Many people have asked me how I ever chose the professional of photography. My answer is that it chose me. From the earliest age , I could not read well nor write well. I was terrible at sports , which made me the last person picked at gym class. This did 't do much for giving me the idea that I was going to be a great success. Self esteem was not something I had much of ... there were many days & nights full of tears. At the age of 12 years old I was sitting in my homeroom class when a counselor from the high school came to help us plot our future. I was informed that I had the freedom of choice to pick an elective and photography seemed to jump off the page. It seemed that photography was something that I could do. While I was barely passing my academic classes ... I was excelling in my photography class. There was freedom of expression in the assignment of photographing a cute girl, who would have never talked to me if there was not a camera in front of my face. Talk to the young lady, light the young lady, learn studio lighting, outdoor lighting,pictures in bright light, pictures in shade. I was obsessed to find the special beauty in every person that stepped in front of my lens. The better I made my subjects look , the more people that talked to me. Math, History, English , Science, & gym were disasters.. could I ever get my brain to be normal.
After 4 years of high school I photographed many sweet 16s, portraits, senior pictures, and many weddings. Being the best was all I could think about. I sought out some of the top legends in the photographic industry. I went to their studios and they shared it all with me. Funny, I found out that the bigger the persons reputation the more he would share with me.
Now it's time to enter college and pick a real career . I thought if I teach elementary school, I should be smarter than most 4th & 5th graders. I love animals so I'll teach elementary science. I filled my room with snakes, lizards, guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs,toads , land turtles, water turtles, . The photographs of the kids and the animals they related to filled the room. Now the students self esteem was raised seeing how brave they were holding a 5 foot boa constrictor. Communication , friendship, and rapport broke down many barriers. This tool of photography was opening many closed doors.
Most of the people I grew up with were on track to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, judges... could I survive as a low life photographer? What would my parents say? what would my friends say? Would any decent woman marry a poor photographer? How could I survive? How would I face the world? How do you get to Carnegie Hall asked the student ... practice, practice, practice.