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Member of the Month

Currently retired, I began my career teaching Spanish and French to high school students. Following a brief stint in education, I owned a high tech recruiting and consulting business in Dallas. Selling the business and retiring after 20 years, I first volunteered for and then served the community in a paid capacity for The Family Place, recruiting volunteers and soliciting in-kind donations for victims of domestic violence. In 2017, after returning to executive recruiting for 4 years, I entered my second and final retirement.

That year, my husband and I began our Vagabond Life. After selling our home and possessions, we began pursuing an active traveling life in the Americas and Europe. This prompted me to retire my old Nikon DSLR and, upon the advice of Peter at DCP, purchased a Sony A6500 mirrorless camera to use in our travels. I have used this camera to document adventures in our blog, ourvagabondlife.org, a hobby I pursue to help my family and friends keep up with us. Prior to 2017 and participating in two DSLR camera workshops at DCP, I had only used my Nikon on auto. Now, I love carrying my camera, buying new lenses, trying new angles, and keeping up visually with our life on the move.

The Vagabond Life photos are an effort to bring together the sights and spirits of the adventure of living without permanent roots. They document monuments, sights, markets, friendships, and general daily living. I hope this hobby will preserve the memories of our travels for the next phase of our life together.

View more of Karen’s work on Instagram.

 

 


Paul Sokal grew up in Buffalo, NY. In middle school he received an enlarger for his birthday and built a darkroom in his basement. While his friends were up to no good, he was playing under the safe light. After attending medical school, he moved to Dallas in 1978 to do a residency in internal medicine. He stayed in his newly adopted home, practicing for 42 years before retiring at the end of 2019.

If you aren’t a full-time professional photographer, how do you support your photography habit?
I shot weddings for about five years and used that income to support my gear acquisition syndrome, but then I decided I couldn’t be a wedding photographer and a doctor at the same time. At that point I chose to focus on fine art photography, whatever that is. I used my office as a gallery and began to sell prints.

Where did you learn about photography and how do you continue to grow?
My photography life was inspired by my father whose work took him all over the world, always with a camera. I have had no formal photography education and have learned mostly through shooting, trial and error. In middle school I spent a lot of time in the darkroom I built in my basement. I would buy 100 ft rolls of 35mm Tri-X and roll my own so I could shoot to my heart’s content. More recently I have participated in some targeted workshops and of course learn from the Internet.

When did you start taking pictures?
I shot my first photographs around age six but my real start was at age eleven when my family spent the summer touring Europe.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
My first camera was a Kodak Brownie and my first “real” camera, a Voigtländer 35mm. I am now a Fuji lover and I shoot with an XT-3 for family and travel, and GFX 100 and 50R medium format for fine art work.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
In 2011 I committed to going big and began shooting digital medium format and acquired a large format printer. I have been fortunate to sell a number of large prints, participate in several exhibitions, and have my work included in two museum collections. When I retired from medicine at the end of 2019, my intent was to focus on photography full-time, but the pandemic has derailed many of my plans. I’ve been using the time to develop new photography skills and experiment in my small home studio, with the hope of increasing sales in 2021.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
The camera has always been a tool for me to explore my environment. I identify with Ansel Adams’ description of photography as an analytic art. Shooting is an opportunity to step outside your surroundings and observe the world in an independent and personal way. But as so much of landscape photography has been commoditized by the Internet, my focus is now turning more towards conceptual projects. My most recent, 21 November, is part of an exhibit, Art Reframes History, at the Sixth Floor Museum through April 4, 2021.

View more of Paul’s work on his website.

 

 

 


Constance Jaeggi has always had a fascination with horses which in part stems from her interest in the essential role they played in the development of modern civilizations. At the heart of the relationship between horses and humans is a large paradox.  At once a tool in conquests and war because of their tremendous power and capacity for speed, they remain a herd and prey animal. Through photography both inside and outside of the studio, Constance explores the duality of these flighty yet mighty animals, as well as their relationships with humans, particularly women whose livelihoods still depend on these animals. Over the past year, she has been documenting Camilla Naprous of the Devil’s Horsemen with her film cameras. The Devil’s Horsemen is a leading supplier of horses and stunt men and women in the film industry and Camilla is a second generation horse master and leads the company.

