As a young boy, I became fascinated with photography after finding a box containing several of my deceased father’s cameras. The Yashica A Twins Lens Reflex camera was the first real camera I experimented with. Of course, in the late 60’s, the Kodak Instamatic was all the rage with it’s 126 catridges, flash cubes and simple use. Rather than take the snapshot route, I decided to teach myself how to take pictures with the Yashica. I would stop at the local camera shop when walking home from school. I would buy rolls of 120 film, and drop off exposed rolls for processing. My learning was mainly through trial by error, and there were plenty of errors.
The most important thing I learned was that I loved the art of photography. Capturing a moment in time, having total control over how it was captured and hearing the moment interpreted by someone viewing the photograph for the very first time. I was hooked. Throughout my junior and senior high school years, I gained access to better equipment, being permitted to borrow my grandfathers Mamiya Sekor Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera on occasion. My mother encouraged my interest by allowing me to take photography classes at night at the local Vo-Tech school. I got a job at McDonalds specifically to save enough money to buy my own SLR camera. Once I purchased my new Pentax Super ME, I quit. Goodbye golden arches and hello darkroom.
In high school, my grandmother allowed me to set up a darkroom in her basement. How many grandmothers would let a teenager do that? I took more graphics classes, learned how to run an offset press, burn plates from galleys, shoot halftones on a large graphic camera and print a newspaper. I took all the photographs for the high school paper and became a stringer for the local newspaper.
After graduating college, and moving to Washington DC area in 1986, I had to earn a living. Unfortunately, my living was not behind a camera. I still found time to take pictures and have burned through a few Nikons over the years. I married a wonderful woman who supports my photography passion to include my GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I have two beautiful and talented young daughters who have been the Subject of much of my photography over the past dozen years.
I love the art of photography, the craft of taking quality photographs, the challenge of harnessing light, the momentum of changing technology and the lives that are touched by my efforts. While I never knew my father, the box I found that day made me closer to him, and a part of him, in ways I never imagined.
Still actively engaged in photography, I also volunteer my time designing, developing and maintaining several websites for local non-profits in the NoVa area.