Life as a corporate photographer is interesting, exciting and most certainly challenging. Over the past 30 years I have traveled the world shooting corporate annual reports for all sorts of industry.
I was born in Southern California, and spent about 20 some odd years there. When I joined the airlines in the mid 1970's as a flight attendant, I was based for a short time here in Denver. I liked Denver for the quality of life aspects as well as the 4 seasons. In California we had two seasons tourists and no tourists or parking spaces or no parking spaces. The seasonal changes were something new to me and I really came to enjoy them, more then today. Now the winters seem longer, and the summers hotter.
When I chose to start my business, Denver was my first and only choice. I was less concerned about business opportunities and more interested in life style. As it turned out, Denver had a pretty good business climate. Denver had and has, a strong Oil & Gas (energy sector), and Mining community with many Fortune 500 companies headquarters or had major office's here.
When I started in business in 1983, the economy was in the crapper, and intramuscular, the oil and gas sector tanked, which hurt a lot of shooters and other business. Most people would say that I choice a bad time to open a business, what did I know, I just wanted to shoot. Actually, I thought it was a perfect time to start, I had only one way to go, UP. Other shooters in town had lost a lot of jobs, yet I had no jobs to lose. Listen, I'm not saying that it was easy, it was damn hard starting a business. But when you are passionate about your "life's work" you will make it... you persevere.
Being a new business owner I had to wear a lot of hats, I had to do the marketing (cold calls), book keeping as well as the creative. You can spread yourself rather thin with so many things to look after. I could not have gotten to where I am today without the love and support of so many people.
It started with the love and support of my parents, believing and trusting in me. My dad was a company man an engineer not an entrepreneur, being self employed seemed risky to him. It thrilled me as the year went on to see my dad shake his head with a smile on his face saying "I don't know how you do it" I know, I made him proud.
Not only was I lucky to have found my life's work, I was also was extremely fortunate to have met and married the most wonderful person on earth. Deb and I have been together for around 29 years, we'll be celebrating our 25th anniversary next year. There is no way in hell I could have succeeded to the extent that I have, without the love and support of my dear wife. While I was traveling the world on assignment, she was holding down the fort, raising our son and running the business in my absence. I recall one year, being on the road around 170 days. I was always worried about the time away from home, she on the other hand, worried about the places I was traveling. There were times in the Mid 1990's when traveling in South America, I did that a lot, where there were real risks. The Shining Path Guerrillas in Peru were kidnapping people, bombing buildings and causing all sorts of worries. I often traveled with armed guards, supplied by clients while working assignments. As I mentioned, it was the time away not the locations that bothered me the most. Those worrisome assignment make for some great stories, exciting at the time, but just stories now.
Please take a moment and think about and acknowledge the people in your life that have supported your efforts and pursuits. Make sure you provide that same commitment and support for their interests as well. I guess you know where I'm coming from, I am so internally greatful for all the support I've received over the years.