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Slow and steady … the progression of a photographer

It has happened a few times in conversations now where someone has said either directly or indirectly that they are shocked at how far I have come in such a short period.

In my experience there seems to be three kinds of people. The ones that take to something really fast, excel, and jump into excellence, the ones that make it to excellence at a very slow pace, and those that never really move.

I bought my first slr camera in 2002, notice there is no “d” in front of it? lol. I shot on auto for the first year until I took a class in a dark room at a community college in North Carolina. I didn’t move to manual right away, but I did start shooting on Aperture priority and bought a prime lens. I was easily shooting 2-4 rolls of film a week. I got into scrapbooking around that time and the two worked very well together.2015-11-12_0001

I really started enjoying photography more and more and I started a lens collection. First the 85mm, then the 28-70 2.8, then the 70-200mm, and it only grew from there. Each year I would treat myself to a new lens or two with the money that I was earning from scrapbooking with the photos. I was working for several magazines and a few manufacturers at that point. In 2004 I bought my first dslr, the Nikon D70, followed by the D200 in 2005. Technology was developing rapidly at that point and each new model was growing in leaps and bounds. In 2007, I won the Creating Keepsakes HOF contest and submitted photos to their cover call. I have a copy saved at my parent’s house, but on the cover is an adorable 4 year old Colton.

I had to slow down after that because I went back to school and it consumed my time, energy, and will to live. I brought the camera out a few times a year to snap some shots of the children, but it was a few years before I started diving in full force.

By then, the digital world had really gone full force. Photoshop from when I started to when I started poking my head out of the clouds changed a lot. I had a lot to learn. So I took to tutorials. Lots and lots of tutorials. Youtube. Fellow photographers.  Anything I could learn.

I upgraded to the D700 in December of 2011, the change felt so dramatic. A 6MP camera to 12MP, the ISO capabilities, and a full frame camera. And I got the itch back all over again. I started taking on clients towards the end of my college, and continued for a few years after I started working as a drilling engineer doing shoots part time on my weekends or in the evenings.

In 2013 I transitioned to working from home and all of a sudden found a little more time to shoot during daylight hours. I missed shooting clients, but found a home in some online communities and groups. 2014 was my year of growth. I started a weekly project taking a photo a week of each of my kids. When Broderick was born it got kicked up even more and I decided to shoot every day of the summer. By the time summer was over I was hooked. I had turned into a daily shooter.

I had a great grasp on the technicals, but now I could implement them better, quicker, and more confidently. And this is where I grew in leaps and bounds.

I was looking for more ways to get my fill with photography. I started taking some classes and really more than class itself, loved the engagement and community! I decided to get more involved and apply for the PRO programs at B&C and CM.

And now we’re here.

I upgraded to a D750 in March of 2015, not because I had outgrown the D700, but because my husband was begging for video footage and the D700 didn’t have it and the camcorder we had just wasn’t cutting it.

So no lol, I’m not new, not by a long shot. I am in that group that truly took their time. And that is OK by me.

Sure, when I see photographers that share their two year journey from their first camera to massive success it’s like “WHOA, they really got it together”. But that is great too! I’m sure they worked really really hard in those two years.

When I see the photographers that sort of stand still, that’s great too, I am sure they are filling their lives with other things. Let’s face it. Many of days I have ignored chores and responsibilities to play with my photography.

And the turtles like me. We’re pretty great too. And it’s given me lots of time to work on my lens collection. I don’t think I’ve come across a lens yet that I couldn’t love. lol.

Happy Shooting.2015-11-12_0002

(photos from 2010-2012)

**I would have pulled older photos, but my film images are in scrapbooks at my mom’s and my files from 2004-2007 are on CDs not uploaded to my hard drive yet, and 2007-2009 are gone forever BACK UP YOUR FILES.

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  • November 13, 2015 - 1:24 pm

    AJ - I am glad to see slow and steady works, that is me! I love shooting but life/work/kids etc keep me busy and finding the time to learn and master it all is overwhelming. LOVE your shots!ReplyCancel

  • November 14, 2015 - 3:20 am

    Gretchen Willis - thank you for the beautiful perspective about taking this journey slowly. You know how much I adore your work, too! <3ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2016 - 11:37 am

    Kirsty - I love this, so very honest and your images are beautiful.ReplyCancel

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