Member Spotlight – November 2016
I became a photographer at the age of 27 near the end of the 1980’s. I had purchased a Canon T50 point and shoot SLR. This gave me the opportunity to change lenses and get creative, but I had no idea that the moving parts on it, weren’t actually letting me control the exposure. I drove up to visit Sarasota Camera to buy a better flash for $50 and ended up spending $1,500 buying a Nikon 8008, 28-85mm lens, SB24 flash and a bag. I had no money left. I was now forced to swim. I made it my goal to learn who the big players in town were. I became friendly with some of them and was invited to a meeting of photographers. This was my introduction to the PPSWF guild. It took a few visits before I joined, but after I did, I never looked back.
As a member, I served on all Board positions over the 24 years, including 2 terms as the President. Memberships in the FPP and PPA were also invaluable. Investing tuition and time at 6 consecutive Florida School weeks and 12 FPP conventions allowed me to study with the Master Photographer’s who’s style I admired the most. I believe their influence is visible in my work today.
Somewhere in the middle years of my career, I won the internal battle to label myself as a Portrait Photographic Artist. This did not come easy for me. I only adopted this badge when I realized that I can draw upon my experience and skill level to create unique and one of a kind imagery upon request or necessary for a customer. Artists should not continually create copies of their work, but keep moving forward in their learning and understanding of the medium by challenging themselves and seeking wisdom. Photography means ‘to write with light’ and there needs to be some thought into your imagery to gain the desired result.
My favorite quote is “An amateur works until they get it right, while a professional works so they never get it wrong”. Author unknown. These are words I live by.