I’ve been a professional photographer for most of my life. In 2010, I started PhotoFusionUSA.com, offering a variety of photography instruction for all photographers whether they just picked up their first camera or are professionals looking to refine their talent.
The combination of offering my services as a photographer and teaching has been rewarding. Teaching completes me but creating the images empowers me to want to teach even more. It’s not about taking pictures, it’s about interpreting my clients vision and capturing it through my lens.
The mechanics of photography is relatively simple. The challenge in photography is the ability to seize the moment, to interpret, to capture a person’s best features and have their character shine. I’m a people person, perhaps that’s what helps my clients feel comfortable while making my job easier.
A few years ago, I was on a “photo walk” with a group of novice photographers. The walks almost always revealed interesting subjects to shoot, but most of all, they were just good old-fashioned fun. On this walk, one of the group members approached me for help. I started to answer his questions and explained what I look for and why. Next thing I knew, a second photographer had approached me. Before I knew it I was teaching a group and I loved it.
That moment was a powerful reminder of how my career “began,” thanks to a commercial artist I got to call dad. One hot summer dad decided to put our basement to good use: He announced he would build a working darkroom. I didn’t know what that meant but with my dad’s German background, I knew it would be a serious undertaking. As the youngest of five I knew I had to be persistent to get his attention. That summer’s basement project and my own curiosity were my tickets for the family spotlight. Along with an older brother, I became one of dad’s newest apprentices. That small room changed everything.
My interest grew rapidly. I liked it so much I checked my 10-year old ‘Dennis the Menace’ persona at the door. Inside the darkroom, I was on my best behavior. Dad rewarded my curiosity with my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic. The man was a natural teacher. The more questions I asked him the more he’d teach me. I soon graduated to using his Agfa twin reflex camera.Sadly, within two short years my dad had lost the fight of his life, succumbing to cancer at 45. But the seeds were planted.
By my teen-age years I was well into a dual career of photography and drafting. Since my late teens my photography skills landed me jobs shooting weddings, school shots, commercial events, fashion shows, portraits, aerial shots, architecture, interiors, products, and more. My drafting skills also were rewarding, leading me to partner with an Architect.
Beyond that first, special teacher of mine I’ve been privileged to learn from experience, countless mentors, workshops, and even books. I am a lifelong learner.
Till we meet.