Photography is my passion and street photography saved me. It gave me purpose in life again. I started out like many photographers who owned a point and shoot camera and then at some point figured out that it’s fun to shoot and that the pictures I was taking were actually pretty good. My little camera would go everywhere I’d go and I’d take pictures of pretty much anything. Then after some time of going through photography websites, blogs about gear, reading photography books, and playing with friends’ cameras that I’d outgrown my point and shoot cameras. At the time I felt that I wasn’t getting the type of images I saw on some of the websites I had visited. So, I saved up and became a very happy and proud new owner of a DSLR, a Nikon D90 with kit lens. Oh, yeah. Soon after I bought it my friend, Kit, and I drove down to Hollywood and started walking and shooting that evening. (Photo posted taken that night) The smile on my face was cheek to cheek and I never looked back. The first few photographers that I admired, respected, and that I found inspiration from for street photography were Chris Weeks (35lux) with his e-book Street Photography for the Purist, Roberto (Bear) Guerra, Trent Park, Felix Lupa, Stephen Wright, Markus Hartel, Nils Jorgensen, Severin Koller, Frank Jackson and of course HCB. I’ve found more photographers that I’ve admired and learned from the last two years. Photography started out as an interest and something I thought was fun to do and turned into something I wanted to do everyday. Being that my background is in art and graphic design I also enjoyed the processing side to photography and was used to sitting in front of the computer and staying up all night. It just made sense.
So how did it save me? My life up until then was swallowed up by work. I was stressed out and honestly I was not very happy. The work environment was toxic and I was becoming a hermit too. The constant urge to go out and take pictures made me go places and do things again. Whenever I had a chance I went out and practiced. I then thought there had to be folks out in LA that were like-minded and decided to attend an Eric Kim Street Photography workshop after finding his blog when I was looking for X100 reviews. I read through his blogs and liked his enthusiasm and common passion for street photography. Through Eric’s workshop, I did not only learn more about street photography but I also made great friends and fellow street photographers. I received more encouragement within the group and from folks who began to see my work. I continued to meet great street photographers, some whom I had admired earlier on, and new friends that shared my passion for street photography. I’m happy and grateful to have found my passion in life. Last November I was laid off from the company I had worked at for 10 years. A blessing in disguise, I am now able to focus on photography and continue to hone and develop my skills in photography and have more time to shoot the streets.