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How I Became a Professional Photographer and What I Saw Along the Way: Inspiration

May 12, 2011

In my previous post in this series, I wrote about the first photo I ever took. At age 7, it was literally the first time I pushed the shutter release on a camera. For the next several years, I would take pictures occasionally, probably in no greater numbers than my peers. I wasn’t particularly excited by photography, but just as for anyone else, it was an efficient way to document special occasions.

Towards the end of my freshman year at Brookline High School (just outside Boston), at age 14, I needed to decide what elective to take the following fall semester. On a whim, I chose Photography I, taught by Leon Kestenbaum (or Mr. K, as he was known). That September, one of our assignments (if I recall correctly) was to photograph a single subject in many different ways. Armed with one of my grandfather’s Konica Autoreflex T cameras, I set out onto the streets of Boston in search of inspiration. I came across the John Hancock Tower, the city’s tallest skyscraper, near Copley Square. I began to take dozens of photos from as many different angles as I could think of (mostly with a 28mm f3.5 lens). When looking over the contact sheets days later, one image in particular stood out as one I needed to print immediately:

This instantly became my favorite photo and I held it on that pedestal for at least a year. It inspired me to put 100% of my effort behind trying to create images that matched it, and I can trace it as the likely source of my passion for photography. Why was I so attached to that image? For one, it reminded me of a photo I might see hanging on someone’s wall. The fact that I could picture it placed somewhere other than in a personal photo album was a thrill. Also, it was sharp, and I mean tack sharp. Every little window pane leading all the way to the top of the building was easily discernible. I was a sucker for sharp photos back then, and that hasn’t changed to this day. Finally, I distinctly remember the interesting way the image gradually appeared in the darkroom development tray each time I printed it. Because any image in a dimly lit darkroom initially appears in a cloudy pattern as the developer washes over the paper, I was never really sure how much more intense the clouds in this photo might get as a result of the burning and dodging I had done at the enlarger. I loved, and was possibly in love with, this photo.

On a sad note, at some point later in high school my mother put a stack of heavy books on my sheets of John Hancock Tower negatives, and the one and only negative that got creased was my treasured image. It was probably for the best.

If you have a favorite image from when you started out in photography, please share a link in the comments section below!

Other posts in the series, How I Became a Professional Photographer and What I Saw Along the Way:

249 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 9:05 am

    I like this series. Keep it up!

  2. Shira permalink
    May 12, 2011 8:20 pm

    me too!! I can’t wait for the next one.

  3. May 13, 2011 10:53 am

    Unbelievably cool photo. I can understand why it would be a fave! :)

    • May 13, 2011 3:59 pm

      Yes! I have taken a few really good photos, but none that could become so fervently a favorite as that was to you.

  4. May 13, 2011 10:53 am

    Great keeper photo. I think one of my favorite photos is the header of my blog. It’s been resized to fit, of course, but I still love it :)

  5. May 13, 2011 11:08 am

    I think every photo student in the Boston area has their own favorite picture of that tower :] it’s so perfect with it’s grid and reflections and jutting above everything else. I like your version quite a bit. And there’s something special about getting the most crisp, sharp picture possible.
    This picture is one of my favorites, though I still haven’t gotten very far with photography:

    • May 13, 2011 1:31 pm

      Ha, I love it! It somehow looks CGI in how perfect it is. Who knew a pigeon could make such a great model?

  6. May 13, 2011 11:16 am

    Great post. I’ve had a camera in my hand since an early age too. It’s really something to look at photos I took a youngster, although I can’t say I have one like that! It’s really stunning.

  7. (Sotirios) Nick Vakakas Gordon permalink
    May 13, 2011 11:36 am

    Awesome work!

  8. May 13, 2011 11:47 am

    Lovely photo. I can easily see it printed on metallic paper, hanging on someone’s wall. I don’t have a direct link, but I distinctly remember a photo that I took when I was 13 and was still actively showing horses. My horse was in his stall at an event, and the light streamed through the stall and struck him just so. It was a case of being at the exact right place at the right time, but it resulted in a lovely image.

    • May 13, 2011 1:34 pm

      You should scan it so the world (or at least your family and friends) can see it! The photo I posted was just sitting in a box as an 8×10″ print until I decided to scan it a couple days ago.

    • May 13, 2011 4:03 pm

      Sounds beautiful. I love horses, but they are not my favorite animal. I don’t have a favorite animal! I like all of them.
      …Almost. ;)

  9. May 13, 2011 11:54 am

    I went to Boston Latin School and remember swimming against Brookline HS. :)
    I moved away from Boston almost 9 years ago and you’ve made me terribly home sick! I love that city and any photography I can find that captures its beauty.

    • May 13, 2011 1:35 pm

      Yeah, I miss Boston too :( I haven’t been back much because my parents moved away after I graduated high school. I don’t think I appreciated the city enough when I lived there.

  10. May 13, 2011 12:22 pm

    I was a late bloomer in photography because I loved writing first. I later on realized that these two art forms go hand in hand together. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • May 13, 2011 1:36 pm

      I used to hate writing, but I’ve found it goes hand in hand with photography when I want to get my work out there. So we’re the same… and opposite!

  11. May 13, 2011 12:25 pm

    This really is a beautiful picture. I would totally hang it in my house.

    • May 13, 2011 1:37 pm

      Thanks! I’m thinking about starting to sell prints through my website. It might be a good summer project….

  12. David permalink
    May 13, 2011 12:33 pm

    I think ur gonna do great keep it up

  13. May 13, 2011 12:40 pm

    I loved your photograph, especially the reflection of clouds that is appearing on window pane…Really great.

    My best photo is posted at <>. it was taken just a few weeks back..

