There was a time when i swore i would never, ever blog. After all, what do i have to say that anybody would really want to listen to. Who would want to "follow" me?
But hey, here i am and i guess folks can either read me or not. I have been a visual artist since i first got my fingertips into paint and a photographer since my teen years. I've been through many changes since first taking up the camera as my main axe, following a long and often detoured path shaping my love of photography into a career, often "the road less traveled by". My life is at a transition point again and it is time for something new. So let's try blogging and see where it goes.
I just lost my Dad this week and find myself completely parentless for the first time. Though he never pressed it upon me, my Dad was certainly my major influence in becoming a photographer. He was one himself and i still recall how he would set up our family shots, set the self-timer and quickly run around to join us all in the photo. I'll never forget finding his "real" photos though, shots from is time in the war of dead soldiers in the mud, reportage shots of the streets of New York City in the 1950's and images of my great grandfather working metal in his blacksmith shop that showed me that my Dad was once far more serious about his camera work.
As i grew up my Dad seemed to do less and less photography as he worked through other careers (first as a machinist, then a paramedic). It was only in retirement that he returned more seriously to the camera, first doing travel stories, with my Mom as writer, for the local newspaper. Then he landed a volunteer position shooting for the U.S. Army at Ft. Dietrich which eventually turned into a paying gig. He was no spring chicken, mind you, doing this work well into in his mid 80s.
My own path has not been anything like my Dad's. I never gave up the dream of being a professional like he did, but i certainly had to do a whole lot of other work to survive and feed my photo habit (and my stomach) over the years. We do what we have to do to survive and hope that we still have the time and energy to also do what we love. It has only been in the past ten years that i have managed to make my living solely from photography. But we live in a very unstable universe these days, especially for the journalistic work that i so love to do. Since the advent of the internet my entire industry has been in some level of flux. No, i am not one of those naysayers who shout from the rooftops that photojournalist is dead. That is just ridiculous. But we do need to find new ways and understand new technologies to stay current and active in this ever changing field. The passing of my father only emphasizes this instability and reminds me that i really need to stay on top of my game if i don't want to end up forsaking my love for more "secure" work in some other field just like my father was once forced to do. I guess this blog serves as a ground camp for my assault on the next big mountain.
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