I’m primarily self-trained as a photographer. Some time back in my childhood my parents gave me a small film camera that, I think, took 110-style film. Later on I graduated to a 35mm camera and didn’t get very far with it. I remember exploring an extremely old cemetery in my teens, only to become very disappointed when I realized the camera was broken and after I took a picture it didn’t advance the film.
After purchasing a new camera, in high school I put together a small, monthly newspaper about whatever seemed super-important to a kid at the time. As our grade would go on field trips, I begun to travel my camera along with a roll of black and white film loaded in it (it was easier to print black and white images in my black and white newspaper). By high school I joined the yearbook club and attended all of one meeting. I did, however, enjoy the photography class in which we developed our own film in the lab.
Years later I didn’t do much of anything with photography. In college I had a Polaroid camera, which was the earliest form of Instagram. Beyond that, I didn’t do much until 2005 when I purchased a Nikon D70s before a trip to Italy. Since then, I’ve watched my photography grow from simply taking pictures while on vacation to taking specific vacations to take pictures. Those early images from 2005 through 2010 can be pretty rough. Sure, there are some things I’m proud of, but as the saying goes, “Every-now-and-then even a blind squirrel gets a nut.”
As the years progressed, my image-making improved. I’m pretty proud of some of the pictures in my portfolio. Additionally, some things not in the portfolio have been used in advertisements, travel brochures, newspaper articles and even hang on peoples’ walls.
Looking back at pictures through the years, like the above one of a flamingo in the Galapagos Islands, I’m amazed at how rough my photography was back then. As the years have progressed, so have my skills. If an overly-backlit flamingo in search of food helps me learn and advance my ability, then so be it. It all has to start somewhere.