    • May 13, 2011 1:38 pm

      Hmmmm, for some reason the link didn’t make it through. Can you try shortening it using and trying again?

  14. May 13, 2011 12:42 pm

    That’s an amazing photo! I just started getting into photography and can’t stop taking pictures of everything lol, even just random things in my home. Thanks for sharing!

    • Khirol Amir permalink
      May 13, 2011 2:16 pm

      Agreed. Cups, photo frames hanging on the wall, curtains, flower pot. Everything!

  15. fatimaebrahim permalink
    May 13, 2011 1:06 pm

    for 21years I worked in the photograhic industry and met up with many passionate photographers. When i was retrenched a year ago, i lost touch. However this article is brilliant brought back memories. Thank you :-)

  16. May 13, 2011 1:08 pm

    Awesome picture. I love going around and taking pictures in Philadelphia and some of the surrounding areas.

    • May 13, 2011 1:39 pm

      Philly definitely reminds me of Boston. They’re both manageable, walkable cities!

  17. May 13, 2011 1:24 pm

    What a great treat to come back from a shoot and see all of these wonderful comments! I appreciate your feedback!

  18. May 13, 2011 1:27 pm

    Inspiration is the only thing artist-photographers-writters, we all have!
    I like your post!!
    I hope we continue trying to find the inspiration in any place of the earth.

    I have my own pics page too, if you want you can see it:

    I hope you like it!

  19. May 13, 2011 1:54 pm

    Loved this post! Great job! :)

  20. May 13, 2011 1:57 pm

    Oh, I want a good camera SO BAD!! I can see a great picture opportunity and I can’t get it to come out right when I take the picture. It often comes out with weird lighting or doesn’t show the whole scene like I want it too. Love your blog!

  21. May 13, 2011 1:57 pm

    It’s really amazing how early in life you can find what you’re passionate about.

    • May 13, 2011 5:26 pm

      Yeah, sometimes I wonder what I might be doing if the whole photography thing didn’t work out….

  22. May 13, 2011 2:11 pm

    This made me remember what a pain film photography was compared to digital! I remember shooting rolls of film to get only one or two good shots, dropping negatives and scratching them. It wasn’t meant for someone as clumsy as I am!
    It’s a beautiful shot, and a nice post

    • May 13, 2011 5:27 pm

      I know, I don’t think I could ever go back. I guess we didn’t know what we were missing before digital existed!

  23. Khirol Amir permalink
    May 13, 2011 2:13 pm

    It’s amazing to see how the clouds are reflected in the mirrors of the building. As if the building is transparent.

    I also took a lot of photos when I first own a camera. Gosh, I need to look up for old photo collections. This sure relinquish my memories.

    Thanks for your story. It’s very nice indeed.

    • May 13, 2011 5:28 pm

      I’m really glad I spent some time going through old photos, I think you’ll be happy you did too. All the memories come rushing back!

  24. May 13, 2011 2:17 pm

    very beautiful photo :D
    too bad the negative was ruined :(

    • May 13, 2011 5:29 pm

      I think it was a good lesson: don’t get too attached to any one photo, and always strive to create more images you can be proud of.

  25. kiaheinz permalink
    May 13, 2011 2:31 pm

    I love this idea! I borrowed it and wrote a post on my favorite photo too! You can see them here:

    • May 13, 2011 5:31 pm

      Nice shots! I’ve never been to Spain, but it’s definitely on my list of places to go. The first photo reminds me of some of the streets in Israel I’ve shot. Maybe because Israel looks very European?

  26. May 13, 2011 3:06 pm

    Great article and a fantastic photo. Really enjoyed this post as an aspiring photographer.

  27. May 13, 2011 3:08 pm

    Such a great shot. I’ve always been artistic and have dabbled in acrylics and water colors in high school and college, but started to seriously get into photography over the past year. I love seeing other photographers’ work and how they approach a subject. I’d like to study and try to make a go of it professionally but I’m not sure about taking the risk.

    Congrats on FP!

    • May 13, 2011 5:34 pm

      In these days of digital, you can take as many photos as you want and publish them for free online, so there’s very little risk if you want to see if it’s viable as a profession. Once you have a solid portfolio of work, try to get some paying gigs. No need to make any kind of commitment to being a full time professional. Good luck!

  28. May 13, 2011 3:29 pm

    I like it because its b&w. Great photograph!

  29. May 13, 2011 3:40 pm

    That’s the thing with black and white – it never goes out of fashion. The skyscraper sort of reminds me of Space Odyssey’s monolith.

    • May 13, 2011 5:39 pm

      Hmmmmm, maybe I should try converting some of my color digital photos to black and white, never thought of it before….

  30. May 13, 2011 4:07 pm

    When I took this photos I felt the same thing you’ve write about.
    They are hanging in my wall. =D

    • May 13, 2011 5:40 pm

      Cool, it reminds of photos showing the same place during different seasons of the year. Great job!

  31. May 13, 2011 4:20 pm

    It is a beautiful photo, wish I could see a bigger copy of it.

  32. May 13, 2011 4:20 pm

    Beautiful photo and a great perspective!

    My main inspiration for my photography is Henri Cartier-Bresson – always waiting for the right moment like here:

    • May 13, 2011 5:42 pm

      We learned a lot about him and “the decisive moment” when I was in college studying photography. He has many classics!

  33. pongac117 permalink
    May 13, 2011 4:29 pm

    I rather bring my pocket camera with me always when I am out. If you see a shot just take a shot and that will be a great start for every successful photographer or even an amateur who love in photography.

    • May 13, 2011 5:43 pm

      Agreed! I have my Panasonic LX-5 hanging over my shoulder as we speak! It’s a small camera, but has full manual controls and takes stunning photos.

