The First Picture I ever took was with a disposable camera in 1997.
I was in second grade and barely seven years old.
Me and my mom had just finished an exhausting shift at the salon. Her shift of course was comprised of a full day styling, cutting, and coloring hair to provide for our one bedroom apartment.
Mine lasted at best 2-3 hours after school; periodically sweeping up trimmings between clients.
The beach has always been my mother's favorite place to be. Naturally, she wanted to reward our labors and wind down there for the sunset. Within twenty minutes our toes were digging in the sand; the waves collapsing and retreating on the shore.
Reflections of light were spaced out on the ocean's surface. It was almost as though someone had skipped the sun like a flat stone across the water so far that it landed in the sky; leaving traces of golden pools behind.
It was a simpler time. Looking out, the oil platforms sitting along the horizon were nothing more to me than pirate ships when I squinted my eyes...
And then there it was.
The urge to capture my imagination; to keep this moment in the way that I saw it.
My mom was carrying a plastic disposable camera with a yellow cardboard cover, and I asked if I could take a picture. She explained the basic components and handed it over. The dial clicked with a high pitched crunch as I wound up the shot. I peered through the camera, lined up my frame, and pressed the shutter button.
My mom submitted my picture to an art festival when we were visiting family on Catalina Island that year, and it won second place in the children's category.
To this day it is still one of my most treasured accomplishments.
Epilogue - About Me
I would fill rolls of film over the next several years as we moved around Southern California and the North Shore of Oahu; full of friends and family and summer camp. But my true fascination with camera work didn't really start to develop until I was further out of college. I supported myself for years as a barista and a video games salesman at well known corporate chains. Most of my lunches were spent watching tutorials and advice on how to handle a DSLR Camera, and tips for travel. I was fortunate in those years to follow a call to adventure, and put those teachings into practice. I navigated the circumference of Ireland for a few weeks in the spring of 2017, and embarked on a small tour of Italy the tail end of summer the following year. It solidified that being behind a camera is what I wanted to do with my time. I have since departed from retail and now focus on supporting my family as a Photographer and stay-at-home dad.
I am currently based south of Los Angeles, California and live with my incredible fiancé and two beautiful stepchildren.