I had my first exposure (no pun intended) to photography at the ripe old age of 18 when I applied for and got a job doing discount photography in K-Marts and other department stores around the MidWest. When you have an hour-long line of kids under 2 years old with their mothers, you begin to learn what is important and what isn’t and you learn patience. I realized pretty quickly that there was more to photography than just running people through a line and taking their photograph. Needless to say, I looked for something else. I found it. I joined the Navy. (Didn’t see that coming… did you? <smile>)
When I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, I found that I still loved photography and got a job as a portrait photographer with Olan Mills Portrait Studios. I loved this job. No lines! Well, that’s not exactly true, but the line wasn’t right next to where I was taking pictures and it was so much better. I also learned salesmanship at Olan Mills or actually, NOT the way to sell photography. Typically someone would come in for a free 8×10 that they had a coupon for and I would go through my standard set of poses for them. Sometimes I got really lucky with a sitting. For instance, one time I had a mother bring a 3-day old baby in to have their picture taken. I knew that there wasn’t much that I could do with what I was given at Olan Mills, but miracle of miracles, I got the baby to smile. Ok, maybe it was gas, but it was still a smile. I made a big deal out of it and eventually the mother ended up buying a lot of portraits.
I found a job shortly after this working with Enzor Studios and Charlie Rees and it allowed my first foray into weddings. I assisted at a number of weddings until they thought I was ready to go at it alone. I loved the medium format Mamiya film cameras that I used. My freezer was stuffed with rolls of 220 color film that I used to photograph weddings (which was the method of long-term film storage in those days). I did that for several years and loved it. Unfortunately, they went out of business and I became an unemployed photographer.
My interest in computers developed out of my love for photography because while I was working for Enzor Studios the industry started developing something called a “digital back” for my beloved Mamiya RB-67 that I used for weddings. Because I had studied programming right out of the Navy, I eventually got a job as a COBOL programmer (go figure) after being honorably discharged from the US Navy. Long story short, I still loved photography and would take photos as often as I could but I spent the next 30 years in the I/T field.
Years of practice have provided me with a patient and prepared eye that enables me to recognize and capture images as you would remember them if only you could seize that perfect instant. I am very good at putting people at ease in front of the camera and pride myself on being able to provide my clients with a variety of images that are timeless, elegant, spontaneous and fresh.
At times during a photo session, I work as a photojournalist, recording life as it unfolds, but most of my portraits are a collaboration between the myself and the person being photographed. I always have fun during a photo shoot and even the most reluctant subjects tell me that they had fun, too. My work is usually done on location at your home or at a site of your choosing. When you book a photography session, we will discuss possible locations. The majority of my portraits incorporate elements of the environment and are shot using available light. I do have portable backgrounds that I bring with me for more formal portraits, head shots and for anyone who prefers the studio. If you choose, I can create a studio atmosphere in your home or office for your convenience.
I am available to guide you every step of the way. From questions about clothing to finding your best angle to choosing the best images — I am here to help you.
Organizations I belong to:
- PPA – Professional Photographers of America – ID #8327862
- Professional Photographer’s Association of Greater Kansas City (board member)
- Model Alliance
- Missouri Professional Photographers Association – ID# 30677496
- American Photography Association