Charles Davis Photographer
How I became a photographer.
Zen and the Art of Photography, by Robert Leverant, was last published in 1968,I recall reading it when I was in high school and at the time the book did not make an impact on me. Over the years however I can see the “truth” in some the words I remember and dismissed. Photography can lead to enlightenment. I do not remember when I first started became a photographer, I remember using an old (even then) Brownie camera to take photos when I was in the cub scouts.
In 7th grade I was a member of the camera club, I even remember having to give a speech in English class and giving it on different methods to develop film, B&W. In High School I was doing audiovisual productions. As time pass other things took me away from photography but I always returned. I strived to improve my photography. I took college classes, signed up for a correspondence course from a photography school and even took an air force correspondence course that would have qualified me as an air force photojournalist (if I was in the Air force and not the Army).
My First Earnings Was Enough for Lunch
My first published photograph was a black & white photo taken of a pavilion in the grounds of a palace in Seoul Korea. It appeared in the magazine section of the Stars & Stripes, in the spring of 1978. Shortly thereafter I had my first and second magazine articles published. They appeared in a tabloid style magazine called KORUS, it was published twice a month. I had attended the Miss Korea beauty pageant and had written a long captions to go with some the photos. I took them to the magazine office and the editor loved them.
My timing was just right as they were laying out the next issue, we rewrote the captions to create an article and it ended up being the lead article. While we were talking the editor was interested in how easy I got around the city, which bore out my first “assignment” an article about getting around Seoul complete with photographs. While not big time, I was a photographer and a writer.
Over the years I had a few more photos published and some success in photography contest. While stationed at Fort Gordon Georgia, I worked with a man who owned a wedding photography business. He worked as a government employee during the week and would shoot a wedding or two over the weekend. When his company was busy he would hire me as a second camera either to himself or one of his staff for large weddings. Before long, I was getting assignments to photograph small weddings on my own. Being transferred to Germany ended the wedding sideline, but I enjoy photographing the countryside.
When I retired from the military, I took a temporary job as a photographer doing school photography, you know picture day stuff. It was just intended to be a way to detoxify from military stress until I found something else. It was fun and the staff respected what I did, even giving me assignments that were reserved for the senior staff (3 years or more with the company) and holding me over for prom’s and sports events.
Travel and being a Photographer
I have ghost-written a few books on photographic skills and techniques. Two books I ghost-wrote are about photography were about two of my favorite fields. Travel Photography and Landscape Photography. They have been my favorite parts of photography for decades. Mainly because recently I am outdoors more locally, I am being seen by my friends as an outstanding nature photographer.
The travel photography book had a chapter that I wrote that may have burst the bubble for many of the readers. I pointed out that the need for a company to send you on an assignment to Paris or other great destinations have disappeared. They can now easily reach out to excellent photographers that live in those locations. Want to be a well known travel photographer, my suggestion is to treat your own hometown as a travel destination.
There are still days, when I just grab my camera and go out to express myself as a photographer. This even includes giving myself assignments. I travel as often as I can. When I do, my camera is always with me.
While I love doing glamour photography, it not as easy to arrange as travel and landscape. Finding models can be difficult or expensive.
I mostly do the photography for my own books and articles I write for my own websites. My local marketing efforts also feature my photography.
View my Photography profile on Upwork