I realize that the title of this blog might be a relatively arrogant claim to make, but I have my reasons for making it. , to be fair to me, let me explain why, if I am not, I should still be in the running for the vote next year. Wait? Is there a vote, and can I put my name in the hat for it?
I am a Columbia SC native through and through. I have moved away for college, work and fun many times, but I have always come back to it. I don’t know why. Maybe it is the people, maybe it is the warm climate, I don’t know. All I know is that I am here and I have been taking photos of everything in Columbia since I was 8 years old. My mother gave me my first camera for Christmas in 1980. It was a Polaroid Instamatic. I got it the same year I received my first Atari gaming system. I vaguely remember all the things I took photos of on that morning, but I am sure that one of them was of my Atari. Loved it! But obviously, I did not love that Atari as much as my camera, because I am still doing photography today. Playing Atari, not so much. The excitement that you felt as a kid when that photograph slid out of the camera was amazing! I would sit there and watch patiently as the photograph developed in front of me.
As the years went by, I would grab my parent’s cameras to take photos on trips, and get so excited when we went to the drug store to get them developed. I was always so careful to hold the pictures by the edges, as to not get my grubby fingerprints all over them. When I was at the College of Charleston, I had a stack of old photos that I took with me. I hung them all on the wall of my one room flat, and look at them everyday. It always reminded me of where I came from and where I felt I might be going. That has a funny way of keeping a man humble.
Over the years, I have photographed so many things in Columbia. That is what you would expect from a nominee for “Columbia SC Photographer,” right? I started out taking pictures of me on my skateboard the day I got a tripod and learned how to use the timer. Those were selfies long before it was cool to call it a “selfie.” From there, I found myself taking pictures of my friends at Taekwon-Do tournaments. That kind of action was something I wanted to capture so bad, and waiting for the film to come back developed was exhausting. But getting one great photo of a kick being landed out 36 exposures, was worth it! I didn’t start taking photos professionally until my wife said that I was good at it, and that I should put myself out there. She, immediately put me to work shooting for London and Lace Bridal Boutique. It might have been the best thing to happen to me, because from there, I started shooting weddings.
Weddings are a blast! You are there to capture the moments of the happiest day of someone’s life. You are surrounded by love, kindness and celebration, and your only hope is that you catch it all for them. I have been lucky enough to shoot some of the most wonderful people’s weddings, and when it is over, I am always floored. Not because I am tired, but because of how the client’s come up and thank me for all I have done. Thank me? Trust me, there is no reason to thank me because I absolutely love taking pictures and I am always looking for excuses to snap my shutter. But, maybe they are thanking me because I am different. I think outside of the box in everything I do, so it is not uncommon to find me “experimenting,” with my cameras. I get on floors, climb up walls and twist my camera in every way, in hopes of getting a shot that no one will be able to recreate. It’s what I love.
But, that is not where it ends. Lately, I have found myself taking photos for businesses. From motorcycles at Thunder Tower, to the mattresses that Best Mattress has to offer and everything in between, I am down for whatever. Well, maybe not everything. You won’t find me taking pictures of scantily clad women anymore because I only have eyes for my wife, and I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking that is how to get attention in life. It’s not that I am against that type of photography. It is just that it is not for me.
As you can see, my life has and always will have photography in it. And, I may move away from Columbia SC again one day. But for now, I am the Columbia SC Photographer. Not because I was voted in, (seriously, if there is a vote that I can get my name on, let me know,) but because I believe in myself and the photos that I can do for my clients. This photo of the Gervais St. Bridge is special to me because it is a photo of a road in my hometown that I have driven down more times than I can count. It’s home. If you are interested in The Columbia SC Photographer, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I am sure you will like what I have to offer for you. 🙂