About Me/Why I Became a Photographer


Since this is the first post I’m putting up, I think it’s appropriate to let you know a little about who I am and why I do what I do!

I’m Steve! The Photographer for Jay Studios | Photography.

I actually pre-wrote this in more detail, and realized it was more of a life story. So I’m condensing this into something much easier to read. You all have lives to live after all!

I grew up in Traverse City, Michigan. Photography had been a little hobby and slight interest from the time I was a kid. It was just fun to take pictures! I took a black & white film photography class when I started high school, and that was really fun. Unfortunately, I was pretty bad at it. I wasn’t even allowed to take the second course until sophomore year! That’s what propelled me to really work hard and develop as a photographer. I ended up actually starting the school’s digital photography program and dual-enrolling to my local community college for more photography education.

Film photography though, I think that was the big thing that really sparked my passion for the art. Being in a dark room, barely able to see in the dim red light, mixing chemicals, then watching your image appear out of a pure white sheet of paper. It’s like magic. Going from start to finish, rolling your own negatives, developing them, exposing the paper, and printing it. It’s amazing!

After high school, I made the decision to leave everything and everyone I knew and move to Tampa, Florida for school at the Art Institute of Tampa. If I hadn’t been motivated before, I was now! Being surrounded by hundreds of people as passionate as me was probably the thing that caused me to want to be better, to work harder, and spend as much time as I could just learning and practicing.

I graduated in December 2012 as one of the first 15 students at Ai Tampa with a degree in Digital Photography. In February 2013, I sold my car, packed up everything I owned and drove to Southern California with my roommate, just outside Los Angeles.

Probably not the smartest decision I’ve ever made. When I drove out here I was barely 22-years-old and thought, “Hey! There’s a huge market for photographers out in California!” But that’s what pretty much every photographer thinks. So I did what work I could to get my name out there and spent a little time doing non-photography work before I made the right connections to make a living out of photography.

And that’s where I am now! A little bit of my history in photography and where I started. Sometimes it takes a while, and you have to work hard, but good things happen.
I hope you all liked learning a little more about me here, and don’t worry, I’ll be posting some more articles soon! Maybe some more informational ones. And if you have a topic you’d like me to cover, please feel free to let me know!


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