Let’s see… I picked up my first real camera in high school. Actually, I borrowed my dad’s Yashica 35mm. It was fully manual, and had one lens with a small handful of filters. I had zero idea what I was doing, but dad gave me a few rolls of film and sent me out with a friend to experiment.
It was nearly a total bust. I kept one or two out of nearly 100 shots. Discouraged, I put the camera away. Of course, I didn’t really know what I was looking for, or at, and had never actually gotten any instruction.
Jump ahead to college graduation, when I bought a Nikon entry level film body, the N-50. More of the same, but with a slightly better percentage. My mother-in-law bought me a one-day class as a present, and I started to understand a bit more about what I was holding. I was holding a means to tell stories. That seed took a while to germinate. Like another several years.
While working at a web design job, I was given the chance to work with Adobe Photoshop for the first time. I was hired to build Flash websites, but for some reason that never happened. Being asked to do graphic design, I enrolled in a night course on using Photoshop. I was hooked during the first hour, and by the end of the semester I was filling in for the instructor.
About that same time, I joined up with an online community at PhotoshopTechniques. It was run by Greg Vander Houwen, one of the most understated but amazing Photoshop people I know. After a while, I was invited to join the moderators, then became an admin on “The Council”. It was an incredible time in the Photoshop universe for me. I’ll save the story for another page, but let’s say it set the tone for my expectations of online communities and working with Photoshop.
Eventually, I became a user group manager, and began writing for a subscription content site called CommunityMX. This is where I started learning about writing for broader audiences (and deadlines), and also where my own voice started to appear for longer articles.
In the last few years, I’ve written two books on Photoshop, coauthored a third, and have been writing for Photoshop User Magazine over at KelbyOne. I’m a member of Adobe’s private prerelease team, which is a total blast. I love all of this and am eager to keep doing it!
There is so much to learn, not only about Photoshop, but digital art and photography in general. I’m especially attracted to work that surprises me, which reminds me to keep pushing boundaries and explore and push boundaries. Experimentation and discovery are huge drivers in my life, and I find that teaching is a perfect vehicle.
I hope to keep teaching, exploring, and learning for many years to come. These, along with my family, are truly my passions.