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Back in Colombia, when I was about 16 years old I had many interests, many goals that I wanted to accomplish and of course, Photography was one of them. 

At first, I had the idea of starting photographing mainly as a hobby, I went to a military school so picture being out of the house by 4:30am, getting home at around 6pm changing, eating, projects, homework and well, that was pretty much my whole day.  My school was far and our courses were tough and rough so any hobby I had, would mean I would only be able to do it for a few hours during the weekend; when homework was done and training was over... but if you are from or have lived in South America (better yet- in Colombia) you pretty much know how expensive it is to have such a hobby (it was way more common to play soccer with school friends from the block, and honestly it was a much cheaper hobby since the most you would spend would be on a bottle of soda at the end of a game.. haha !! )

Since financially I couldn't afford to buy myself good equipment, I decided to save some money to buy a descent point and shoot camera...I didn't have time to get a job so 6 month savings from doing little jobs for family and friends went into it and trust me, it was worth it.  Of course, as you can already imagine it was NOT a professional camera by any means.. but Hey! it was a start, and you gotta start SOMEWHERE! 

I treated that camera like it was a treasure, wouldn't let anyone touch it and would constantly, CONSTANTLY clean it.. Yup, I was like a little kid with a new toy on Christmas Eve.  So anyway, I decided to start taking hikes and long walks with the main purpose of just shooting everything and anything in front of me.  I printed the really good images and started to build a 'portfolio' (if you want to call it that) I glued these imagines onto a notebook I had so it was nothing fency really but good for a start.

Once in the US, the opportunity came to get a job and unfortunately, I had to stop my hobby.  With no free time and no real equipment, I wasn't getting anywhere but that didn't mean I stopped loving photography!

 

Years went by and many jobs came and went and photography was still on my mind when I met my wife Jennifer -she has been my true fan, my true supporter since day one. Fast-forwarding a bit.. In 2009 we attended a friend's wedding, we were part of the bridal party and throughout the ceremony and reception time I found myself analyzing the photographers, commenting on their techniques, wishing I was the one taking the couple's shots, telling myself I could do a much better job!  I remember telling myself "I wonder why he is holding the camera that way, does he know he can do it this way and be much easier on him while taking great shots?" "I would also change the location because the sun should be behind us, not in front of us... how about some shots by those blooming trees? It would make an awesome background!"

That wedding got me thinking for days on end.  Then I came to the realization I was wasting my time... why not go for it? after talks with my wife I also realized that I had nothing to loose, if I gave photography a try and it ended up not working out then well, lets say I would go on with my life knowing I gave it my all and it just didn't work out as planned...

 

TO BE CONTINUED...

 

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