  34. May 13, 2011 4:52 pm

    This is such a great photo! I love the reflection of the clouds on the building.

    Here’s one of my favorite photos from my earlier days (I still consider myself in a later phase of “early”):

    I think I just love the texture of the bark. =)

    • May 13, 2011 5:44 pm

      Yum, the texture reminds me of noodles and is making me hungry…

  35. May 13, 2011 4:56 pm

    I like the idea of sharing where you began…so many people see someone with such a fantastic career (congrats!!) and feel utterly intimidated or wonder how they might ever get there.

    What a heartbreak to have that neg destroyed!

    I started my (writing) career as a shooter and some of my early images hold up as nicely; it’s good to look back and realize you knew how to see even while young.

    • May 13, 2011 5:47 pm

      Glad you like the idea. If you can find a way to put them online, I’d love to see your early photos!

  36. May 13, 2011 5:10 pm

    Can’t wait to read more! This is a spectacular shot :)

    • May 13, 2011 5:49 pm

      I have ideas for all sorts of posts in this series, so stay tuned! I hope to publish them over the course of the summer.

  37. Olivier Sylvestre permalink
    May 13, 2011 5:32 pm

    Great blog :) I love it ^^

    • Olivier Sylvestre permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:15 pm

      take a look at my blog if you want, it’s in French, but you can still look at my pictures :)
      I’d like to be a photographer someday

  38. May 13, 2011 5:59 pm

    I love the post as well as the image Excellent Shot.
    Here is one of my first few images…

    • May 14, 2011 1:29 am

      Great shot, I love photos where you can see the light source in the photo itself.

  39. May 13, 2011 6:11 pm

    Your story sounds all too familiar. Photography is really the secondary aspect of my career (I minored in it); the first is journalism and writing. However, in high school, my junior year (16 years old), I had to fill one semester with an elective. Like you, on a whim, I picked Photography I. And I found myself in love immediately. I used my dad’s old Nikon 35mm, with a 50mm Nikkor lens, and another 125mm Nikkor lens. I cancelled the second year’s elective in psychology and signed up for photography all year long. I’m now a print journalist first, and a photojournalist second. :-)

    Nice story.

    • May 14, 2011 1:33 am

      Thanks for sharing, Shari! Journalism and photography go so well together, sounds like you’re doing what you love.

      I remember the three lenses for my Konica T camera being 28mm, 50mm and 135mm. It seemed like such a versatile collection at the time!

  40. onthespotphotography permalink
    May 13, 2011 6:25 pm

    I checked your portfolio …. please take this as a compliment… if you ever heard the expression before.. but your photos were so sick.. I felt like throwing up! I mean I only dream of one day exploring the world with my eyes through the lens… and I thank you for an inspiring sneak peek.. :)

    • May 14, 2011 1:35 am

      Oh, I certainly do take it as a compliment, and it’s the best one yet! “Your photos were so sick, I felt like throwing up!” That’s pure gold. If I ever publish a book, that one’s going on the jacket :)

  41. May 13, 2011 6:59 pm

    When I took photography in high school (and indeed at university), I was lucky enough to catch the last analogue stream. I love darkroom work; the wait, the anticipation, the slow revelation of a print in the developing tray. Now I have a dSLR and am trying to learn how to make the most of it.

    • May 14, 2011 1:37 am

      Each has its benefits. I think I was in the last analog-only class at NYU, which I feel lucky to have been a part of. I won’t miss the sweat and tears of film, but I think it did “build character,” as they say.

  42. May 13, 2011 7:00 pm

    Links to some of my post worthy photos. More to come. I love photography and just got a new camera. Still learning but it’s a blast! Please visit and comment. I feel all alone. lol

    • May 14, 2011 1:39 am

      Nice pics! I went to school and used to live right near Washington Square Park, where it looks like some of your photos were taken.

  43. lianankat permalink
    May 13, 2011 7:34 pm

    Great photo !

  44. May 13, 2011 7:49 pm

    That really is a great photo. That’s been my pursuit too as I’ve really worked to improve my photography, is taking photos that a few years (or even months!) from now I’ll still love that much. Usually I think it’s brilliant the day after I took it, then a month later I’ll go back and suddenly it’s awful. :D That’s good in a way because it means I am constantly improving, and my “most amazing shots ever!” from last year pale compared to the ones I took this year, but it’s also kind of difficult because I’m very critical of myself too, and I tend to dismiss older photos that are still perfectly good shots.

    • May 14, 2011 1:42 am

      It can definitely be difficult to get perspective on your own photos. Sometimes it can be helpful to get together with other photographers and share work to help separate your favorites from what truly are the best photos. Like everyone else, I too have been guilty of getting too attached!

  45. May 13, 2011 8:27 pm

    Great post! I’m still in the early learning stages of photography, but I really enjoy it! I can definately see why that one picture was such an inspiration for you!

  46. May 13, 2011 8:45 pm

    aloha Avigerver – it’s rare that i have favorites because when i like something it is usually within a context and relationship that a particular thing fascinates me. almost anything can be awesome and fascinating when placed in the right context and relationship as i see it. photos are like this for me too.

    the first camera i had (if i remember right) was a kodak brownie – no flash, just a shutter button and a turn knob to advance the film. i saw a photo of one on the net, it said “bullet” on it and that is the camera i had when i was quite young(er). altho i may have had an earlier version of it.

    the prints were small – may be almost business card size – unless we asked for regular size, which cropped the sides and lost a lot of what was really great in the photo. photos from that camera really excited me. some of my dog. and some from a visit to my dad 2000 miles away where i staged photos with my step-sis and step-bro and their friends.

    it was this staging that fascinated me. because i then took shots that kids did not usually take. at angles and close-ups etc.

    when my step-sis/bro/friends – and the adults too – saw what i had done they looked at me in such a way that i knew they were acknowledging a wonderment of how i could know to do what i did.

    that is probably where my fun with photos began, i might have been about 8 at the time. most adults other than my mom, said i was too young for a camera. my mom didnt think so.

    i still like exploring in some of those same ways, altho i like taking photos as i find them now as much as staging them AND altering them – even scanner photography fascinates me. …something i was doing long before i new there was a name for it. bwahahaha – fun. that’s the key. if it’s fun, i’m more likely to do it. aloha

    ps. my (current) May header is from a scanner photo.

