISO and F-Stop, basic Lightroom and Photoshop editing.....etc. Any questions you have, we can cover it!
To book a session, please contact me HERE. This offer is valid in Beeton, Tottenham, Alliston and Schomberg. Outside of these areas? A small travel fee will apply.