Why I Started In Photography and Why I Love It... Again

At 12, I got a camera for my birthday. I believe it was an old Kodak 110 with a flash cube on top. Remember those? I used to love taking photos but at that age, didn't really know what I was doing. I did practice, or at least that's what I thought I was doing. Waiting on film to be developed from the local drug store was torture. It seemed like an eternity waiting 3 or 4 days to get the final pictures into my grubby little hands. For the life of me, I never remembered what camera settings I had used, nor do I think I really cared. Ok, to be fair, I think the old Kodak 110's were fully automatic, but I did have to decide between which film speed to use.

At about the same time; guitars, dirt bikes and cars entered the picture. All this took cash and with a limited allowance and savings, I had to narrow the field of my fun a bit. At the time, guitars won out over photography. Most of my money went towards the purchase of my first guitar, amp and strings at the age of 13. Shortly after this, I switched from guitar to bass guitar.

I played in several local bands in the Wichita, Kansas area; Trinity, Critical Mass, MJ Project, The Dark and 69 Slam. Of which, The Dark had the most success during this time period if you want to call it that. The Dark placed 4th in the MTV Battle for the Basement Tapes. After the MTV Battle for the Basement Tapes in Wichita, several members of the band "The Dark" moved to Los Angeles and set our sights on the big time. Well, "The Dark" as we knew it never quite materialized in LA as we envisioned, but the drummer and I were able to land spots with the band "300". At the time, they were getting some airplay on the World Famous KROQ. The band "300" went through several personnel and name changes over the years; 300, The Local Group and finally, The Attachments. The band "The Attachments" showcased regularly at The Palomino, Bogart's, Club Lingerie, Madame Wong’s West, The Roxy, The Troubadour and even toured Europe for a short stint.

I never have regretted my pursuit of music. Those were some of the best times of my life... in fact I still play and perform occasionally to this day. I do, however, regret not simultaneously learning about photography. I realized that I couldn't concentrate fully on both. In my head, I made up the thought of not being able to afford both film for my camera and strings for my guitar. That gave me an out. I'm sure that I could have, but hindsight is indeed 20/20.

Fast forward to 2007; my Golden Retriever "Logan" was born. I purchased a Kodak Easy-share and started taking photos of Logan. This sparked the passion of photography that I remembered as a kid and has carried over to what I know and still learn today. I started taking Logan to a Cambria, California which is a few hours drive north of Los Angeles. During Logan's first 5 years we visited Cambria, California about 4 or 5 times a year. Locals told me about a fairly secluded beach near Hearst Castle on San Simeon State Beach in San Simeon, California. My passion for ocean and seascape photography began. After receiving several positive comments about my photos of Logan at the beach, I dove in and began upgrading my camera gear. Not only was I having a blast with Logan, I started to realize how much I enjoyed photographing seascapes and being near the ocean. This time around, I learned more about my camera, shutter speeds, ISO, composition and light.

To this day, ocean, seascape and nature photography is "where it's at" for me. Of course I do the occasional real estate or event photography shoot which is great too, but experimenting with long exposure and intentional camera movement photography without much pressure, is the fun part of it now. This is a different thing for me and I feel something that I have never felt before. I am at one with my camera and what is an always changing canvas that is Mother Nature. Not only does it energize me, I feel a connection spiritually and being somehow in sync with Mother Earth. This experience is "me, myself and I" with nature at it's best. There is no one else to count on. I never have to worry about the drummer or guitarist not showing up for rehearsal or to a show, it is all on me. Don't get me wrong, I do miss the guys in the band, those were some great times, but with photography it's at a pace that I enjoy, which makes me happy and if people enjoy my work, all the better.