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Thread: What do you do for living?

  1. #1
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    What do you do for living?

    Well I asked this on an another forum and quite a response and got to know many people beyond their forum names and gear list. So thought I would start it here as well

    If you don't mind answering, tell what you do for a living? Is photography is your profession (meaning earning completely based on photography) or is it more of a hobby and you do something else as your day job?

    Starting with me, I am a IT Project Mgr in a small firm, currently based in US. In 2003 when I was in Paris photography bug bite me and I got my first digital Sony V1 and also met some photographers group/members online (paw, seephoto by Godfrey etc), some of them are members here as well. So nice to see them around after 6-7 years...

  2. #2
    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I'm a software developer currently at a small firm. I've been into photography, to a greater or lesser extent, since I was around 12 or so. Bought my first SLR (Miranda Sensorex) at age 13 in the mid-70s. Still remember that it cost $139.99 from some mail-order shop in New York.

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    Senior Member RonSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I'm a lawyer and have been in practice since 1984.

    I got my first camera, a Kodak Hawkeye, when I was 7 in 1963, and my first SLR, a Canon FX, when I was 15. Photography has always been a hobby for me; one that I can incorporate into just about every aspect of my life.
    Ron Smith
    Flickr

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Investment management for private clients.

    We had a darkroom when I was growing up but after leaving for college I completely gave up photography except for your basic documenting of events with friends and family. Finally the Digilux 2 came along with its analog controls and it rekindled my love for the art.

  5. #5
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Bettina and I photograph together for over 35 years. Since about 2002 photography is our only source of income (tough at times like now).

    www.outbackphoto.com
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Retired (thankfully) but formerly Corporate insurance broker. First discovered photography as an 8 year old in the 50's from my grandfather who was a pro in the UK.

    I'll never forget all those years ago when, for the first time, I saw an image "magically" appear on a white piece of paper in his darkroom. It's been an obsession ever since.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Full time wedding photographer for my sins. Got into photography via an old and broken Canon AE-1 I found in the catacombs of the photo lab I managed for a couple of years.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    custom metal staircase, etc. manufacturer, shops in NYC and Oakland
    first exposure to photography was my uncle's basement darkroom in 1950. first real camera, after my Kodak Brownie: Olympus PenD, half frame, then yashicamat 120, OM-1,
    went nuts after reading Weston's diaries and Ansel's Camera, negative, etc series, Picker's Zone VI: then Toyo 4x5, hasselblad 500C, Sinar P, 8x10 polaraoid, Minolta CLE, nikon digital, rollei TLR (still have it), then petered out until...the Digilux 2, just like Terry, then M8, etc.

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Photographer

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Working pro 35 years since I was 19 years old. Still going strong.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Hey Guy, you and I must be about the same age - I just started my 36th year as a nature photographer, started at 18 when I could not stand school...

  12. #12
    FStopIan
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I am product developer for a camera bag company. But have worked as a busboy, web designer, graphic designer, pro photog, magazine editor and now designing bags... In that order with some overlap.

    I must say my current job is the most enjoyable... although magazine editor had much better travel involved...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Ernst View Post
    Hey Guy, you and I must be about the same age - I just started my 36th year as a nature photographer, started at 18 when I could not stand school...
    53 and growing. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Pro trumpeter for a bit over a decade... then architect/photographer for the last 6 or 7... going back to do a doctorate this fall in music (trumpet performance, emphasis on baroque "natural" trumpet)

    ... and hope to combine the visual and the aural for the remainder of my career by teaching, playing, and photographing for everything I'm worth.

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Retired Fed after 33 years (combination of military and civilian service). Retired Fall 2003 and took up landscape photography full time. I had a job that required extensive international travel and I luckily was able to take a camera with me on most trips.

    I'm 62 now and "retired" now almost 7 years and love my new job!
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Member sonomichele's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Scientist and Professor. Started doing photography with a Ricohflex TLR and then got my first SLR (Minolta SRT101) in high school where I did photography for the newspaper and yearbook. My time behind a camera got quieter while raising kids, getting tenure, and trying to perpetually write grants.

    Kids now in college and have a bit more time, so trying to get back to it.
    michael

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I'm a research engineer, mostly doing computer simulations of things crashing or exploding. Photography is a hobby - it's been on-again-off-again since my teens, but only became serious with the advent of digital SLRs. With film, I didn't have the immediate feedback to help teach me what works (technically) and what doesn't, and digital got me a leg up on the learning curve.

