At what moment did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

I woke up yesterday morning about 3:30…yes it’s REALLY early, but I didn’t mind. I took a shower,  loaded up my car with necessities and headed off to Orlando. It’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive, I was a little excited to get there, so…it only took me 2 hours (must have had angels blocking all the police radar guns!) Anyway, I was going to Orlando to a conference for wedding & portrait photographers international WPPI. They had some of the most amazing speakers there, really pushing us to step outside of the box, to feel more & fear less. One of the speakers asked us to ask ourselves, when did you first know you wanted to be a photographer?

I tried to trace it all back to my childhood, other than smiling while looking through National Geographic magazine, nothing! So, I fast forwarded to when I was stationed in Germany in 1990, I was 20 years old. A very specific photo came to mind. I remember while in Germany, I was standing in the train station with some friends waiting to take my first ride on a real train. I had my little disposable camera with 110 film in it, ready to shoot the beautiful buildings and castles along our ride. While we were waiting, my friends were talking & I noticed a little German girl with her Grandma. The Grandma was standing up on the luggage cart while the little girl pushed her around, they were both laughing away. I remember how happy I was to notice what my friends had overlooked. I pulled out my camera quickly and snapped a photo. I’ve held on to this photo for over 20 years. It’s not a great photo and most people would have no idea what the photo is about, but I do. When I took this photo, I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a photographer. I wanted to document life as it happens. I wanted to capture pieces of happiness and share them with people. I love what I do…I’m a photographer 🙂


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