    • May 14, 2011 1:46 am

      Thanks for the lengthy feedback, Rick! I was in Hawaii a couple months ago and it was AMAZING! It was more impressive than I ever could have imagined. My wife and I spent a week in Kauai and the snorkeling was unbelievable. Being face to face with a sea turtle is something I’ll never forget, and I was lucky enough to get a nice photo to remember it by:

      • May 14, 2011 5:54 pm

        aloha Avigerver – those are great shots. yeah, sea turtles are beautiful creatures. there is a place on the north shore of oahu where you can often see them come ashore to rest and nest. they dont have the grace on land that they do in the water but they are still an impressive creature. you may have had some luck in getting your photos but the right equipment and a lot of skill has as much to do with your luck as luck does. outstanding. aloha.

        • May 14, 2011 6:17 pm

          Thanks for the tip! We’re definitely going back at some point, so we’ll be sure to check it out.

      • May 15, 2011 5:59 pm

        WOW! Great shots!

  47. May 13, 2011 9:11 pm

    Nice Work,
    can’t wait the next series..
    this my several picture I’ve take, please feel free to stop by., :)

    • May 14, 2011 1:47 am

      Thanks! The lighting in your header photo is fantastic! How did you do it?

      • May 14, 2011 7:27 am

        That’s one of my favorite image, i took 1 year ago.
        simply used one flash I point direct to my object, but with less flash power setting, and then adjust to black and white image in photoshop.
        how do you like Black and white image ?
        I think it’s more dramatic than regular color image.

  48. Marc LeVigne permalink
    May 13, 2011 10:07 pm

    Hey, I like this one a lot. I too, am a photographer; but mostly as a hobby. I like the black & white effects on this. I was wondering, is the effect just balck & white, or is it another effect? I have 50 photos, & I made 1 picture in effects. It was a deep purple color; & its my fav!

    • May 14, 2011 1:49 am

      The photo was shot on black and white film and printed in a traditional darkroom. I did some burning and dodging, but that’s about it. It’s a straight scan from the print.

  49. footballnutz17 permalink
    May 13, 2011 10:33 pm

    Wow this is fabulous work, love the photo man!

  50. thejellyfarm permalink
    May 13, 2011 11:02 pm

    thanks a lot. I’m also a budding self-taught photo taker and your blog is very informative.

  51. May 13, 2011 11:07 pm

    This is a spectacular photo! I’ve looked through your pictures and they’re amazing! Keep it up! :)

  52. May 14, 2011 12:42 am

    to do something that you love is a wonderful thing -a great photo! Cheers Sue

  53. May 14, 2011 12:54 am

    This story is certainly inspiring. It urges me to pay attention to signs,. many I´ve seen, few or none I´ve followed. Now, guess what ? I´m a corporate employee with a promising career; nothing exciting as you may imagine. At my 34 I´m still dreaming on finishing that book I started on 2007 and remains filed in a freaking hard drive. I´m also dreaming on taking that nice camera I have on a shelve and produce something more interesting than what I´ve done so far. At the end of the day It´s all wishes and dreams and life runs out. I feel this stupidity must come to an end, the nice or the hard way. On the other hand, dollar is dying, and along with it is corporate america. Will that be the wake up call ? you tell me,..

  54. May 14, 2011 3:48 am

    Wow, what an awesome photograph. Please keep posted such snaps.

  55. May 14, 2011 3:49 am

    I love photography although I’m afraid that I can never be as good as a professional. I recently got a point-and-shoot digital camera and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford a DSLR. Anyway, I still love photography and do take nasty photos with my digital camera. Here are three shots that are my favorites. Hope you don’t get mad at me to see point-and-shoot pictures. :( (This was shot recently, details here if you’re interested )

    Wet Window

    Insect on a tree

    I’ll be worried to see your replies. :oops:

    • May 14, 2011 8:36 am

      Thank you for sharing your work, Sajib! Pictures are pictures, it doesn’t matter what camera you use. The John Hancock Tower photo I posted was taken with an old camera that you can now buy used for very cheap, and many of the photos in the Personal Work section of my website ( were taken with a point and shoot I often use when traveling (a Panasonic LX3).

      I love the photo of that insect in your flickr stream. I’ve never seen one like it in the U.S.! Where was it taken? And any idea what kind it is?

      • May 14, 2011 11:13 am

        Its structure makes it look like a cockroach, but I’m sure it isn’t. I live in Bangladesh and the photo was taken in a village in Comilla district a couple of miles outside the capital city. You know, it’s a village and lots of bugs here and there. ;)

        But I kind of disagree with this despite the fact that most photographers and professionals say that it doesn’t matter what camera one uses. Well, without a good camera a photograph will miss its details, color quality and so on. I believe they say like this about camera just to inspire wannabe photographers. Tell me honestly, isn’t it so?

        • May 14, 2011 12:23 pm

          Some of my favorites were taken with a simple 4mp point and shoot Sajib. Don’t let money stop you. I looked at a few of your pics, and honestly, I don’t think the camera is holding you back too much. Just keep on shooting and keep on learning. Photography is all about getting around the obstacles.

