West Paterson, New Jersey, US
I normally get this question from random people.
I became a photographer because no one seemed to take good photos of me. I had acne from 6th grade to my freshman year in college. Every time i took a photo of someone else with one of those disposable cameras, it was very nice so i began looking into photography and progressed from there.
Whats your story and how Serious are you about your art?
Aug 28 13 06:34 pm Link
Houston, Texas, US
I was interested in Infrared photography like Simon Marsden. Took photography 1 in community college, hooked since then.
Aug 29 13 10:36 am Link
Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
I competed in a modeling competition, placed second and was told by the people who organized it that I could have won, but that I wasn't photogenic at all. I wanted to prove them wrong
Aug 29 13 11:13 am Link
Salem, Oregon, US
my neighbor saw us fumbling around the neighborhood shooting flowers with our Nikon D70 and asked if we could shoot her son's senior pictures. soon afterwards i learned that women will get nekkid for the camera and the rest is history.
Aug 29 13 11:18 am Link
Big Pine Key, Florida, US
Green Grape wrote:
I was a Victims Advocate for 10+ years and did this as a way to "ground myself" after a difficult case or when I actually wasn't on call.
Aug 29 13 01:47 pm Link
Beaverton, Oregon, US
I have been "in to" photography since I can remember, I got my first camera when I was 4 or 5. I have been serious about it since high school. About two years ago I took the leap and decided to "Go Pro." My biggest hurdle is that is I currently have to work outside of photography and cannot devote as much time to marketing myself as I would like. My goal for this year is to break even with the expense of keeping my website running.
Aug 29 13 02:00 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
I lost a bet.
Aug 29 13 02:01 pm Link
Rochester, New York, US
Actually my twin was the first photographer in my family and when she didn't have anyone else to shoot she'd ask me to model for her. It was fun but I'm like blah looking so I really wanted to be on the other side of the camera. She left photography and went on to be come a jeweler and I kinda took her place.
I donno how serious about it I am, since it's a really stressful work environment I hear which might not be for me but I am considering moving to NYC so I can work with agencies and shoot more often.
Aug 29 13 02:10 pm Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I wanted to make some extra money, quickly. LOL.
Um, yeah. I very quickly figured out that that wasn't going to happen but by that time I'd already done a couple of shoots and loved it.
After doing it for 5 years now I'm finally in a place where the majority of my work is paid, so that's nice. I'm getting some extra money now - just had to wait a while for it.
And on to serious note - very serious. I've traveled quite a bit just to model and never would have if I wasn't modeling.
Aug 29 13 02:11 pm Link
Bath, England, United Kingdom
I love looking at beautiful images and I wanted to create some of my own!
Just my $0.02
Aug 29 13 02:14 pm Link
Nacogdoches, Texas, US
It was 1963... I was looking at the Amarillo Globe News newspaper and saw an ad for a Firestone tire store that was having a grand opening and giving away cameras as door prizes. I convinced my dad to drive me there. When we each walked in, we were given Diana-F cameras and flash attachments. I still have one of those cameras and flash units in the original boxes. I shoot with the other one to this day. I'm working on adapting it to trigger studio lights. Then.... look out world!!!
I was the last guy on the block to buy a digital camera in 2005. I was determined to hang on to my 35mm and 120/220/620 stuff and thought digital was just a fad. Boy was I wrong! I recently bought a $25 Holga lens for my 5D MKlll and LOVE it! There are a couple of examples of the results in my port.
BTW... Holga is a German company that bought the expired Diana patents and is now reproducing the Diana cameras. (or so I've heard)
Aug 29 13 02:23 pm Link
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom
Fascination of how an image got itself onto a piece of paper such as a magazine. It all seemed so life like and real in 2d.
I still get 'what I saw isn't quiet what I captured'... baffles me sometimes, maybe it's 'what precisely happened when I fired the shutter', not a second before or a second after but at that exact time.
A case of a whole scene can change in a blink of an eye.
Cartier Bresson genius at capturing that precise moment in time.
Aug 29 13 02:44 pm Link
Seattle, Washington, US
Aug 29 13 06:10 pm Link
West Paterson, New Jersey, US
Amazing with the responses. Cool to see different aspects of a photographers starting point
Aug 29 13 06:34 pm Link
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I needed a creative outlet, can't draw or sing but always enjoyed pictures and paintings, so I decided to try taking pictures and love it....hope to become good one day....
Aug 29 13 06:42 pm Link
Albany, New York, US
I had delusional dreams of being a globe-trotting newspaper photographer, going to the shitholes of the world, & documenting peoples misery.