    Lisa

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Very interesting range of replies. I am a retired software developer (real time control of power systems). Took up casual photography on retiring three years ago at age 60. Finding interesting patterns in scenes made even backyard snapshots an adventure. Eventually it occurred to me that each picture is a short essay on one of the many meanings of beauty. I have learned a lot from visiting this web site and appreciate everyone's willingness to share great pictures and ideas. Thanks!

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Civil engineer for some 20 years now, designing drainage systems, roads or (not to big) airports. Started photography some 30+x years ago, when my father started making movies and I got his Exacta Varex. Later came to Minolta, now Sony. Learning much more since there is internet - more pictures to look at...

  20. #20
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I retired last year from IBM working twenty-eight years as a Communications Photographer specializing in semiconductor products. Still young 59 this year so I just started a freelance photography business in a small studio space offering product, portrait, editorial, event. I also sell fine art prints in several Vermont galleries......Tom.

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    My grand pa was developping his glass plates, my uncle followed up, then me, at 12 I got a Retinette F and never stopped since. From deep sea diver to construction engineer, then purchaser and jobless a while, many jobs in between, I am finishing at 59 in a small civil engineering firm.
    I had my film lab at home and was doing everything I could from B&w to Ciba. I sold it all for an Epson 4000 and a Canon film scanner, renewed for a Minolta, so I wasn't the last getting into digital, but funny enough until now I am still with film.

  22. #22
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Hi Sagar

    By education, I am an electrical engineer and before retirement developed tactical missiles for Lockheed Martin.

    Paul

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Oh boy. Stay-at-home dad. A decision me and my wife made while she was in med school. It's been 10 years since I've worked as a chef.

    Photography was always a hobby for me. Took my first photos at age 15. Currently I mostly take photos of my kids in sports ( and band! ). Landscape photography has always been a secondary interest. I really enjoy other people's landscape photos though!

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Surgeon - working hard to pay for all this stuff. This site and Steve Huff have cost > $20K this past year! Photography is a hobby.

  25. #25
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Pro photographer this is my life. I picked up a camera at 13 and never stopped. It saved muy life I was orphaned at 16 and where I grew up little lost kids usually became junkies. Photography became my drug.

  26. #26
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Ex-chemist, physicist and engineer, used to manage tech companies and try turn-around tricks for a large Japanese company.
    Now I do "Boards and committees" mostly at the World Wide Web consortium and OASIS-Open, a structured information standards organization.
    -bob

  27. #27
    Member sonomichele's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Somehow this group does not quite seem representative of the population at large.
    michael

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I shot for leaving.

    blasR

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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Practiced tax law in NYC for many years then moved to Florida to develop real estate... we all know how that ended... but it was good while it lasted. Currently in the golf course maintenance business with clients in NC, SC and Georgia using H2B workers from Mexico and, most recently, US citizens from Puerto Rico.

  30. #30
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonomichele View Post
    Somehow this group does not quite seem representative of the population at large.
    How?

    I think it is very representative of GetDPI in any case, intelligent, educated people. I'm probably one of the youngest people here at 30 years old.

    If I was to describe this forum it would be like a quiet conversation late at night next to the fire and over an expensive single malt. Every other photographic forum ends up being like a very loud bar argument. Everyone is trying to shout over the ambient noise and each other, no one makes much sense and intelligent thoughtful responses are utterly alien.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  31. #31
    Senior Member atanabe's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Sagar,
    Currently I am a Senior Systems Analyst for a hospital chain.
    I have a BFA in commercial photography from Art Center College of Design, worked as a photo assistant when I was still in high school for an architectural photographer. Had a studio in SF shooting for Silicon Valley clients and food work. My wife could not tolerate the ups and downs of the business, busy 9 months and slow for 3, so I succumbed and went back to school.
    Got an AS in Radiologic Technology and went on to manage a cardiac catheterization lab. Moved for my wife's job and started to work for a medical imaging company on their digital image capture for cine 1024 x 1024 at 15 frames per second! This was big news back in the 90s. Traveled the world teaching people about this technology, spent more time away than at home.
    So I once again transformed and learned about databases that ultimately brought me to where I am today. I now work from home and live where I want to, finally peace and happiness.
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

  32. #32
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    For the past 5 years my wife and I have been running our own online marketing company. We run a large site & forum devoted to designer handbags, the most active one online.

    Photography is just a hobby, though I have been trying to tie it in with our business by shooting some of the bags that are sent to us by designers and that my wife reviews for the blog.

