Although the first set of photos that I was proud of happened in 1997 when I went to play soccer in Europe...I really didn't begin to pursue and commit to photography until much later in my journey. That actually occurred in 2006. I was living in Berkeley, California...had moved out there on a whim a few years earlier with a pal and jumped right into a west coast scene that was much different than the one I was leaving in Northeast Ohio.
After a few years of living in downtown Berkeley, I got my own spot up in the hills on the side of Grizzly Peak. It was a secluded studio far removed from the young and vibrant scene downtown, but was probably my favorite place I've ever lived in. My friends were all in the city and I honestly didn't have much other than some records, a busted bike, some keepsakes, 2 cameras, and a heart filled with happiness. It was at this hillside hideout that I really started digging into photography.
With a decade's long interest in still photography, but having never taken a formal photo class, I read a couple books and also was fortunate to talk shop with a couple pals in the area who had studied the medium, but they no longer adopted the practice. So mostly...I just tried to teach myself....I started to develop my own visual voice...and I didn't give a shit if people liked it or not; it felt good...it felt right. And so I shot every day, and was extremely disciplined in doing so....skipped work sometimes, avoided social obligations....just really let photography's claws sink into me...and I did so happily (and still do up until present day). I could elaborate a bunch more on this time...but the Cliff's Notes are that on August 3rd, 2006, I took this photo from my apartment window. It was an early morning and I was watching the fog roll over San Francisco from afar. It was haunting, and beautiful, and stunning, and life changing really. I grabbed a jenky digital camera and took a few snaps..."Hells Yeah!!" I thought to myself....and then I grabbed an old Kodak analog camera that I had and took the last photo on the roll....and this was what developed.
It was on this same day that I had written in a notebook "I will take photos until the day I pass on". I still have that notebook page...and as I continue on my life's path, as well as my on-going photographic exploration...I look back and realize that some of my metamorphosis began on that foggy California morning.