I am honored and humbled by the invitation.
Of my many hobbies imaging, or more specifically photography is the one I really have the most fun with and being a brat spoiling that fun was one of the trepidations I have always had when it came to the idea of making a living with photography, its a fear and maybe just a touch of laziness which goes a long way to explaining why until I have steadfastly remained an independent as doing so has allowed me to work when I wanted to and to starve when I didnt. It was a perfect synergy that fed me well at times while not gaining too much weight.
It all began when I was somewhere around fourteen or so years old which is a period of time that can only be described as a long, long time ago, I was in junior high and signed up for journalism which unlike creative writing allowed for a great deal of freedom outside of class.
My assigned job was to photograph develop and print school events mostly sports events even though our photography department didnt have any cameras, none the less I owned a TLR of questionable heritage and it became our official camera.
For each assignment a cameraman or two would be issued a single roll of Tri-X and a purple mimeographed page of the event from which we where expected to bring back the winning shot and once in awhile we did.
It was fun work very addictive (think chicks) and it got me in the door as an unpaid assistant at a local studio and carried me through high school, then I hit 18 and the parental funding ended so to speak.
I had to get a job a paying job and many jobs did I get none of which I liked nor cared much about, then as it would be my luck turned.
I set the TLR aside and graduated to a 35mm having purchased a like new Honeywell Pentax SLR, it was a rather rugged camera which served me very, very well and at around the same time I discovered through a friend the concept of stringing, which turned out to be a real game changer, it allowed me the freedom to come and go as I pleased I was working outside and it afforded me the privilege to work with some of the best photographers in town, one of whom rather frankly explained to me my work left a lot to be desired though that isnt quite how he worded it.
Again luckily for me, we where both single, had a work hard, play hard, drink hard attitude and chased women, occasionally the same one and this friendly competition turned into a lifelong relationship and a mutual learning experience for all things photographic and beyond.
In time I moved from the Pentax to a Canon T-50 then on to the T-70 which like the Pentax served me very well, then came this crap called digital, I had a chance to try out a Canon 1D at a shop in Miami and even though after reviewing the shots which I quickly determined where considerably below 35mm film it was a digital version of a Polaroid on steroids it provided no waiting instant results and I saw it as a serious time saver and a leg up on anyone shooting silver, I busted the bank and bought one.
A couple of years later I inadvertently used my 1D as a boat anchor and even though the camera was quickly recovered drained and dried, it came back from Canon with a note which should been on a hook stating Sorry Charlie though they where able to refurbish the lens that went in with the camera, go figure.
Since then I have had a couple of 10Ds and now work with a matched set of 1DMKIIs and I avoid water like the plague.
Then theres video which many camera folks consider voodoo, I began getting serious with it around 2000 after picking up a Panasonic AJ-DP800 which was a wonderful 3CCD SVHS shoulder held camcorder, it like my other cameras served me well though after burning out a drum it finally bit the dust beyond its worth and was later replaced with a couple of JVC GY-HD200/250s, I decided to jump on the HD bandwagon for two reasons the first one being FOX News made it clear to their affiliates once they changed over to HD the use of non-HD content would curtailed which means no pay and the sales of HD sets was rising steadily which to me indicated they where being widely accepted and 4:3 would soon become passé.
Then last year we added a Panasonic AJ-HDX900 and a couple of 7Ds, and as the old saying goes so much for any form of retirement in my near future.
Next up Jodokast96. He gonna kill me...
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.