Aug 30 13 04:33 am Link
New York, New York, US
I dropped in my first roll of Tri-X during a photography class taught during my college days. Three weeks later, I found myself in my kitchen, camera in hand. A 90lb female co-ed stood in front of me, who had just tossed back 6oz of hard liquor, ripped off all her clothes, and said to me, "Take a photograph of THIS." so, I did. Haven't stopped.
Aug 30 13 05:05 am Link
Houston, Texas, US
I needed a job...
I'd been working at an ad agency, as their graphic darkroom supervisor. They were closing their doors. I had done some in-house photography and figured that was the direction I wanted to go.
I guess I take it pretty seriously. I've been doing this full time since 1988.
It hasn't always been easy but it's almost always been extremely rewarding.
It's the best job I've ever had, even if my boss can be a bit of a jerk at times.
Aug 30 13 05:20 am Link
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
That Italian Guy wrote:
I love looking at beautiful naked women and wanted to photograph some of my own!
Aug 30 13 05:23 am Link
Houston, Texas, US
Ariadne Photography wrote:
Sounds pretty serious to me.. Good luck!
Aug 30 13 05:25 am Link
Quakertown, Pennsylvania, US
Not much of an exciting story for why I wanted to. I just simply felt like trying it out after awhile. I can't pinpoint what exactly caught my interest with it though...
Aug 30 13 06:45 am Link
Detroit, Michigan, US
I started out as a nude figure model for artists while I was still in high school back in 1966. I really liked art, and one day several other models who often posed for the one art group were practicing together when someone said we should take pictures of our poses to use for reference later on. I was the only one who owned a camera, so that responsibility became mine.
Before long I was getting asked by friends to photograph them and did senior pictures, family shots, even a wedding. I decided that photography was fun and a great hobby that I could do whenever I felt like it. I always liked the artistic nude genre the best and when I do shoot I am very serious about it even though we always have fun during the shoots. And I still model for artists once in a while as well.
Aug 30 13 06:59 am Link
Winter Park, Florida, US
My mother gave me one of these when I was twelve or thirteen years old and I have been at it ever since. Just too much fun...
Aug 30 13 12:36 pm Link
Clovis, California, US
In 1978 my wife and I took a cross country trip from the SF Bay area to NY and back. On the way back, we stopped at the Arch in St. Louis. I had a 110 pocket camera with me. I began taking photos of my wife posing her with the Arch as a background. I told her there and then, that when we get back to California, I'm gonna study photography and become a photographer. I did, and I've been a photographer ever since then. In 2009, I retired from a local PD as a forensics photographer. I guess I am one of those late bloomers because after 30+ years as a photog., my creativity just took off. I love what I'm doing now. Going from crime scenes and dead stinky bodies, to beautiful models was a change I could live with
Aug 30 13 12:49 pm Link
Dallas, Texas, US
the devil made me do it.
Aug 30 13 01:12 pm Link
Little Rock, Arkansas, US
I'm not very serious about "art". I do like modeling and plan to do it as long as the offers come in. I tarted modeling because I needed extra money and CL has an abundance is creepy men willing to pay for an hour of boob time. One of them actually pointed me here saying it was a good site to get started with a career so I signed up. Met some local photographers but Arkansas never has been the place to do anything with a camera unless you work for THV.
Aug 30 13 01:30 pm Link
Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand
I signed up to be a tv extra when I was about 14, easy money and was always getting jobs but I hated the way we were all cast off to the side and forgotten about so I decided to give modeling a go to be a bit more center of attention. I pretty much only shoot TFCD and only do it as a hobby but the more shoots I've done the more I've gotten into it and I'm enjoying getting better at it. My first shoot was average and I had no idea what I was doing and I was so nervous my teeth were chattering lol
Aug 30 13 02:01 pm Link
Coill Dubh, Kildare, Ireland
I started off with an interest in landscape photography after seeing some great landscape photos in magazines. I lost interest in that though. It's only when I came across Model Mayhem that I really started to get into it.
Aug 30 13 02:08 pm Link
Salem, Oregon, US
i think wives have figured out that it's much safer/cheaper to have the husband in the garage with a nude model then to have them at a strip club. of course some nude models are also strippers but generally it seems like they try to keep the two things separate.
Danielle Reid wrote:
Aug 30 13 02:10 pm Link
Vineland, New Jersey, US
I got into photography after I started doing and perfected (my opinion) slideshows. There were several times that I lost jobs to someone who did a far inferior job (potential client words) but they were a DJ or photographer and it was part of the package.
It was easier and cheaper to get started in photography so that's what I did.
About 6 months into it, I met the photographer at my aunts wedding. In the 5 minutes I talked with him, I was totally enlightened. When I saw his pictures, I understood why he paid so much more than I did for equipment. About 3 years later, I finally got an SLR.
since then, I try to improve all the time but I'm currently on a plateau. I don't know what I need to do to improve more.