          I was recently reading on article from a photographer who used a $70.00 P&S for a job … …scroll down to the Uganda shots.

          Some of his jobs include: Time Magazine, Newsweek, Warner Brothers, CNN, Wall Street Journal, UNICEF, US Congress, ABC, NBC, CBS, United Nations, etc, etc …it can be done.


        • May 14, 2011 3:00 pm

          For certain types of subjects (sports, for instance) or moving subjects in low light, yes, you probably need an SLR to get great shots. However, that’s not true for most kinds of photography, and I don’t think not having one will hold you back. It is definitely helpful to use a camera with full manual controls though, which only a handful of point and shoot cameras have. has a great camera finder tool that lets you sort cameras by features, and you can probably find an older point and shoot with full manual control for cheap.

  56. May 14, 2011 4:13 am

    I love this theme, it’s perfect for the nature of your blog.

  57. dreamxingdong permalink
    May 14, 2011 5:04 am

    Great article and a fantastic photo. Really enjoyed this post as an aspiring photographer.

  58. May 14, 2011 5:39 am

    That’s an incredible photo — and it’s fantastic that you took it while you were in high school. I can see how it inspired a passion for photography for you! I recently took a class on an introduction to digital photography, and it was very helpful. Before, I really enjoyed taking photos — but it was more of a point-and-shoot style. It’s such a good feeling when a photo comes out looking better than I imagined. Thanks for your post about your inspiration.

    • May 14, 2011 8:39 am

      Glad to hear your class helped elevate your photography, good luck!

  59. chocolatespacemonkey permalink
    May 14, 2011 6:15 am

    This is great. My cameras are all broken…wish I could get back into it again.

    • May 14, 2011 8:40 am

      Check out eBay or (if you’re in the U.S.), Craigslist. You can get a used film camera nearly for free!

  60. May 14, 2011 7:03 am

    I love this keep up the great work

  61. May 14, 2011 8:13 am

    amazing photo! I

  62. May 14, 2011 8:41 am

    I appreciate all the kind words everyone, I had no idea this post would resonate with so many people!

  63. May 14, 2011 8:56 am

    I loved that photo. I could hang that in my office. I too am a budding photographer, who is teaching herself. Thank you for sharing.

    My Chicago photos are at search for Chicago.

  64. May 14, 2011 9:02 am

    Do yourself!

  65. May 14, 2011 9:05 am

    Congratulations on being Freshly-Pressed, a deserving honour….that is a great photo and an interesting story. Funny how a simple thing can set you off on your life journey.
    I got my first camera; a Brownie box camera in 1965 and over the years I toyed around with photography and with different types of cameras, mainly just to capture special occassions and holidays, progressing from the boxie to my current olympus digital (sacrilege I know) :)
    In 2001 I visited Ireland and subsequently the U.K…. thence my passion for capturing the beauty and wonders I found became almost obsessive! London in particular has fanned a passion for capturing every possible thing I see or discover, not always with pleasing results mind! However, I love the excitement of uploading my images and discovering those that produce the essence of what I felt at the time. I get plenty of enjoyment out of creating albums and blogs and the feedback is thrilling. it has since become a real desire to persue this more fully and become a professional photographer.

    A journey of discovery awaits……
    Thanks for sharing, I will be back to explore your site more fully.

    • May 14, 2011 3:09 pm

      The ability to easily share with others and get instant feedback is definitely one of the great benefits of digital photography. I appreciate your insight! I’ve never been to England, but it’s “just across the pond,” as they say, so I’ll have to check it out soon.

  66. Alive aLwaYs permalink
    May 14, 2011 9:35 am

    so sorry for the negative that got creased.
    You are definitely an inspiration. Good luck for your future endeavors.

  67. May 14, 2011 10:27 am

    my little cousin and I are also into photography. I’m not sure if my photos are good but I try to take some and rarely use them for my blog in this website. I’ve yet to see my little cousin take photos yet but I’m sure that I show him your article, he’d be re-inspired. Keep up the goos work cause you’re an amazing artist.

  68. May 14, 2011 10:37 am

    Thanks for the story. I will now do the same and take the same subject in different angles. I have just started to discover my love for photography!

  69. May 14, 2011 10:52 am

    i like the angle and object among the object.
    if u don’t mind, may i keep the picture?

    • May 14, 2011 3:11 pm

      Thanks! Feel free to link to the photo, and I hope spend time this summer setting up a system for selling prints on my website.

  70. May 14, 2011 11:35 am

    Good post. I’m just beginning in photography as opposed to ‘taking pictures’ I love it though. Digital photography opened my world. I enjoy reading a professionals take

    • May 14, 2011 3:11 pm

      Glad to hear you’ve discovered the thrill of photography, good luck!

  71. thor27 permalink
    May 14, 2011 12:00 pm

    I like photography and I had a pretty good setup for awhile not to shabby. Like your blog.

    Check out todays blog. The Reason Sarah Palin will get my vote for President of the United States.

  72. May 14, 2011 12:12 pm

    Excellent photo thank you for sharing this. I enjoyed reading it very much. We all strive to achieve our goals

  73. May 14, 2011 12:15 pm

    What an amazing photo. I love how sharp and clear it is. I’ve always been a fan of city photography and the perspective that tall buildings provide.

    I’m just getting into photography and am wondering what essentials you recommend? I’m getting a Canon Rebel T3i and am curious about lenses and such.

  74. May 14, 2011 12:15 pm

    Wow. Lots of responses. Congrats on the well deserved Freshly Presses. Nice shot.

    Favorite shot from the beginning, yikes, well, here are three from the beginning of my digital foray, that are on WP:

    Great post,

    • May 14, 2011 4:17 pm

      That hippo shot is hilarious! And it took a great eye to catch that shot of the woman and lamp. Nice work!

