I still remember the very first time I took a photograph, back then things were a little different. There was this maddeningly beautiful thing called "film" that you had to use to take pictures. The results were beautiful if you could figure out how to use the stuff, but you had to wait like a week to find out. The very first photo I ever took was with a Pentax K1000. This is one of those old metal old plastic cameras that is stripped down to the bear bones and had only the most basic features. If it were an ice cream, we are talking basic vanilla. The good news is that it was built like a tank; this camera worked, every time.
The very first photo I took was an assignment for a photography class I took my Junior Year in High School. I was required to take a "vocational class" and I was definitely not taking baking or computer typing. I set out that cold day in September with no particular goal, but to fulfill the assignment; but when I clicked the shutter for the first time, my whole world changed.
The quick snap of a mirror, the rattle of plastic and the recoil of the internal mechanics opening and closing faster than the eye can blink was more satisfying as as anything I had ever felt. The picture was a complete disaster - I had no idea what I was doing - but I will never forget the smile on my face as I looked down at my (Dad's) camera, completely ignoring the person I was supposed to be photographing and though, "Oh wow, I like this…"
Fast forward 6 years. I am 22 years old and still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I have tried everything from college to touring with a band, and still haven't dialed it in. It is my birthday and my 18 year old girlfriend of 10 months hands be a birthday card that contains $200 cash, her entire life savings. Karina then looks me in the eye and says, "Take this and go find out what you want to do. You have so much talent, you can do anything… so get started."
Later that week I went out, bought my first camera and rediscovered my love for photography. Digital photography was just coming into adulthood and thankfully the old lessons from my film days translated into valuable good-habits in the new digital age. I photographed my first wedding a few months later and immediately asked Karina to join the business.
I love my job, and you have to love what you do. If you think of it as just a job or a way to make money then it becomes "work" and you burn out. My wife and I get to spend every day documenting the most important single event in the lives of any two people, and we absolutely love it.