A Funny Thing Happened on
the Way to Becomming a Mechanic
Growing up, I used to love hanging with my dad at his locksmith business.
He needed pictures of the safes he worked on for his files. So, What does he do???? He goes and and gets a professional 35mm camera. It was a Minolta x-700 with 3 lenses, flash unit, filters and a myriad of other unneeded things. I think other than seeing it at my baseball games growing up it never made an appearance for business use.
Now of course my father looked at his mischievous children and said the proverbial "Don't you dare go near this or touch it, this is not a toy and isn't for grabby little kid hands."
What do you think happened next?
It was like Adam and Eve to forbidden fruit. I had never held something so expenive before. I was so careful with it, making sure to lay the camera straps back exactly the way they were laying when I was done experimenting with it, while my father was out on a business call. Occasionally, he would catch me with it, which I caught hell for, but it was worth it. Ironically, he would decide to lock the camera case (it was a camera case with a sliding release mechanism that locked with a key) The problem with that was that I was also the son of a locksmith, so access to the right tools to do the job were always readily at hand. No problem!!!
Fast forward to about age 19. I still haven't learned anything useful up until that point as far as photography because I wouldn't dare ask my father. The two books I found around the house pertaining to photography resembled wiring diagrams for the hubble telescope. No use at all.
I was on a trip up to Worcester Mass (WOOS-ta) to visit a friend. I was able to sneak a camera up with me because at this point my locksmith father now had two Minolta X-700's in case one fails on him at that crucial point when he and his beloved safes are in the middle of a high fashion photo shoot. So I knew it wouldn't be missed. (That was in-fact sarcasm)
My good friend sees that I am trying to teach myself photography, and hands me the most amazing book I have ever read, and it is less than one inch think. I was blown away. I finally understood everything about how this camera is supposed to work. I couldn't wait to try out my new found talent.
Upon my return I rushed out to downtown Harrisburg and with my first roll of film after reading this book I took a photograph that was later chosen to be on the cover of the city's local insider's guide for out-of-towners.
I thought I might actually have some sort of talent hear. I also thought that maybe I should continue learning about this artform taking aim at being the best photographer I could possibly be. That was over 13 years ago as of this writing (6/2013). During that time I was also going to school to learn how to be a mechanic. I had aspirations of working on high end race cars.
Since then I have found passion in photographing people, and creating lifetime images and portraits in such a way that you can feel their personality and sense the spirit in the person from just a photograph. My talent has grown naturally over the years and my love for this artform has skyrocketed as well. The higher levels of talent and creativity have not come easy to me. Since my new found talent over 13 years ago I have struggled over and over again while practicing and reteaching myself as well as just letting go of all rules and regulations imposed by photographers of old. I use the newest digital technology and at the age of 34 I myself am still all new and have a style that will be hard to keep track of because even after almost 13 years I couldn't put a name or a label to what it is I do. I guess you could call it freestyle. I let the factors around me influence the image. I think it's the only way to truly achieve and appreciate the natural look I set out to capture. That's right I said "capture" and not create because I have learned that half of my job is to create an image but the other half, which I think many photographers tend to forget about, is to capture your moments.
I am energetic and everyone around me can sense my passion while I have my camera in my hand. That is how I am able to create portraits the way I do. If you aren't relaxed and comfortable with me than you will see that in the portraits as well.
I really love all types of people photography however I must say that Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and Weddings are the most fun one could have with a camera. There aren't many people that can say that they get to go to parties 30+ weekends a year and get paid to do it. I have so much fun and my clients and their guests can tell I really enjoy what I am doing.
Through my journey being a professional over the past 13 years I have found that people hire me for my personality as much as they do for my artistic abilities. Hiring me for me is a huge compliment and I take notice of that and thank all of my wonderful clients for their support over the past 13 years.