A Twist Of Fate.

Twisted

I’m a photographer.

If others are to be believed, a pretty decent one too. Though I still have my doubts.

Yet I fell into photography completely by accident.

Now I’ve sold quite a few prints, been published on a Nationally recognized children’s magazine, have my own website, a fan page, and of course, this blog.

Ten years ago I would have laughed at the idea.

 

I’m uneducated.

High school is as far as I went with my education, knowing early on that college was not for me.

I disliked English class so much that the thought of actually paying for any more in college seemed insane.

And yet,  I’ve been told I have a way with words.

And now I’m being paid to write.

The fine people at Craftsy.com have taken a chance and asked me on as a writer.

My first and second articles.

*

Life is full of twists.

Enjoy the ride.

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64 thoughts on “A Twist Of Fate.

  1. You don’t need to go to college to get an education. Life is a much better teacher. And a degree does not make you clever or better. I left school as quickly as I could. I was so bored and wanted to see life and travel. And I did. Later on I needed to get a degree to try and fulfil my dream, I got the degree, I didn’t get the dream. Hey, Ho, life went on. You obviously have talent, and now it is recognised, not only by others, but also yourself. Good for you!!
    Jude xx

    • Thank you Jude. Life is kind of funny in the way the things we think we want don’t always happen, and things we least expect jump out and surprise us. Who would have thought that my ability to BS my way through a writing assignment would serve me so well later in life? 🙂

  2. I do not think you are uneducated. L 👀 K at your talent that if evident in every post! The definition of education is highly subjective !

    • Thank you very much Tina. Though just to show that I”m not all that bright, you likely noticed that the link to my second article for Craftsy, since corrected, linked to my first post. 😉

  3. Congratulations! I think the powerful message you are sending in this post is that anything is possible…it’s a great message to share.

  4. Beautiful image! Wow! Your dream is comparable to mine. I still say “pinch me” about my blog. Yet there you go, my dream has begun. Thank you for sharing this. You’ve inspired me not to give up. Love, Amy

    • Thanks Amy, I’m glad I could inspire you. Definitely don’t give up. Even if your dreams never come completely true I think it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all. “What if?” isn’t something I want to be asking myself.

      I know the odds of me becoming anywhere near famous, or even well known for my photography are pretty slim. But that’s not going to stop me from trying like hell!

      • I feel like I am pushing through a brick wall right now, but if I don’t at least try, just like you said, I will never know. I will have no regrets in this aspect of my life because darn I have poured my everything into my photography! xx Amy

        • The same here. I’m committed to seeing just how far I can take this whole photography thing. The one thing that really helps is that I don’t photograph to become famous. As much as I would love to turn this into a full time thing, I photograph first and foremost for me. If I decided tomorrow to just give up and shut down my Facebook fan page, my website, and this blog, I’d still be out with my camera every chance I get. Earning my living with my camera would be awesome, making meaningful images that people like, even if they never buy one, is even more so.

          Maybe that’s why I’m not banging my head against the wall because I’m not some big time pro yet. I’m going to work my butt off to make a name for myself, but if I don’t. I still have my camera and that’s enough.

          • Jeff, your thoughts are very similar to mine. Yes there are days I feel like I am hitting the brick wall but that is because of life itself. I don’t follow rules when I photograph. Oops, no I don’t. I do it from my Heart and that is what I believe is drawing the people who do view my work. It shows. My Heart that is, and how I absolutely LOVE what I do. Do I dream of making money with my photos? Yes, but there too, if someone is going to tell me how they want me to shoot, the answer will be no. I follow my Heart. No rhyme or reason to it other then I get pulled into the magic of the moement and nothing else exists. Do I enjoy bringing pleasure to others? Another yes. Would I miss blogging if I walked? Yes, but would it ruin my life? No. I like you would still have camera in hand, just because I LOVE it. I am constantly seeing things and running to get my camera oohing and ahhing, look at that! Since about 2 months ago, I have almost 4 thousand pictures. The treasures I find and the enjoyment I get out of taking pictures is like no other. I also really enjoy going to others’ blogs and admiring their work yet of late I have been so busy in my gardens, that has been minimal. You can tell by the length of this comment how much I LOVE what I do AND how much I miss talking to my friends. But anyways, I’m off and headed for my bed. Long day in the gardens today, putting in supports for all my Peonies. It is done and so am I. It was great talking to you! You sound like a really great man!!! Thank you for putting up with a chatty woman! LOL Love, Amy

