I received my first camera, as a Christmas present, when I was 10 years old, and I've been taking photos off and on for my whole life. My parents bought it for me because I was always playing around with either my mom's or grandma's camera.
Over the years I've photographed friends, pets, sports teams, weddings, reunions, travel photos, and shot just about every type of photo you could imagine.
Everything I've learned about taking pictures was pretty much self-taught, although in the late 90's I did take some private lessons in portrait photography from well known and retiring Tulsa photographer Frank Sherrack, of longtime Sherrack Studios.**
Outside of that, most of my learning was by trial and error. I would get my pics back from the lab/drug store, look at the bads ones, then try to figure out what I did wrong, and try to never do that again. Sometimes I would ask a 'real' photographer what I was doing wrong, like, 'Why are my snow pictures always grey?', and then learn from my mistakes. There wasn't an internet back in those days where you could find your answers quickly.
During my 2 kids' school years at Tulsa Carver Middle School and Booker T Washington High School, I was a parent/volunteer photographing the schools' football games and cheerleading events. During their high school years at BTW, I also created and maintained websites for their school's football and cheer teams, again as my parent/volunteer donation. The high school won 2 state championships those years. I had the opportunity to photograph a bunch of great kids, including Seattle Seahawks and Kansas State star Tyler Lockett, from 6th grade thru his senior year.
From 1999-2016 I had the fortunate opportunity to be the 'official' company photographer for American Airlines. My office and studio were located on the AA maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is the largest commercial airline maintenance base in the world.
Since my position at AA ended, I am semi-retired, shooting mainly portrait sessions.
I've been very fortunate with my photography. My photos have been used by;
United States Navy
Flagship Detroit Foundation
Commemorative Air Force
Burlington Northern Railroad Historical
National Just Policy Website
Oklahoma Wishflight Organization
Oklahoma Honor Flights
Tulsa Air and Space Museum
The City of Tulsa
Tulsa Chamber of Commerce
Tulsa Mayor’s Office
Tulsa Public Schools
The Tulsa Zoo
The Tulsa World Newspaper
The Tulsa Tribune Newspaper
The ‘Tulsa’ Magazine
Tulsa KOTV Channel 6
Tulsa KTUL Channel 8
Tulsa United Way
Tulsa Susan G Komen
Tulsa MS Society
Tulsa Red Cross
Conde Nast Traveler Magazine
Allt Om Resor (Swedish Travel Magazine)
INTERNATIONAL MARCOM AWARD - Magazine Portrait Photography
INTERNATIONAL MARCOM AWARD - Magazine Cover Design
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATOR AWARD - Magazine Cover Photography
'KINSA' AWARD - Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot Award
HONORARY MEMBER - Boeing 787 Aircraft Design Team
ACE AWARD (Adobe Certified Expert) - PHOTOSHOP - Twice Awarded
TULSA CORPORATE CHALLENGE T-SHIRT DESIGN – First Place, 2 Times
NATIONAL AIR SHOW POSTER DESIGN – Third Place
One of the many impressive things about Mr Sherrack's studio was his old-style cataloging system.
His prime days as a professional photographer were back in the all-film days....way before digital photography came along and we were able to store 25,000 photos on a small, hand-held storage device. All the negatives from his photo sessions had to be stored; some way, some place.
He showed me how anyone could bring a print back to him that he had made for them, and on the back would be a written number that he had put on there that told him exactly where that negative was stored. He took me into his negative storage room and inside were these rows and rows of custom built little wooden boxes and shelves he had made himself to store all the negatives. They were stored by dates and names. Then he showed me his hand-written master catalog where he had a record of all the portrait sessions he had shot and stored. He had over 40,000 photo sessions logged and stored in that room! And yet, if it was a print he had made for a customer, he could look at the back of it and go right to where that negative was stored.
His back room was also pretty impressive. One wall area was covered with photos of him with Hollywood and Las Vegas celebrities. I discovered he had photographed a lot of 'stars' in his time. In fact, some of them actually flew to Tulsa just for him to do their photo session. Also in this room were several professional make-up mirrors/stations. The kind you see in movies and tv with all the big bulbs around it. It looked like something right out of backstage 1950's and 60's. He had photographed sessions where several models were used at one time, and all of them needed their 'get-ready' space.