  33. #33
    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I was in the Automotive field for some time, but now just stay at home building helicopters for the government, UAV's.

  34. #34
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I used to be a reporter and a photographer for a few different small-town newspapers and magazines, then I did a bunch of freelance technical writing. In 1997, I moved to San Francisco and I was an editor at a commodities trading website, then I was a cigarette girl for a while, then I was a website "Producer." Then the dot-com crash came and I couldn't even get my cigarette girl gig back, let alone another producer job.

    Now I live with and help with the care of my elderly parents and every so often my SO buys me something nice, allowing me to keep snapping photos and bothering all you nice people with actual jobs and careers.
    Last edited by Maggie O; 4th August 2010 at 16:14.

  35. #35
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    And we love ya for it too. LOL

    Frankly my dear you may have the most rewarding job of all of us taking care of your parents. I say that with a sad heart as we lost my wife's Mom 2 weeks ago and she resided with us for almost 3 months and it is one tough job to care for the elderly.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  36. #36
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Thanks, Guy!

    I dunno, a lot of the time I think "rewarding" is spelled "frustrating!"

  37. #37
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I'm a "volume accountant" for BP here in Alaska.....ie I keep track of who produced and who owns what, both oil and gas. However, as my wife would say, I'm not a REAL accountant (she is)....and if truth be told, I'm pretty bad at volumes as well. I always seem to pick the wrong size tupperware container for our left overs. Would you expect anything less from a guy with a degree in philosophy? On the plus side, as I've told my wife many times, I don't have to FILL the barrels with oil, I just count them.....and I did ok in basic math courses. :-)

    I've been interested in photography as a hobby since I was 14 (now 55).

    Gary

  38. #38
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Until I was almost 40, most of my work was related to mainframe computers (operations, programming, sales...). Then I spent a couple of years at art school, which started my graphic design career. Now, I'm doing 50/50 design and photography, plus some writing and translations between assorted languages.

    I'm originally from Norway, but have lived in Bangkok for most of the last nine years. Nowadays, much of my time is spent taking care of my 85 year old father who lives in Pattaya, providing him with food and entertainment that make the life worth living (he's in a wheelchair and he more or less died earlier this year, but they put him back together again ).

    I've taken photos since I was around 10, starting with my mother's Kodak Brownie, before I got my own, an Adox Golf 1A. My parents claim that I'm 54, but unfortunately for my surroundings, I tend to forget about that, unless there's a mirror around

  39. #39
    Super Duper
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    My parents claim that I'm 54, but unfortunately for my surroundings, I tend to forget about that, unless there's a mirror around
    I know that feeling!

  40. #40
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Reducing one's life to a description of jobs held is a sobering venture. Nevertheless, starting with the earliest job titles I can remember, the list goes something like this:

    Tobacco Crew,
    Chicken Fry Cook,
    E-6 Processing Tech,
    Darkroom Tech,
    Custom Black & White Printer,
    Medical Photographer,
    State Police Photographer,
    Instructional Media Developer,
    Director of Marketing Communications,
    Advertising Account Executive,
    Creative Services Manager,
    Communications Consultant,
    Graphic Designer,
    President of Smith & Powers (current).

    I'm still trying to figure out what comes next and contemplating the removal of all mirrors in the house.

  41. #41
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Reducing one's life to a description of jobs held is a sobering venture. Nevertheless, starting with the earliest job titles I can remember, the list goes something like this:

    Tobacco Crew,
    Chicken Fry Cook,
    E-6 Processing Tech,
    Darkroom Tech,
    Custom Black & White Printer,
    Medical Photographer,
    State Police Photographer,
    Instructional Media Developer,
    Director of Marketing Communications,
    Advertising Account Executive,
    Creative Services Manager,
    Communications Consultant,
    Graphic Designer,
    President of Smith & Powers (current).

    I'm still trying to figure out what comes next and contemplating the removal of all mirrors in the house.
    Mirrors are banned since they don't show anything and that alarms visitors.

  42. #42
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Mirrors are banned since they don't show anything and that alarms visitors.
    And rightfully so! I take it garlic is also banned?

  43. #43
    Super Duper
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Former Professional Assassin. I got into photography so I could e-mail pics of my victims and get paid faster.

    Went into advertising which politically I found quite similar. Rose to high position littering the path upward with bodies. Did learn a lot about photography ... spent millions with photographers and cinematographers, so they didn't mind sharing with me.

    Retired from that profession two years ago. Now work for my wife as a valet, house-keeper, and sometime Cabana boy

    Once in a while I photograph a wedding.

