How I got into photography

This is a story of how photography came into my life.

When I was in high school I took a course that dealt with different technology and how to use it. One of the mediums we were taught was photography, and being the nerd that I am I was overwhelmingly interested (like seriously the nerdiest of nerd stuff) in the technical aspects of how cameras worked and the seemingly endless possibilities of cameras aperture controls and shutter speeds. Through that course I enjoyed walking around with the cameras the school gave us and one my friends saw some of my photos and said to me "that's really good, you could do that for a living" and something sparked in my head, I really believed what he said. Looking back that was just a silly photo of a flower that really doesn't mean much in hindsight, but back then I really thought it was something special. 

One of the first images I took that made me feel like a "good photographer"

One of the first images I took that made me feel like a "good photographer"

fast forward to around high school graduation, I had a few different options for which college/university I could go to. I got accepted into 2 different schools for business, one for an introductory year for a well respected history and philosophy based school (which are still huge interests of mine and some the biggest non-photography inspirations I have), as well as a school to learn photography. I decided to follow what I was most interested in and went to photography school. 

One of my early street photographs that I took after my first semester in school, taken during a family trip to NYC

One of my early street photographs that I took after my first semester in school, taken during a family trip to NYC

Through my time in college my abilities and experience increased ten fold, There was nothing better than waking up everyday and going to a place where I could learn something that I was passionate about. I became much more fluent in how to use a camera, as well as learning about the masters of photography like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugente Atget, Andre Kertesz, and many more. My love of photography stared to snowball the more my formal knowledge of it increased and slowly taking photos was becoming an important part of my life and how I defined myself as a person.

a bit of a self portrait, walking into an uncertain path.

a bit of a self portrait, walking into an uncertain path.

When the time came for putting on a final exhibition of our work i was unsure of what to do, at the time my photographic interests were still varied. I loved doing portraiture, landscapes, and street photography, and for the first brainstorming process I was thinking of having landscapes be the main part of my portfolio because I thought that's what other people enjoy and are more likely to buy. I still remember my instructor looking at me with a strange look in his eyes because he knew how I was reacting more strongly to the street photography lessons. After some serious thought on the matter decided I should do what I loved most and forget about what other peoples opinions of it might be. Never let other peoples opinions dictate your work.

Shadows are some of my favorite things to play with, abstraction is fun!

Shadows are some of my favorite things to play with, abstraction is fun!

I remember being so determined in those last few weeks of shooting time to get my portfolio to match my expectations, I would walk around for hours every day because I knew the deadline was only a few days away, and that I still wasn't satisfied with the overall quality of my portfolio. Deadlines are good that way, they push you to your limits and make you work harder than you knew you were capable of. 

taken during one of those walks that lasts for hours, if you spend enough time looking, you're bound to find something

taken during one of those walks that lasts for hours, if you spend enough time looking, you're bound to find something

To my surprise when the night came for the exhibition a lot of people really liked my work. The event was a huge success and I can't think of a better way to have ended a great time in school.

And that's how I became obsessed with photography, the more I learned about it the more passion and fulfillment I got out of doing it. I'm extremely blessed to have been able to study something I love and to have had the experience of finding something that I believe will be an essential creative outlet for the rest of my life. I can't imagine what my life would be like if it wasn't for that course I took in high school and all the people that encouraged me to do what I loved, thank you mom and dad for supporting me in doing what I love to do.

-Jeremy