  75. jacquelinemerrill permalink
    May 14, 2011 12:21 pm

    Brookline High School, my high school.

  76. May 14, 2011 12:59 pm

    Its great to hear stories about how other photographers got inspired to go into photography. Enjoyable post! I am a misplaced New Yorker. Graduated New York Institute of Photography 1974 and was inspired by a photography teacher I had there. Photo I was an elective but the minute I pulled that first print out of the Dektol I knew I would be doing photography in some way for the rest of my life. I ended up as an Army Photojournalist and have been teaching photography for almost 30 years at Community Colleges in NC. I have a photo blog as well. KEO BLOG It was nice stumbling upon your blog.

    • May 14, 2011 4:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed looking through your series of black and white photos from 1980-2000. I especially like the one of the child standing in the diaper and cape/cloth. You captured a great moment.

      • May 14, 2011 4:53 pm

        Thanks for checking out my blog! That is my daughter Andei and she is now 18 and is in Photography school in Rome Italy – she is really good!

        • May 14, 2011 6:25 pm

          Nice, the photos have such a raw feel to them, it’s always interesting to see work so different than my own. I wish her all the best in her budding career!

          • May 15, 2011 5:12 pm

            ok so you inspired me to rummage deep into my old army trucks and find the first 2 rolls of b&w I took in college in 1973. I scanned about 8 or so and am writing a new blog post about my first experiences with photography with a few of pics from that roll. Thanks for the inspiration to do this. It was really fun going back though those old negatives.

  77. May 14, 2011 1:46 pm

    Awesome photo!

  78. May 14, 2011 1:46 pm

    This is a really great post. And I absolutely love the picture.

  79. May 14, 2011 2:30 pm

    Your story is inspiring. I took a photography class in 2004 and have been taking pictures with film cameras ever since. I would like to learn to develop my work in a darkroom

    • May 14, 2011 4:29 pm

      Depending on where you live, you might be able to rent black and white darkroom space by the hour in your area. You should look into that. If it’s not available, well, you might have to scan your film and get creative using Photoshop.

  80. May 14, 2011 2:58 pm

    I was touched by this story and maybe i will someday become a photographer, but i’ll need a few pointer though

  81. May 14, 2011 3:00 pm


  82. angelaatra permalink
    May 14, 2011 7:16 pm

    It really is an amazing picture. I can see why it’s so dear to you.
    I took a photography class in High School too, and got so into it too. (Just not enough to become a photographer). It’s just so much fun taking pictures of things in different ways and showing others what you see.
    Keep it up! ;-)

    • May 15, 2011 1:38 am

      If you get a chance, you should dig up some of your old favorites and post them for us to see :)

  83. May 14, 2011 7:37 pm

    Wonderful photo!! I’m glad there is another photographer in wordpress

  84. May 14, 2011 7:41 pm

    cool photo! I can see why you liked it so much and aww the negative got ruined! at least you have copies thankfully. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  85. May 14, 2011 8:43 pm

    Inspirational! It’s always important to hold something close when you find a passion. Keeps you driven! Keep it up!

  86. May 14, 2011 8:43 pm

    I like the way the top of the tower almost seems to disappear into the clouds because of the reflection.

  87. May 14, 2011 8:43 pm

    I love the reflection of the sky on the building. I’ve been thinking a lot about getting into photography.

    • May 15, 2011 1:40 am

      Go for it! You have some very interesting self portraits on your blog.

  88. May 14, 2011 8:45 pm

    this is a very nice piece. I like it the series. keep it up. I like the pics as well. Im just starting out doing photography so i will be paying this series some attention.

  89. May 14, 2011 9:57 pm

    Lovely photo! :)

  90. myfilthyroom permalink
    May 15, 2011 12:08 am

    awesome photo, nice read. :)

  91. ivanepic permalink
    May 15, 2011 12:59 am

    amazing bro

  92. elmer permalink
    May 15, 2011 1:02 am

    Began to like photography during high school. A bit late. Toyed with my father’s Pentax then. Suddenly my liking for photography stopped. Don’t know why. Today in this blog and digicam era, it has returned. A hate-love relationship with photography? LOL

    • May 15, 2011 1:44 am

      Digital technology certainly has made learning curve easier and I think brings back a lot of people who lost interest back in the film days. Thanks for posting!

  93. May 15, 2011 2:18 am

    beautiful images of our beautiful city <3 keep up the great work! :)

  94. May 15, 2011 3:02 am

    wonderful picture! I love it

  95. Heather permalink
    May 15, 2011 4:12 am

    Hey Avi! Love the blog, and love to post :)

    Here’s my first favorite:

  96. Migue Mollá permalink
    May 15, 2011 5:40 am

    nice and inspiring post, congrats.
    It’s quite difficult to choose one of my favourite architectural pictures, but If I have to I only know one thing for sure, it is from Ezra Stoller.

    And maybe, one of my favourites is this one

  97. May 15, 2011 7:50 am

    Great photo. . . I see why you love it. Congrats on fp!

  98. Rudolf Vlček permalink
    May 15, 2011 8:44 am

    Started to take photography seriously approx. 3 years ago, still amateur and it will probably never change, i can hardly imagine leaving my current job (M. D.). At the beginning I’ve joined flickr and I also made a silly picture of a coffee on a table with my JVC camcoder and I must say that I’ve never had more views on my flickr stream since then even though I believe I make far better stuff now:-) People keep faving and commenting it until now and it’s starting to slightly bother me:-).
    Here is it:

    • May 15, 2011 10:59 am

      Wow, you really have received a lot of feedback on that one! I like it too, but you have some other shots I like even more. So much strong work, it’s hard to choose, but my favorite in your “interestingness” category is probably this one:


      It’s such a sensual image, and the light is perfect. And no need to become a professional if you can earn a nice living as an M.D. and still have time to create images like these. Well done, sir!

