my first photo shoot

My photography story started out years ago while I was in college on track to head toward medical school.  I was flipping through some magazines and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this black and white fashion ad in Vogue.  Something stirred in my body and I knew I wanted to be part of that.   I craved that artistic expression in my life.  I decided I needed to live now and pursue it.  Little did I know at the time, the path I would choose would lead me through so many twists and turns, hard knocks, triumphant moments, sad and joyous times, interesting connections, and I feel like I am just getting started.

Well, here it is, the image that started it all.  I was working as a bartender in this swanky restaurant in Kansas City, MO when she walked in.  She was amazing, tall and lanky, beautiful features.  I just wanted to photograph her.  She was the girlfriend of the busboy.  I had been busy doing some modeling for this photographer in town.  He was an amazing talent and I was grateful for his wisdom when he worked with me.  He taught me about the connection between photographer and model, light, location, and how to find the image.  But I was frustrated…I guess I wanted to do it myself.  So I bought a camera in a pawn shop, asked the girl if she would model for me, found my favorite gritty, industrial bridge and came up with this.

Leslie on the Bridge, Kansas City, MOPin it

Leslie on the Bridge, Kansas City, MO

The man at the camera shop who developed the film said it was something special, and I needed that encouragement.  When I showed it to my photographer mentor, he was strangely unhappy with me.  Thank you man at the camera shop whoever you were!  I left Kansas City after that and headed West to start over.


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