MSP Seven Year Anniversary this May

websfrontpage03One of my first online advertisements for my business, branded with (if I remember right) my second website attempt.  Still broke at this point (still broke now) I was working off free web hosting; which is a really inefficient way to run a business, no doubt.  We make do with what we can though and work for better day’s.

Look at me, you can tell something is missing from my life.

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In 2008 I was returning home from living in Portland, OR for under a year.  I was without a job, without much savings in the bank and most my friends had moved away while I was gone.

This wasn’t the end of the world though.  I had enough to survive while I looked for new work, and you can always make new friends.

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2008, canon powershot. Portland, OR.

By April I had created a new circle, new memories and somehow forgot to really look for work, but the matter couldn’t be ignored for much longer.  Then one of my new friends got a hold of me in a desperate situation. He needed dental surgery or face severe medical consequences.  He had six months previous purchased a new Canon EOS Rebel xti.  Still owing about a grand on it (apparently his dentist doesn’t take credit) he needed the cash and sold it to me for $300.00 which at this time was a steal as it was still one of the newest models for hobbyist photographers.  This was the rekindling of an old obsession.  I quickly set to work to learn everything I could about the new camera, having only dealt with SLR’s or digital point and shoots previously.

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My first paid shoot in 2008, October.

It was like I was in high school again with my first Kodak dock digi point and shoot.  I was taking pictures of everyone, all the time, everywhere.  I was taking four hour drives around the state looking for new things to shoot, often finding nothing all that inspiring.  Looking back now I could have assigned all sorts of limitations to a day to create inspiring from nothing, but live and learn.  These habits could also be to blame for my being broke, it was a hard decision as to whether to invest in gas to find shots or invest in building branding.

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One of my first landscape shots, hand held before I realized the importance of a tri-pod for even the fastest speeds.

I can admit I guiltily got swept up in all the crazy lightroom editing trends.  Over processing my way to embarrassment before I came closer to my artistic center and leveled out.  Although it didn’t take me long to level on my portrait work; I struggled with mastering my saturation / contrast with landscapes for a little while.

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When I started to get a better feel for my lenses and landscapes.

There was also the issue of equipment, it took me awhile to build the things I needed for the variety of genre’s I had planned to attack.  I got plenty of bad advice along the way, a regular lewis carol adventure navigating the photography world.  I am still recovering from some of the bad advice as it linked directly into important gear like lenses.  I will bounce back one day and in the meantime people seem slightly impressed with what I have managed to do with what I have.  I find those to be some of the greatest compliments.

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My second paid shoot. This family was one of my best clients until they moved.

My progress has been slow although my learning came quickly and continues.  Sometimes it surprises me how many styles I have been through, and some I wonder why I left behind. HDR might have been one of the hardest styles to perfect and I don’t think I’m there yet, though I am a lot closer than I was year’s ago.  I thought after already purchasing Photoshop that I would have to buy separate software good for HDR editing.  Thankfully I was wrong and found a good process with photoshop HDR editing.  A process previously shared in the blog.

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Mid 2009 portrait / documentary style series for a musician.

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Mid 2009 portrait / documentary style series for a musician.

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Mid 2009 portrait / documentary style series for a musician.

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Shot 2010 in Monette, AR. First HDR edit, blown out and over saturated. Previous my learning proper HDR editing in PS.

Shot from 2010 in Monette, AR.   Second edit in 2012 after learning new HDR process.

Shot from 2010 in Monette, AR.
Second edit in 2012 after learning new HDR process.

I know seven years isn’t a special milestone or anything but it seems unreal to me that this much time has already passed.  I guess when you look at my work though it’s easier to believe.

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My first clone shot attempt in 2010. Howell, MI

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A few months into my clone adventures, Oct. 2010 at Cass Tech High School – Detroit, MI

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My clones got attention. Violin Monster wanted to be cloned / shot by me in 2012, Ann Arbor, MI

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I wouldn’t have gotten a lot of my practice out of the way without these two. Clone shot 2012, Summer, Linden, MI

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Night time clone shots in Ann Arbor, summer 2012.

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2011 self portrait clone, Brighton, MI

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Self portrait clone, 2012 Summer

Seems like 2013 was the first year since I started clones that I haven’t done any.  It was a busy office year on top of a ton of personal things happening, I am hoping to get back on my photography game in 2014.

At least in 2013 I still worked on general portrait work.

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Thinking about doing something special for MSP seven year anniversary, not sure yet.  Maybe I should just wait until I reach ten years, if we make it.  Here’s hoping.

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