How did YOU get started in photography ? | Chattanooga Wedding Photographer

How did you get started?

In a galaxy far far away…

To my son’s dismay, that’s the extent of my Star Wars knowledge.  I know, shame on me, but seriously, somehow I was never bitten by the bug, even though I remember the craze during the first round.   I’ve taken several workshops and during each workshop, the participants introduce themselves and give a short “history” about their journey – like “how did you get started?”  My photography journey started a long time ago.  Actually, before I was even born…Yes! Seriously.  Looking back (only as far as I can), it was just a matter of time before I delved further into this.

There once was a father…

baby in the snow in the Alps (ca. 1975)

Oh yes!  So, it’s all his fault. Honest. All of us – his kids – all remember sitting for him for hours upon hours just so he could get *the* one shot. And of course, we couldn’t move a millimeter.  You know how it works, you can sit still for about 5 seconds before you have this uncontrollable urge to jump up and down – because that’s the one thing you’re not supposed to do.

Going….going….gone! (are you done yet?)

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So, while my brother always cooperated perfectly (aboslutely!),

the other and her brother as small children

I’d like to think that my kids do, too.


My kids wouldn’t know anything about that (that is, not cooperating). No, not all. And I don’t get any looks either.  You know, those that I would recognize instantly as “you said *just* one.” No, I don’t get those.  Ever.A girl's portrait in front of a light gray background

Being hit over the head more than once, or so it seems…

Sometimes you need to meet, come in contact, be touched by an idea more than once before it takes hold.  That’s how I came upon photography as my passion. I’ve had a camera (loaded with film! I’m THAT old) since I was in kindergarten. In hindsight, I’m surprised that I wasn’t born with one.  We were always encouraged to take pictures…and there was always film. I started with a camera that used 110 film (the cartridges! Remember those? If not, check them out here ).

The Bell & Howell camera was a simple instrument – kind of like today’s Point & Shoot (but way simpler). But again, even though the Bell & Howell worked well, you can see that I was exposed to more…The picture below was taken while I was looking through a manual focus SLR. Remember those? Where you had to line up the two halves in the center, which meant that it was in focus?

the author looking through an SLR

The next one was a Mamiya U Auto Focus point and shoot that took 35mm film. It also apparently had a sekor lens.  OMG…seriously, it was one of the first autofocus cameras with meter that Mamiya made. And it was RED!  Just for a girl. Well, THIS girl! And it went everywhere with me.  Sadly, while I still have it (and all the others), this is the only one that does not work anymore.  Every now and then a new one was gifted or purchased. They were always a step up…and always a step closer to where I was headed.  But with baby steps.


Read the Manual! Learn to shoot in manual!

Grad school generally isn’t really a lucrative career. It’s slave labor…but with health care. So, obviously, not a lot of film was bought or developed as I slaved away in the lab.  But when I graduated, I was gifted a film SLR.  (Can you see where this is going?)  I started from very humble beginnings. Behold…my cat!



But, alas…it was going to be another several years, babies, moves, careers … and long roads….later before I started learning and diving more into the craft.


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So, just like our dog, and the kids, I’m stubborn. I do my own thing, in my own time. It irritates some people (I’ll just leave that hanging out there), but others (a big thank you to my husband!) appreciate this. Because by the time I’m ready, I’m all in. There’s no wishy-washy stuff – it’s all or nothing.

Dominique Angle's dog and kids a the busstop

In the end, it took a half-finished MBA before I submerged myself in photography.  I haven’t looked back. Ever. I love, LOVE taking pictures.  The more I take, the more I want to take. I love people pictures. [My brother, on the other hand, loves wildlife and nature photography ( (Yes, there’s two of us…yeah, didn’t I tell you it wasn’t my fault? )] But I also love discovering new genres. I’ve noticed that as my kids are getting older, they don’t care to help me as much (see 2nd paragraph above; translation: sit hours upon hours without moving).  Unlike SOME people, I get that. So, I’ve shifted to taking pictures of other people, things (Macro photography) and places (travel and landscape).  I have also noticed that by letting them be who they are (my kids),  I love the pictures even more.

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