When I was about 9 I think that most of my life was wrapped-up in playing baseball and the most responsibility that I had was making sure that my paper route was done by 5pm on weekdays – 8am on the weekends. Getting every paper delivered by 8am on weekends was actually like my warm-up for baseball which usually started at 8, 9 or 10 am. Dad was always there with me, arriving a good 30 minutes early most of the time to stretch and warm-up.
Flashback: I have always had a mild amusement with the camera and the fact that one could take a moment in time and put it into a single stand-still image. My Grandmother worked in a Portrait Studio when I was just a little guy and I remember days when we would get to visit Grandma at work. I don’t remember being as interested in the ‘gear’ at the studio at the time, just was more thrilled to be with Grandma at the studio. I grew-up around cameras, my dad always had a still camera with him as well as a video camera. His still camera was an old rangefinder that was larger and clunkier than all the other cameras that I usually saw moms and dads have. I loved that dad’s camera was all manual and that he had control over what he was capturing. Of course I didn’t know what all the controls did or what/why he was setting those controls, but it always pulled my attention when ever it was taken out for a picture. Plus is was made from metal, not plastic like all the others. I even remember the sound of the flash as it powered up.
I guess it would be safe to say that sometime, as young minds always do, I would get sidetrack during the games and start looking for Dad and where he was. Looking to find the perspective that Dad had taken to capture the game from. I would always notice the “guys with big cameras” at my older siblings high school sports events. I would always watch their every move closer than I would watch the game. I especially liked watching them frantically re-load film in the middle of an intense basketball game, something that less and less photographers can relate to anymore. I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back at it now, I feel that I had a glimpse of my calling. Something that we all have in life. Problem being that we usually do not know that it is happening at the time.
Just think, the camera hadn’t even entered my life and I had little idea about what a camera does except make a lot of people grumpy when they have to stand in front of it. The ‘Camera’ also made some of the moms run like lighting back to their car to get it, trying not to miss a landmark moment in their child’s life or that team photo that we all look back at years down the road.
When I sit and seriously think about what it is that I currently do for a living I cannot help but think, wow. I am basically what I wanted to be when I was 9, but I didn’t know it then. Just a thank-you to everyone along the way that has supported me, inspired me, and increased my knowledge base in photography.