            • I’m not a slave to the “rules” either, though in my opinion there are some that I live by. The light is what makes or breaks a photo and there’s no getting around that. A flower for instance, photographed under the even lighting of an overcast day is 99.999999999% more likely to result in a good photo than one of that same flower photographed under the harsh light of high noon. A landscape photographed in the middle of the day will rarely, if ever be as good as the same place shot during the golden hours when the sun is low in the sky.

              I don’t photograph based on how someone else thinks I should do it, or wants me to do it. Yet while I photograph what I love, I also photograph certain places in the area because I know the images might sell. Even that is only done if I can “feel it” when I’m there, and more importantly, make it my own. The business side of trying to become a professional does dictate some sacrifice in this regard. I just make those sacrifices on my terms.

              • Ah, yes, the light. I only photograph on cloudy days or another time of the day is twilight. I am also practicing putting a light source behind some flowers to see if I can get the affect I am looking for. If not, forget it. I experiment. I’m also trying to get one of my Hummingbirds and they come in the mornings to drink deeply. The feeder is in deep shade, so even though it is well past sunrise (around 9am in the morning) I am still attempting to shoot. I’ve had some practice runs and the light is pretty decent. I’ll take it. To get a Hummer will be a feather in my cap! I am also having way too much fun to even contemplate the business end of photography. When it happens, it will and my life will be more conducive in receiving it. IF you knew how huge my life is, and how many responsibilities I have, you would totally get it. My dream is for someone to discover my blog who sees a good thing when he or she sees it, and approaches me about selling. Until then, I just feel like a kid. I also really like your style of photography, for you like me, tend to see the “different”. I have photographed things I never even new existed. LOL Anyways, I promised myself the weekend off, so I am finishing up with my comments and off I go. Hope you have a great weekend as well, Jeff! (((HUIGS))) Amy

  5. By the way I thoroughly enjoyed your first article. I have always enjoyed taking pictures but the photography terms just throw me into the abyss of confusion which makes it difficult to learn more about what cameras can do. Simple and basic is good for me.

    Did you know your first and second articles go to the same link? Was that intentional?

    • Thank you Carol, I hope I continue to inspire you in some small way. Though the fact that several people have mentioned I’m an inspiration is yet another surprise to me. Will miracles never cease? 🙂

    • Hi Shawn-Marie, and thank you. I wish I could help, but in all honesty I don’t know. I’ve heard good things about Blurb, http://www.blurb.com/. They have a self publishing feature, but I’ve never considered putting together a book myself so I don’t know for sure.

      I do wish you luck and success with your book when you do publish it.

  6. It sounds like traditional education wasn’t for you. I’m a teacher and I see a lot of students who are very intelligent and often incredibly creative who have a difficult time with school. Being an electives teacher (creative writing and journalism) these students often shine in my class where they fail in others. Most of the time it is because they are free to explore their own interests in a less structured environment. I’m so glad to find that you have found great success. There are many young people who would be motivated by your story. 🙂

    • I could not agree more. Though I actually graduated with honors, and seriously considered going to art school, I pretty much lived in the art rooms my senior year. But you’re right, traditional education was not for me.

      Instead I joined the U.S. Air Force, served 4 years, have been and auto mechanic for the last 30, stumbled onto photography looking for a much needed creative outlet, and now I’m selling a few prints, have a photo on a magazine cover( got to get that one framed since it may never happen again) and everything else mentioned above. Life is just one big surprise.

  7. Did Craftsy find you? Just curious about getting paid to blog. I would love to publish some of my photos too! Awesome to have your work in a magazine!!

