My passion for photography was sparked by the gift of a pinhole camera on my 9th birthday. By high school I had graduated to an SLR and became chairman of the photographic society and editor of the school magazine. At university I signed with a national newspaper as a freelance sports photographer. They providied the equipment. Of course I had to pay for this but every time I had a picture published they knocked 10% off the original cost and I was allowed to use the equipment for other things, primarily weddings, fashion and event photography. This happy state continued throughout the 80s and well into the 90s, when for some reason I decided it was time for a proper career and entered the world of sofware development.
My passion for photography continued unabated. At the right time I made the switch to digital and my hobby expanded to include travel, street and wildlife photography. In 2015 I re-entered the world of professional photography by accident. At a friends wedding I mentioned to the professional photographer that there was a plant sticking out of his subject's head. Don't worry he said - I'll fix it in Photoshop. I managed to keep my mouth shut but could not suppress the mental cringe. Great photos are made in the camera - not in software. Believe it or not anything that can be done in Photoshop could be done in a darkroom 30 years ago. And one thing hasn't changed - you cannot fix a bad photo in processing!. So I decided I had better take a few shots of my own. I had gone to the wedding as a guest using public transport so all I had on my camera was a nifty fifty (50mm f1.8 lens) and a single speedlight. I did a photo book as a wedding gift and gave them a disk with the high res images. A few weeks later I visited them and noticed that it was my photo book on the coffee table. And my photos on display in the hallway and on the mantlepiece (not to mention all over their facebook pages). Suddenly I started getting calls from people I never knew. Was I available to do a wedding on ..... This soon funded a fine selection of professional lenses and the calls kept coming. My first children's birthday party led to booking for portraits (and more birthday parties).
Suddenly I realised I was loving this - and after 20 years software development has become pretty boring. So I've finally hung up my keyboard and my camera is back around my neck.