How I Became a PhotographerAugust 5, 2018
I’d always had an affinity for cameras and taking pictures in order to capture memories, everything from family photos to landscapes of places I’d either been or hoped to be one day. When people saw my photos they were instantly filled with curiosity.
They wanted to know more about where I had been, what circumstances had led to me deciding to take that photo and the story of the people and places inside the images. So when the opportunity came up to figure out what I wanted to do, I was ecstatic to say that I was a photographer.
Where I started
I began my career as an assistant to a good friend who was a photographer, and he taught me how to use my first ever professional camera. At the time, I still worked as a loan officer at Sambla, a financial services firm in Finland. I would call people and follow up with them on their loan applications. While it was a good paying job, I knew photography was what I really wanted to do.
Anyway… about the camera: it was very different than a phone, and all the things it could do more than made up for its heavy weight around my neck.
We spent hours taking pictures of fields and landscapes, trying to make everything look just right as my mentor taught me how to zoom on certain objects, prevent blurs, and even to snap a photo as fast as a Wild West gunslinger.
He always told me that something photo-worthy happens in an instant, and I always needed to be ready to take a good picture at any moment.
My first job
My first job was for my school newspaper, photographing events, dances, and photos for the yearbook. I soon became the head photographer, outpacing everyone else with not only my speed but also the professional attitude that my mentor had hammered into me.
I was able to capture, edit, and make photos that graced the front page of the school newspapers again and again, and with my editing skills, I was even able to take some photos made by others and sharpen them up with a little filtering.
With my own artistic ability and help from my mentor, I’ve already been hired by several clients and have kept up good relations with other photographers who are also seeking jobs, building my portfolio and giving and receiving recommendations on clients.
Seeing the people who view my photos not only marvel at the shots I took but also take the time to look at the story behind every photo really makes me feel like less of a photographer and more of a storyteller.
That’s what I want, I want my photos to not only look pretty but also have meaning, and right now I think I’m building a career that has both.