    • Yes, out of the blue. They contacted me either via my blog or my website, though I’m not exactly sure how they found either of those. Up to that point I had never even heard of Craftsy.com. They have a list of topics to choose from, and I can also submit topic ideas of my own, so the writing part is pretty easy. (Never thought I’d hear myself say that 😀 )

      It was the same with Ranger Rick Jr Magazine. One day I got an email from the photo editor asking if they could use one of my photos? For the cover no less, well the back cover anyway, but I’ll take it!

      I have to say I’ve been very lucky.

  8. Congratulations, education is where you find it or it finds you and often the best education is just in living and loving what you do. I have found your Blog inspirational, knowledgeable and helpful and the photos are always amazing, best wishes now that all the hard work is starting to pay off.

  9. So great to hear about your success! I’m sure it’s been a lot of determination and hard work, as “luck” really undervalues your role in your success. And I think if you lived in France, for instance, you would feel more celebrated and accepted as an artist, where in America, we focus more on degrees and financial accomplishment. Great job 🙂 Wonderful photography.

    • Thank you for the very kind words. You are so right about the hard work. Sometimes I feel it’s a bit discouraging, the amount of work it takes to get my photos seen. Because after all, that is the name of the game, getting my photography in front of as many eyes as possible.

      Also, I do feel my art is appreciated. And the internet has made it much easier for me to share my work and have it appreciated. But it also enables all of the other photographers out there to share their work as well. The real work in achieving my goal of becoming a full-time professional photographer is the amount of effort it takes to stand out from the crowd.

      • Sheesh. I so hear you. Loud and clear. I feel the very same with my artwork, and although I can create a small difference in surface texture, the marketing is still the same issue. The cool thing about the internet is you CAN reach all those people, no matter where you live (small town, isolated, or whatever). Problem is, we all spend probably more time marketing online than we do creating our art. With photography, it has to be extra difficult to stand out, though your images do. As Will Smith (just watched a Youtube thing of his) says, you don’t start by saying I’m going to build a wall. You start by saying I’m going to lay this one brick down as best I can. One day at a time, my friend. We gotta hold each other up and keep our spirits & energy high 🙂

        • Well said! I really didn’t start out thinking this would go anywhere, but now that it’s starting to I plan to do everything I can to help it along. And yes, standing out is a lot of work, a lot of it having nothing to do with the actual taking of the photos. Keywording, descriptions, SEO, and a whole host of other things, the list is endless. I spend way more time in front of the computer than I do behind the camera, that’s for sure. But if I don’t do that part nobody is ever going to see my photos.

          Such is the life of a wanna-be professional photographer 🙂

  10. Bravo, Jeff! Isn’t it remarkable how life throws such unexpected twists at us? For example, three years ago, I would never have thought people would pay to read my novels. I read your ‘first article’, and I thought you explained the various camera modes very well — clearly and simply. I also love the (second!) waterfall shot. I haven’t managed to achieve that silky water effect, but I’ll master it some day. Maybe when I’ve got more time …

    • Thank you very much Elizabeth. I know just how you feel. It’s coolest feeling on earth knowing someone enjoyed something you created enough to spend their hard earned money on it. No matter how successful I may or may not become, I sincerely hope to never lose that feeling whenever someone buys a print.

      And that silky look in the waterfall photo, probably one of the easiest things to do with a camera. 😉

  11. Jeff, you intuitively knew that the traditional education model just was not working for you. But you probably kept educating yourself by pursuing and learning about the things that were important to you. good for you. Whatever works… I went all the way and got all the degrees in my field which gave me a certain amount of freedom by being my own boss. But now I left it all behind to pursue my own learning, whatever draws me and enriches me…

    • My brain has always been a bit of a sponge, that’s for sure. I tell people there is a lot of useless information rattling around in my head. I’m often surprised at the things I know because I don’t recall reading or learning about half the stuff.

      I can say that after 30 years as an auto mechanic my body has been rethinking that “college isn’t for me” choice. 🙂

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