    RESUME:
    Art School
    Printing apprentice
    Illustrator/designer
    Fine Art starving artist
    San Dan Instructor, Issinryu Karate ... which led to ...
    Assassin ... which led to ...
    Advertising Art Director ... Creative Director ... Executive Creative Director
    Bed maker, dish washer, picker up of dog poop ... which led to ...
    Professional Photographer

    Lessons Learned: Camera gear cost more to shoot than guns, and housekeeping is boring.

    -Marc


  44. #44
    Subscriber Member Shelby Frisch's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Semi Retired scientist after working for about 40 years in helping develop ways to remotely measure atmospheric and oceanic quantities, plus measuring and analyzing various physical phenomenon in the atmosphere and ocean. I feel very fortunate that I was able to have job that was challenging and most of the time worked with great people.

    I've been interested in photography for over 50 years. My father had taken lots of pictures with a Kodak that took 130 film. I still have many of his negatives that I've scanned. I actually took a few pictures with it too, but I think his results were much better than mine. His camera is sitting on my bookcase now.

    My first modern camera was a Nikon S1 range-finder which at the time I thought took pretty nice photos. Over the years I picked up a Hasselblad 1000F, an 8x10 view camera, etc. I learned a little b+w printing one summer when I was a grad student on an ice breaker in the arctic. I had taken my Hasselblad on the trip and the ship's photographer taught me some printing techniques in the ship's darkroom.

    My other passion is music. I started piano when I was 6 and then graduated to tuba at age 13. A couple of decades ago I picked up a euphonium, and thats my instrument now, its a bit smaller than a tuba and a lot easier to carry. Its Kind of like carrying a 4x5 rather than an 8x10.

  45. #45
    Member RomanJohnston's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Computer technician with the City Of Portland by day....

    Landscape photographer by morning, evening and night.

    Business is starting to take off. Who knows, in a few years, maybe doing this full time.

    Roman

  46. #46
    Shani Clinton
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I am a house wife and also do some data entry work at home.

    Shani.

  47. #47
    Workshop Member frontosa's Avatar
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    I sell grapes to eat. Been involved in selling fresh produce since getting out of graduate school in 1979. I have the best working condition in my present job. Work like a dog from mid July to mid December, then I am off for the rest of the year.

    My father would always take family photos with his Rolliflex TLR which most of us found too weird looking. I got a Kodak Brownie for my birthday present. Photography crept slowly back into my life when my daughter was born in 1992. It got revitalized again in 1999 when my kids started to get involved in competitive table tennis. I have been shooting for USA table tennis since 2002 with Canon. Also have shot with the Leica M8 and currently fooling around with a Leaf AFi / AF7 combination.

  48. #48
    Super Duper
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    By day, I am a Senior Operating Systems Programmer working for Miami-Dade County. By all other hours of the day I am:

    an IT Consultant
    a husband
    a father of two kids, two cats, and an elderly dog
    a budding pro photographer (planning on the County screwing me out of my retirement)
    a technology blogger

    not necessarily in that order
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  49. #49
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Former Professional Assassin. I got into photography so I could e-mail pics of my victims and get paid faster.

    Retired from that profession two years ago. Now work for my wife as a valet, house-keeper, and sometime Cabana boy

    Once in a while I photograph a wedding.

    RESUME:
    San Dan Instructor, Issinryu Karate ... which led to ...
    Assassin ... which led to ...
    Advertising Art Director ... Creative Director ... Executive Creative Director
    Bed maker, dish washer, picker up of dog poop ... which led to ...
    Professional Photographer

    Lessons Learned: Camera gear cost more to shoot than guns, and housekeeping is boring.

    -Marc

    That splains all the killer shots you keep posting.....

    Other than the occupational liability of recurrent neck and back pain and progressive arthritis seem like a good life path.

    Bob

  50. #50
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    Re: What do you do for living?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    That splains all the killer shots you keep posting.....

    Other than the occupational liability of recurrent neck and back pain and progressive arthritis seem like a good life path.

    Bob
    Oh yes indeed Bob ... the Arthritis thing is a MAJOR legacy from 20+ years in Karate. My knee should have been replaced 10 years ago. Over zealous Drug Task Force cops I was training destroyed it in a training session ... but it instantly made true believers out of them regarding how effect the training was ...

    Get me a shiny new knee, and I'll be able to advertise myself as the "Bionic Wedding Photographer".

    -Marc

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