I find that when you label yourself such as photographer, painter, banker, baker or whatever you end up pigeonholing yourself into said label. Yes I photograph so I am a photographer but I also paint, and write and play music (albeit badly but I play) some of my favorite things about photography are that you can freeze moments in time. You capture a persons state of mind during that instant you press the shutter release, you can bare all or hide all and by this I mean that whatever feeling you are trying to convey it will come off in the photograph.
As a child my mom took a photography course at Youngstown U (go penguins!) and I remember all her equipment laying around, playing with her old Ricoh camera that my dad bought her looking through the viewfinder as if it were a crystal ball. Pretending to take pictures of God only knows, trying to peer through my future into that blurry abyss, it was only later that I discovered how to focus and then everything became clear. Both literally and figuratively. My first camera was my sisters old Fisher Price it was a blue 110, man did I take that thing everywhere. I was a child of the 90's so I remember when Kodak first introduced disposable cameras, I thought I was in heaven, I always asked for one when my mom and I would go to the store and most times she would oblige. As I got older I graduated into some pretty neat point and shoots, but I still remember the day that I got my first SLR - my mom came home and she handed me a black camera bag, I was 16 and it was the summer, she bought this camera from her friend and gave it to me. I opened it up and it was an old Minolta, I took that thing everywhere, that fall I was a senior in high school and my mom -god bless her - bought me this awesome Olympus camera (I still have a fond place in my heart for it) and with that I jumped in to the world of black and white photography, I took it as a 3rd period class and fell in love, that's when I truly started perfecting my craft and I haven't stopped and I don't think I ever will.
Currently I have been freelancing for the last two years; I tried a stint as a child photographer but quickly became disillusioned after realizing there was no room for creativity at the company I was working for. I was always told if you want to do something, just get out and do it and that is exactly what I've been doing, working on projects that interest me, taking portraits, working on still life and the like. Well that's all I have to say...for now anyway.
p.s. be kind to all and don't litter.