My love of photography began at the age of eight, when my Dad gave me a Kodak Instamatic camera for Christmas. Together, we composed photographs in the backyard. He shot images of his roses and sunflowers, while I preferred taking action adventure shots: photos of my friends falling off the tire swing, splashing into the pond below, or my neighbors' daredevil bike and skateboarding stunts.
With relatively little effort, I've earned hundreds of dollars a month, selling photos from my European vacations at art festivals...private school fundraising events...and art gallery shows. I've sold my photos through corporate art consultants...and even at a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania. These are simply photos that people want to hang on the wall. I began taking photos during vacations while I was still in a job...sometimes I even took photos when I was commuting. I always carry my camera with me and these days I make a living from it.
In the summertime, socialites, celebrities, and tourists like to drop anchor in Portofino, Italy, to enjoy the picturesque coast of the Italian Riviera. One summer night, several years ago, I dropped half a month's salary to stay at a posh resort, overlooking the harbor there...but ultimately got reimbursed for it. At home, I had a job working for a museum that didn't pay well.
I travel with a camera all the time. These days I make a living from photography—selling to publishers, stock agencies, and fine art clients—but even when I was in a job, I never missed the opportunity to indulge in what used to be my hobby. During early morning commutes, I captured scenic landscapes and nature close-ups throughout the four seasons. Images of ice crystals on frozen ponds and kids sledding caught my eye in winter.
A freelance opportunity to photograph Paris presented itself over drinks at a cocktail party. The president of a small publishing company complained to me about a freelance photographer who did not obtain shots needed to complete a French language textbook. The project deadline was fast approaching. I asked what was required.