So, there it is. Your eye sees something that your mind recognizes as a potential subject. Thus starts the mechanical process of you mind giving commands to your hands, index finger and for that matter the rest of your body. This is how an image is born through the combined efforts of random events and the complete coordination of the mind, eye and body. The camera is just an instrument by which we can record these images. This is what I do for a living. This is my passion. This is why I get up in the morning. I have been involved with photography since 1969 when it became one of my hobbies. I have been a pro since 1977 so I have seen a lot of changes to my chosen profession. In 1977, you actually had to know something in order to be a pro photographer. Now in 2014, all you need is a decent camera, a laptop and a few business cards. It troubles me to see individuals pretending to be pro photographers getting access to events formally reserved for the pro. It troubles me that most people will pay big bucks for photos taken by amateurs and not care about the quality. The true professional photographer will care about the quality of his or her images. The amateur just wants to get it done and get his check. Despite all that, I continue take thousands of photos every year at numerous sporting and public relations events. This what I do and this is what I am good at.
While I never refer to myself as a creative person, I feel that I am an excellent problem solver. If a customer presents me with an opportunity, I approach the problem like a photographic engineer. I also try to approach each job as if it was paying me $1000 per hour.
A wise man once said that if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I won’t go that far. There are plenty of days when I just don’t feel like shooting another game. There are days, mostly Mondays, where I am looking at 2 or 3 thousand images to be edited. There stretches in which I will work 7 day 14 hour day weeks. Then there are the lean days. Usually June and July when there are no college/high school sports to shoot. Finding projects to keep you busy can get old fast. This is the life I have chosen. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I understand my place in the photographic landscape. I am one of about a million guys out there that shoot sports. I understand that it almost doesn’t matter how talented or creative you are. Professional photography is a political environment. I worked for Rutgers University Athletics for 15 years. I was full time for the last 5 years. It was during this time period that Rutgers decided to become more corporate which meant being more political. There were individuals there that were able to say and do whatever they wanted because they had the ear of certain important people. Despite my talents and numerous connections, my position at Rutgers could not be saved when certain individuals felt threatened by my talents. My situation now could not be better. The people I have had the pleasure to work with, know the value of talent. I am a member of several teams throughout the state of New Jersey.