Like many people, photography has always been a part of my life. Growing up, someone was frequently taking family snapshots or photographs of one type or another. It seemed there was always a family member or friend with a camera to take pictures of various events or occassions. I remember that using film meant you had to take the film to get developed, then wait for the prints to be made so you could see your pictures. Also, growing up, I remember the "professionals" always took the school pictures and formal family portraits.
Today, we are immersed in a visual world of snapshots and images of one type or another that are everywhere thanks to the digital revolution. It's certainly much easier for anyone to take pictures and immediately see and share them with others. Today many people believe this ability makes them a "photographer", but unfortunately it doesn't. Following that reasoning, most of us should be world class chefs because we have kitchens in our homes. A "photographer" has dedicated significant time and energy studying and learning, practicing the many techniques and skills, and honing their craft. A photographer doesn't make great pictures because they could take pictures or had certain equipment, photographers make great pictures because of the training, knowledge, experience and dedication to their craft...
I recognized my passion for photography and became truly serious about photography in 2008. I got my first more advanced camera and began learning and studying the different areas of photography. I attended training and seminars, and joined local photography groups. I learned about many of the creative and technical areas of photography including composition, exposure, lighting, flash exposure, color temperaturs, editing and photo retouching. Today, I am the co-organizer of one of those photography groups where I regularly share my knowledge and experience, teaching those who are new to photography.
I operate a fully equipped photography studio for portraits and creative shoots, but I also have a variety of portable studio equipment which allows me to shoot on location as well.
Remember, when you're looking for "your" photographer, don't just choose someone you know with a camera, choose one who's truly experienced and knowledgeable in photography.