How I Became a Glamour Photographer: The Foundation

November 4, 2008

in My Story

I’m going to tell you the story of how I ended up shooting lots of very beautiful women on a regular basis. I’m telling the story not to toot my own horn, but to show you what is possible. I know there are a lot of photographers out there who will be able to relate to where I was and want to know how I got here.

Its going to be a little involved. My photographic journey really started in high school 25+ years ago, but the most relevant parts happen over the last six years.

Wannabe Filmmaker

There were two things I loved in High School. John Hughes movies and Apple computers.

If anyone asked what I wanted to do when I grew up I told them I wanted to make movies like John Hughes. Yes, I idolized movies like The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles.

But I didn’t go to film school. Instead I pursued both my passions in college. I majored in Mass Communication Radio/TV.

Then I majored in Computer Science.

Then Mass Comm again.

My parents were getting tired of this.

In Mass Comm I took my first photography class, learned to develop film and owned my first SLR, a Nikon 4004s.

Mass Comm won the major race and I got a degree in Mass Comm Radio/TV from Abilene Christian University in 1988. I also me my wife and got married. We moved to West Lafayette, Indiana so she could finish her PhD at Purdue.

I Become A Profession Photographer

I needed a job. I’d done an internship in radio, but when we moved to West Lafayette there weren’t many radio jobs. So I got what I could. I worked in a One Hour Photo/Portrait Studio/Pawn Shop. Yes, all in one.

They had a little studio connected to the one hour place and people would come in and get their pictures taken. My extensive education in photography got me the job.

I learned a lot about photography during those years, but didn’t know it.

I learned studio lighting. While the studio was tiny, it used studio lights and I was taught how to set them for various portraits. And we could play around with them in our spare time.

I learned about developing film. Everything in a 1 hour photo place is pretty automated. But back then you still had to look at the negative and input an exposure compensation to the printer. You get really good at knowing what you are going to get from a negative after a few thousand frames.

Then life changed. We moved from West Layfayette. I went back to school and finished that Computer Science degree and became a Mac Programmer.

I put down the camera and didn’t pick it up for over a decade.

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