After shooting my first portrait session in February 2004, I continued working with as many people as possible (for free) to help hone my skills.

When the weather permitted, I began shooting outside. And then, in late June, I shot a portrait (above) that was unlike anything I’d previously taken — and I was enamored with it. I wasn’t immediately sure why I liked it so much more than others I’d taken, but it was something I was eager to learn.

Canon EOS 1D Mark II


Canon EOS D60

In February of 2004, I bought some photo studio lights, a backdrop stand, and some colored paper backdrops which I set up in my apartment.

And then with absolutely no studio experience, I put out a casting for photography subjects.

And on February 28, 2004 — nervous as can be — and with barely any grasp of the equipment I was using, I conducted my first photoshoot ever with an aspiring model who was also experiencing her first shoot.

Many of our shots left a lot of room for improvement, but it was an invigorating experience and I was hooked!

Working with people was so much fun.