Your phone is NOT a camera.

I have decided to start a regular blog post to let people get to know me a little better.  I am going to tell stories and adventures of my 30 years in the field of photography! But first let me tell you a little more about me.

Most people do not know but my photography career really does span 30 years. I started my first job working in a camera store in January of 1987. I moved from that job to One-hour Photo labs, portrait studios, camera repair, back to portrait studios and photo finishing. I opened my own camera repair business, shot freelance for modeling agencies, did more weddings than I care to remember, went into managing One-hour photo centers, and then started a career with one of the countries leading suppliers of photofinishing equipment, paper and supplies. This past January marked my 20th year with that company.

My day job involves anything from going on-site and repairing photo printing equipment, to installing equipment and training operators how to use it. I also might spend days or even weeks doing phone support from home. I  travel the country at times helping with special projects, installs, and training. I always try to carry a camera and tripod when I travel and some of my best images have been from those work trips.

To say photography is my life is not an understatement. When I decided to start selling my photographs again in 2015 some people thought I was nuts. They never knew me as anything more than a hobby photographer who just took a camera everywhere, never mind they never even knew me when I had hair, large amounts of thick, long red hair.

With all that said, I try not to get annoyed when someone who has only been shooting for a few years and never made a living at it, tries to start teaching me about photography. Did I mention that happens? More than once I have had some young kid start telling me how great his phone is and how it takes great pictures and he has one million followers on Instagram and blah, blah, blah…. My response is always the same. Your phone is NOT a camera. Those guys actually get under my skin. When I meet someone who actually has a camera around their neck and they want to start talking photography and telling me what they know I listen, though I find it interesting that they almost never ask me what I know or what “wisdom” I have to impart. I remember being 20-something years old and picking every old timers brain I could. I went out of my way to learn from those who had been doing it for years. I guess digital has destroyed all that. Now days, someone can just get on the internet and after watching some videos or downloading some digital filters they think they are a pro. In my day filters were pieces of glass you screwed on the front of your lens. I do not think they make those for camera phones. I digress…..

So that is me in a nutshell. I have been around the block, ‘rode hard put away wet’ as old cowboys use to say, and paid my dues. I do not think I am the best photographer. One thing I have learned in life is no matter how good you are or think you are there is always someone better. Another thing I have learned is you can learn something from almost everyone you meet. Almost everyone… there was this one guy…. Sorry that is another story.

 

Happy Trails!!

Tomas

About 23 years old. Yes, my hair really was that red!