Aug 30 13 02:27 pm Link
York, Pennsylvania, US
I have always liked photographing animals and landscapes, someone who liked my 'Lions, Tigers and Bears..' suggested that I photograph people. It provides a creative outlet to my other job that requires me to be very concrete and logical.
Aug 30 13 02:35 pm Link
Salinas, California, US
Photography is the only thing that doesn't feel like work to me.
Actually I was a teenager when I was able to do some traveling. I carried my mom's Kodak Instamatic 126 camera ... or was it a 110? When a friend saw promise in me as a photographer and gave me a book for Christmas ... 'The Creative Photographer' by Feininger, which was an advanced photography book way over my head at the time. I wanted to learn more, so at 17, I got my first 35 MM film camera (an Olympus OM1) and took a black and white photography class at the junior college. I also started going to concerts, and felt I could shoot better pictures and more personal pictures (at least more personal to me anyway) than what I saw in the expensive programs sold at the shows. That's what started it for me for real!
My friend who gave me that wonderful photography book, and my first photography teacher are both aware of what they started in me. They are happy for me! My parents are still waiting for me to get a real job!
Aug 30 13 02:40 pm Link
Dunmore, Pennsylvania, US
My hobby used to be my career, heavy drinking, Marlboros, and fine Humboldt weed. I took a heart attack and gave it all up except for career. The wife bought me a camera for me to have an escape from career burnout.
I had photography classes in high school and one in college. I actually built a working pinhole camera. My grandmother gave me a Miranda SLR when I was 14. I was always interested in photography but never had the time for it.
Aug 30 13 03:56 pm Link
Tempe, Arizona, US
Too ugly to be a model I guess plus I have all this photography equipment laying around, hang on Adorama is shipping my new lens out today.
Ok, sorry I'm back. Oh wait, a Labor Day sale at B&H plus and email from a client. I'll finish this later.
Aug 30 13 04:03 pm Link
Fairfax, Virginia, US
Green Grape wrote:
I was always in to photography from the time I had access to a camera. When I was in elementary school, I asked for the Time-Life photography series (and paid out of my allowance in order to have my parents match it so I could get it). In middle school, with my trusty Pentax, I'd charge class-mates .30 for a single portrait photo (which paid for my film and chemicals). In HS I served as a stringer for the local town paper, covering HS sports and a few political events. In college I shot for the college paper (mostly sports) and started dating a model at the school. She was convinced the photographer she was shooting with was just trying to get in to her pants when he kept telling her she needed some nudes and lingerie for her portfolio. So she asked me to shoot those for her instead. She said she loved my work. I thought my poses of her were mostly crap and she was just saying that to flatter me since we were dating. After broke up, I was determined to get better so I started shooting classmates...anyone (female) who'd pose for me. And I kept stringing for local papers...mostly HS and college sports, some local political events (which in the DC area can mean some pretty significant stuff). When I graduated, I'd had 7 years of MS/HS/College spanish and a few newspaper connections. I accepted a gig to El Salvador covering the civil war there. From there...Guatemala, Colombia, Beirut, and a host of other conflicts..I think my passport had over 50 stamps in 5 years. My last two overseas gigs were Mogadishu and Bosnia. I retired from photojournalism work and now only point my camera at things of beauty rather than scenes of ugliness and tragedy.
Aug 30 13 05:14 pm Link
San Marcos, Texas, US
I had a lot of friends telling me that I should model and how great I looked especially when a couple of them are photographers. Most of these were friends were guys who wanted me topless so I took their suggestions with a grain of salt. One of the photographers offered me a free test shoot which I had a ton of fun doing (which I hope shows in the images). Now I'm here trying to get more experience if I can schedule shoots around class and work.
Sep 01 13 07:40 pm Link
Bend, Oregon, US
I started drawing very young and in art school I took intro to photography I got a film camera of Craigslist to take the class. I figured out right away I could take a portrait a hell of a lot faster than I could draw one. Haven't drawn a picture since but I have spent a ton on photo equipment.
Washington, District of Columbia, US
I decided that since I'm a contortionist and currently training for Cirque Du Soleil, I may as well network with photographers who'd like to take pictures of me sitting on my head
Seattle, Washington, US
That Italian Guy wrote:
Sep 01 13 08:06 pm Link
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I was happily uploading plants and trees to flickr and tried hard to ignored the selfies on the site. Eventually I got fed up and felt the need to prove I can take amazing portraits as well. I'm still not close to the self-portraiters' level, but I ain't throwing in my towel.
Sep 01 13 10:12 pm Link