Don’t Call Me A Photographer

I’ve always been interested in photography, but up until now, my photography experience revolves around disposable point-and-shoots, cell phones, and digital SLRs. Photography was not offered at my high school, but in college I was able to take a single digital photography class, where I could rent the camera for a few weekends. Believe it or not, I also briefly worked as a “photographer,” but there was hardly a need to change any camera settings since I only photographed medications for marketing purposes.

But I don’t consider myself a true photographer. And let’s face it… I’ve been too cheap to invest in a good camera. As such, I need to do what I can with what I have.

Myspace Profile Pic, 2007

I think I got my first digital camera for my eighth grade graduation, but didn’t use it much until the rise of Xanga, and later — Myspace. Before I knew it, everyone was a “photographer.”

Growing up with social media has certainly helped spark my photography interest. My friends and I would go out on the weekends for impromptu photo shoots and I would highlight all my best sunsets and selfies on my social pages.


Of course once social media exploded, I needed to learn how to be a master photo-editor as well. (In 2002, this meant over-saturating everything and adding really emo quotes to mirror photos.) Once I had acquired enough Adobe Fireworks and Adobe Photoshop knowledge, there was no stopping me — I became a self-proclaimed selfie master.



Facebook… the need to let everyone know what you’re doing at all times really helped keep my phone’s photo albums full.

But this is not “art”.

Sure, art is subjective — but the fact that I take pictures of my food and have figured out how to fit 10+ people into a selfie doesn’t make me a photographer. Despite phone cameras getting better and better, I stopped listing photography as a hobby, because I felt like I wasn’t being true to the “art”.

Which is why this recent discovery has me so excited! I’ve been handed the opportunity to go back and learn film photography 101, while getting the chance to honor my papa. 

But wait… does this camera even work?

College photo assignment, Depth-of-field / Canon Digital SLR


Mad Tea Party, Disneyland / Samsung Galaxy S6


DNA Lounge, San Francisco / Samsung Galaxy S6