What is there about putting this writing and photography together that keeps drawing me back? If there is anything that gets my juices going it’s doing that.
In the beginning, it drove me into the field when I might rather not go. Find something there to write about, I used to think, then take the pictures. Then it became just to take the pictures. That’s where I wanted to be. When we traveled, I took the pictures. At home I would grab my camera as soon as that sweet light showed itself. Practice, I kept thinking. Try this, try that.
It all began when I learned about some testing to find out what natural skills I might have – thanks to my dear friend and mentor Bill Moses. Bill showed me the way. The way to stay motivated. He introduced me to Earl Nightingale, and others who were motivational speakers. That stayed with me all through college and beyond.
So, it was that I was listening to Denis Waitley, on my way to a Real Estate workshop. The tax laws had just changed and I was questioning my own career in 1031 Real Estate Exchanging. Waitley suggested the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. “They test for natural aptitudes, he said. The things we’re born with.” A week later I was at the Tampa facility for my day and a half of testing.
“Photography might be a fit,” the test administrator said. You have that patience for making that fine focusing, she said. And there is a high correlation between photography and music.” I had scored high on two of the three music aptitudes I tested for.
Back home I talked to the local high profile photographers. Seventy percent of them either wrote music, played instruments or conducted. That week, I bought my first camera, with not a question in my stomach. Three months later my first work was published.
I had decided to work in the area of Stock Photography. Thanks to Rohn Engh, his pioneering work provided a road to follow. I began to build my files of marketable photos. Rohn has since deceased; however, his books are still available at http://www.amazon.com/Rohn-Engh/e/B001K8FU3I
However, it wasn’t long before I discovered the top 100 Stock photographers had already been identified and had huge files to draw upon. What to do. Well I sought out workshops by noted Pros in the field to learn more.
Then, Carol & I were in New Orleans and booked a wild swamp tour, courtesy of the tour outfit, when they learned I was shooting for possible publications. This might be an opportunity to write about the area and propose that to magazines along with my photos. We bought a tape recorder and while I was shooting, Carol operated the recorder.
When we got home, we transcribed the tape & I edited the photography. I sent off a query letter to a half dozen publications. One responded positively. We sent off our 1st photo/text package. It was published and that format became my standard for seeing my work in print and getting paid for it. Now all I had to do was find editors who needed something special and providing it.
Next we’ll talk about what editors need and how to decide which publications to consider…
More about photo tips, current good workshops and events go to Lens Luggers Photographic Association