Constance splits her time between Texas and the UK where she is currently finishing the documentary photography project as well as completing her masters in Art History.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
I first picked up a “proper” camera in 2013. My mother gifted me a Canon 70D for my college graduation. As I got more serious about my photography and doing it professionally, I switched to a Canon 5D SR and the Hasselblad 907x which is what I use when shooting horses in the studio. I eventually taught myself to use film, and today my real love is for my film cameras, and the time they allow me to spend in the darkroom! I switch between my Hasselblad 503cw and my Mamiya 6 (both medium, square format cameras), my Contax 645 and my Rollei35.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
I sell prints from my first project of studio portraits of horses called “Aspects of Power, Light and Motion” which was the subject of a solo exhibition at the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth. I’m hoping to have more exhibitions of some of my more recent work shot on film of the Devil’s Horsemen and am also working with a book editor on making my first book! So stay tuned!

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
There’s no better feeling to me than working with my camera. When shooting, I am completely absorbed in the present moment and focused on my subject and the story I am telling. Photography gives me purpose and is also a tool to communicate my passions and the stories that fascinate me. Horses have always been a huge part of that and therefore have a presence in most of my work.

View more of Constance’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jim Bird was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX. During his youth, he traveled the country and worked in the screen printing industry making t-shirts, Willie Nelson for President bandanas, circuit boards and signs. Jim settled in Garland, TX and started a successful commercial paint contracting company that grew and thrived for 30 years. A few years before selling his company in 2014 and retiring, he started entering the local On My Own Time competitions with shots he’d taken with his Minolta film camera. Winning several blue ribbons, Jim decided to make the leap to digital and has been improving his art since then.

If you aren’t a full time professional photographer, how do you support your photography habit?
During my working years, I had the good fortune of being able to invest and save enough to support this not so inexpensive hobby.

When did you start taking pictures?
I didn’t really take my first steps into serious photography work until my retirement years, around 2014. I’ve always had artistic interests and photography really filled the need for me.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
Initially, I started with a Minolta film camera but when I transitioned to digital my first one was a Nikon D90. I’m currently shooting with a full frame Nikon D750 but still enjoy shooting with my D90 as well.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
I’ve been given a few small monetary awards in competitions and some sporadic payments but not anything that would be considered an income. The majority of my work is for non-profits such as my church, our local symphony orchestra and local fundraising events. I plan to continue shooting as long as I’m able to do so.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
Photography fills the need to create on a personal level. My creative work includes street, still life and studio work, which is still evolving. Shooting for non-profits gives me the sense of doing something with purpose and value in my retirement years.

View more of Jim’s work on Instagram.


Jim Pollock was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to a Dad that was an engineer for the Manhattan Project and a Mom that cared for all as a nurse. He defected to Boston for an engineering degree at MIT and worked at Hewlett-Packard before getting the startup bug with 8 early stage companies since. He just started his latest in June by licensing a patent from the University of Colorado where he has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for several years working with faculty to commercialize their science.

If you aren’t a full time professional photographer, how do you support your photography habit?
Photography has always been a side passion. I’m fortunate to have real life support for my addiction.

When did you start taking pictures?
After I graduated from college, I took a job with Hewlett-Packard and immediately flew to Palo Alto for 2 weeks of training. One of my new fellow HP workmates took me hiking in Yosemite Valley for the weekend and we hiked to the top of Half Dome. Right then I knew that my life was going to be filled with interesting adventures and I needed a camera to capture them. I picked up a Canon AE-1 in 1977 and thus started the addiction.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
I had a Kodak instamatic for my last couple of years in college and captured some of the usual antics of living with my fraternity bro’s. But I never even thought of it as photography or a hobby. Just took snapshots. It was after my trip to Yosemite that I knew I needed to get more into photography as a necessary companion for my travels and love of the outdoors. The Canon AE-1 was my first camera. I substituted a fixed 35mm lens for the stock 50mm as someone told me “you’ll like a wider angle lens if you do a lot of outdoor shooting.” Currently I have a Canon 6D Mark II, but I have to say that each year I have become more dependent on my iPhone camera as it is always in my pocket and rivals the quality of the DSLR. I also have recently added a ZWO 2600 color CMOS camera dedicated to astrophotography.  It has built-in cooling to -20°C to keep the noise down for exposures of 5 minutes and more of really dim stuff!