  99. May 15, 2011 9:01 am

    Wow. That picture is beautiful. I would hang that on my wall if I saw it in the store. So classy and sharp- I love sharp, as well. I wish I could have a favorite picture to share. There have been several nice ones but nothing that can compare to that one- THAT is a professional shot. I need to buy a better camera to get a shot to even measure up to a comparison with yours. Congrats on FP! Keep snapping…

    • May 15, 2011 11:01 am

      Don’t sell yourself short! I hope you’ll post your favorite here for us to see. You never know how people might respond….

  100. May 15, 2011 10:11 am

    It’s really an interesting shot. Taking photograph is one of my favorite jobs though i have little ideas on this subject. I hope you will kindly forward me some advices! Most of these photos were taken through mobile.



    • May 15, 2011 11:06 am

      Nice work, amor. My best advice would be this: If you can, try to borrow, rent or buy a camera (point and shoot or SLR) with full manual controls so you can experiment a little more.

  101. May 15, 2011 12:35 pm

    I would love to become a photographer! I don’t have the confidence though, I do think I can take them but… any advice?

  102. May 15, 2011 12:45 pm

    Love your shot. I am new to photography;started 8 months ago. Here’s my first few shots so far .

    • May 15, 2011 8:28 pm

      Hey Rochie, you’re off to a great start in only 8 months! My favorite is that tulip photo. It’s so vivid, it almost looks 3-D. Keep it up!

  103. May 15, 2011 2:00 pm

    Nice post. I recently experimented with B&W photography as well, very interesting!

  104. thoughtfulguy permalink
    May 15, 2011 2:29 pm

    Nice to hear, being a photography student i found this quite inspiring :)

  105. May 15, 2011 2:36 pm

    I really like the shot in this post. The title is simply straightforward. Thank you for inspiring me. I shall mention you.

  106. May 15, 2011 3:15 pm

    Nicley done.

    I’m not a photographer more someone who likes to take photos on occassion but it’s kind of a ‘in the blood’ thing in my family. But this is still one of my favourite images from 2006. I think I was doing photography for some sort of school competion I had to attend when I took this. I was in a local woodland with my brother and was lucky enough to catch it.

    I think I’ll have to pass your blog onto my older brother who is a freelance photographer.

    • May 15, 2011 8:34 pm

      Nice shot, it’s cool how you can see the beam of light passing through the trees. Where was it taken?

  107. halloftyrannus permalink
    May 15, 2011 5:55 pm

    here’s mine which you can download for your desktops

  108. May 15, 2011 8:05 pm

    What a great story and beautiful picture! This last year has been my defining moment for photography, I don’t have anything but a Nikon coolpix but it’s my sidekick and the excitement of getting home to see on the computer what I’ve captured and can share is addicting! One of my favorites is the header on my blog ( and I’ve been adding more slowly but surely!

    • May 15, 2011 8:38 pm

      Nice job, Jen! I like what you did with the color. It makes me wonder what color that flower bud might have been….

      • May 15, 2011 8:44 pm

        Thank you! I love landscapes & flowers and have slowly been experimenting with people.

        • May 15, 2011 8:56 pm

          I actually started out shooting mostly natural landscapes and made the transition to people as I started to shoot professionally. Now I’m a big fan of both!

  109. May 15, 2011 8:48 pm

    Congrats on landing on the front page of!

  110. •°¤*(¯`°.LuckyStar1407.°´¯)*¤°• permalink
    May 15, 2011 9:44 pm

    lovely image! thanks for sharing :)

  111. bellamariebrown permalink
    May 15, 2011 9:53 pm

    Nice photo! :)
    I wish I could have studied photography as a subject, but unfortunately couldn’t fit it in to my subjects in year 10 and in year 11 I couldn’t take it up because I hadn’t done it the year before. Now I’m in year 12 and wondering why sose was so important in year 10 :(

    I have a fuji-film point-and-shoot camera that I use for everyday photos and for recording angles of things that I think would make cool photos and I have a Pentax ME Super that my friend gave me for my birthday that I’ve been experimenting with. Hopefully I will have time to get the film developed soon. Must remind my friend to teach me how to develop them. I’d love a DSLR, but I think film photography is great too. They both have their advantages and disadvantages methinks :)

  112. May 15, 2011 10:03 pm

    A nice image from a crowded city, well done.

  113. Kristi Borgman permalink
    May 15, 2011 11:28 pm

    I am currently trying to decide what path to take in my life, and am torn between automotive engineering and photography. but lately, have been leaning more towards the later. any suggestions?

    • May 16, 2011 9:54 am

      Photography can be very competitive, but I don’t know anything about automotive engineering. Do you have some photos you can show us?

  114. Kristi Borgman permalink
    May 15, 2011 11:32 pm

    • May 16, 2011 9:56 am

      Ah, didn’t see this here when I posted above, great shot! If you’re interested in making a career out of photography, check out John Harrington’s book, “Best Business Practices for Photographers.”

  115. unidentifiedwalkingobject permalink
    May 16, 2011 12:04 am

    I love your favorite photograph, here is my favorite shot:

    It was my first time with B&W photography using Lucky iso100 on my AE-1 Program.

  116. May 16, 2011 2:26 am

    I’ve got a picture of a girl running in a park in Paris. It’s taken with a pretty lousy camera, and it’s very grainy, but it’s still a favourite. Especially when I remember how it was in Paris that I first decided I wanted to be a photographer. I’ve changed my mind many times since, but always end up in the same place…

    • May 16, 2011 9:57 am

      I can see why that would be an inspirational photo for you. Any chance we can see it?

  117. May 16, 2011 3:15 am

    Nice photo! Keep on sharing with us your great works!

  118. May 16, 2011 4:33 am

    like it

  119. May 16, 2011 5:27 am

    This is quite an impressive photo.


  120. May 16, 2011 6:32 am

    Very cool photo! I can definitely see a that picture on my wall as well! Also loving your blog ;)
    Here’s one of the first photos I’ve ever taken with a point and shoot camera. Something about his expression will forever be in my mind.


    • May 16, 2011 9:59 am

      It’s an interesting shot because he looks both intense and half-smiling in a Mona Lisa kinda way.

  121. May 16, 2011 6:45 am


  122. May 16, 2011 6:45 am

    Hi, I love how the tower reflects the sky and somehow disappears against it like a silhouette.

    I just started blogging, finally having hurdled time, commitment and content constraints. But I have a chunk of photos eating space in my hard drive for years now. I decided to “unleash” a few, finally. It’s liberating.

    Here’s a set:


    • May 16, 2011 10:00 am

      Thanks for unleashing them! A very different style than anything we’ve seen so far in the comments.

  123. Benny permalink
    May 16, 2011 6:52 am

    That is a fine photograph – I’d hang that on my wall if I could buy it!

    • May 16, 2011 10:01 am

      Thanks Benny, setting up a way to sell prints through my website is on my summer to-do list!

  124. May 16, 2011 7:08 am

    I wish I had my first sets of photos from when I started to push shutter button at the age of 8. My favorite was one of a toy jeep surrounded by a couple of G.I. Joe action figures. I’d seen a movie about kids who faked a photo of the Loch Ness monster and one of their tricks was to hold the camera upside down to get the right angle & to make the ‘monster’ look bigger. I tried it myself and was happy with the results.

  125. May 16, 2011 7:25 am

    My favorite photo is from Stonehenge. I took dozens of pictures as we walked around that site, but in one spot, I focused my camera on an arch on the opposite side of the circle. The sides of the picture were framed by the pillars in the middle of the circle. As I was looking through my camera, someone walked through the arch. I loved it! I waited, skipped the groups walking through my view, and snapped the photo as soon as I caught a single person in the middle of the arch. I took two photos like that, one with the clouds covering the sun, and one without the clouds. The one with the cloud cover was the best photo I took in two months touring England with my college group.

    • May 16, 2011 10:03 am

      You paint a very vivid picture of what it looks like, Amy. I hope you can find a way to post a link.

  126. imaginethespirit permalink
    May 16, 2011 7:42 am

    Hi, I have been become a regular reader of your blog. I have given you an award. The Versatile Blogger Award. Please collect your award

  127. May 16, 2011 9:23 am

    Neither am I a ‘photographer’ yet, nor I would call this my favorite image! But still would like to share a few which I took while travelling in a train across Madhya Pradesh, India.

    • May 16, 2011 10:05 am

      There are some stunning photos in there, I like what you’ve done with the colors. You’re certainly a photographer in my book.

      • May 16, 2011 9:41 pm

        Thanks a lot for the compliment! The original photos were, kind of colorless, so I experimented with them a bit in Photoshop and these are the results.
        As I’ve written, the photos where taken from a moving train with my point-and-shoot camera – the reason I like them more!

  128. Ted permalink
    May 16, 2011 10:37 am

    I agree. Great shot. I love the way the reflections of the sky make it appear as if the building is disappearing into the clouds, like Jack’s beanstalk.
    My favorite shot is the top photo on my sadly neglected photo blog.

    I like the way the complementary angles of the tree branch and the steps frame the picture; how the curve of the underpass breaks up the angular elements in the image; and the bit of dynamic tension created by the trajectory of the boat vs the path your eye is directed, to pass under the bridge.

    I found your blog via the WordPress front page also. I look forward to exploring your blog more, when I’m not at work.
    : – )

    • May 18, 2011 12:02 pm

      Thanks Ted! I like that photo on the top of your blog too. There’s something very calming about it, and I think your analysis is spot on. I really like your “Twilight Outside the Forbidden City” photo too. I hope you can find time to post more photos!

  129. Jailson Rainer permalink
    May 16, 2011 11:50 am

    good post!

  130. May 16, 2011 3:18 pm

    Such an amazing photo! :) sad about the negative tho :'( I’ve recently got back into photography and am finding the point and shoot method best at the mo for creating good pictures as I dont know enough about my camera and settings to have a play around with it!

  131. May 16, 2011 5:36 pm

    great photo!

  132. May 16, 2011 8:58 pm

    That picture is gorgeous!

  133. Deeone permalink
    May 18, 2011 3:14 pm

    I love the shot of John Hancock Tower! The picture is very powerful and possesses a stillness that makes me want to see the real thing. Awesome Blog as well. I look forward to seeing and reading more from you. Congrats also for making the Freshly Pressed! :)

  134. May 19, 2011 1:53 am

    thank you for the pretty picture

  135. May 24, 2011 1:02 am

    Wow.. I just visited your website. Your work is amazing!! The photo of Paul & Ringo? Can I get a “Hail the Beatles!” Photography makes me happy though I’m not a professional photographer. For now, it’s just me and my Sony Cybershot. Here are my fav photos that I took recently during my vacation:


    Best of lucks!

    • May 24, 2011 9:29 am

      Very nice photos, totomorrow! They really make me want to visit the Ba Na Hills Resort :)

  136. May 25, 2011 10:41 pm

    Like it !!!

  137. Juan Carlos (Peter Odette) permalink
    May 29, 2011 4:50 pm

    Muy Interesante lo que mencionas. :-) A mí también me encantan las fotos… :-)

  138. May 31, 2011 2:02 am

    I love that picture!

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