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
Nope. All for the joy and sharing.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
It has evolved over the years. I have always gravitated towards outdoor imagery of where I’ve hiked or biked, people in my life, and astrophotography. This last year with COVID-19 has changed my style to staying home centric, not traveling and not being around people other than my wife and dad-in-law who lives with us. I’ve ended up doing more with my telescope and camera. The astrophotography is fascinating as it combines two passions: astronomy and photography. There is much beauty to be found in what would appear otherwise as nothingness. I just love the concept of poking a camera into an unknown closet and pushing the trigger and seeing something magical and unknowable appearing – which is my analogy to astrophotography. One of my favorite images and least impressive aesthetically is a picture of a quasar. It looks exactly like… a star. Except that it is 2.4 billion light years away. The very few photons that landed on my camera started their journey 2.4 billion years ago to end their life on my camera chip. Kind of humbling. Maybe I should have stayed out of the way and let it continue its journey!

View more of Jim’s work on Instagram.


KC Frost lives in Dallas with her husband, daughter and two dogs. Her professional background is in HR and recruiting. She currently helps connect companies with young talent at Southern Methodist University as the Assistant Director for Employer Relations in the Cox School of Business Career Center.

Where did you learn about photography and how do you continue to grow?
I like to support my photography habit with private tutoring and taking a few classes throughout the year. I also enjoy printing books of our pictures from our trips and a year in the review. Creating these books always makes me want to shoot more.

When did you start taking pictures?
I grew up watching my dad document big events in my life with his Canon Rebel camera and having the pictures printed. At some point later in elementary school I remember asking to use his camera and the rest is history.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
My first camera was my dad’s Canon film SLR. I currently shoot with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
No, I only shoot for my personal collection.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
I have very few memories or pictures from my early childhood and treasure the photos I have with my late parents. Ever since having my daughter, I find myself wanting to document the moments that are so special to me to share with her one day. There are many moments when I see a scene and think to myself this would make a great picture. Shooting helps me slow down and be completely present in the moment.


Christine Cluff currently resides in Old East Dallas and spent time living in New York City (where she was born) and spent over five years living abroad in England. She supports a private equity team in her current role at a finance firm, coordinating and executing administrative functions, and strategic initiatives. Christine spent most of her career as a marketing professional in the architecture and design industry. While in New York, she worked at the International Center of Photography, supporting the One-Year Certificate and MFA Programs and Penumbra Foundation, where she applied her experience to help cultivate its brand and growth.

If you aren’t a full-time professional photographer, how do you support your photography habit?
I feel lucky to have a company that supports work/life balance and allows me the flexibility to enjoy my passion for fine art photography and travel.

When did you start taking pictures?
I don’t really have a unique story. Photography began as a hobby following an interest in the arts (drawing, painting, writing). In my early twenties, I attended an introduction to black and white film photography and darkroom class. I will never forget how it felt the first time I saw one of my images develop. This is where my lifelong passion for photography began.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
My first camera was a Minolta SR-T 101 that had belonged to my father. My current cameras are a Canon 6D for digital, a Hasselblad 500cm and Standard 4×5 view camera for analog.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
I have done some paid work for wedding, portraiture, and lifestyle projects in the past. I have also sold a few of my prints. I am currently working on a website to showcase my work and having limited prints available for sale.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
I am an introvert, and the medium of photography is a way for me to visually contemplate ideas around connection, identity, memory, presence, and experience. Most of the time, the photographs I am producing reflect the state of mind I am in or help me work through something internal. I think in many ways, photography, for me, is a form of meditation. When I am shooting, it changes the way I see or notice things, and I have more profound engagement with my surroundings. Of course, photography is also capturing a moment in time, a place, or something beautiful I want to remember – for the pure joy of it!

View more of Christine’s work on Instagram.


Originally from Maine, Michael Girard currently lives in the Dallas area. He retired from the US Navy after 24 years of service and continues to serve in a defense contractor role supporting the Navy. He always enjoyed photography but only seriously pursued it as a hobby beginning in 2014. Michael enjoys exploring abandoned places and photographing them after dark. He likes the relaxed feeling of waiting three or four minutes to capture one image and the peaceful surroundings these places usually offer. He also enjoys shooting landscapes and city lights.

How do you support your photography habit?
Retired from the Navy, I have a military pension and currently work full-time in the defense industry.

When did you start taking pictures?
I’ve always liked taking pictures but never realized that there were “rules” involved. A Navy photographer taught me the rule of thirds in the late 90’s, and that was the only rule I was aware of until another friend taught me the exposure triangle and how to use my Nikon D3100 in manual mode in 2011. I took my first class with DCP (then Spot Studio) in 2014. That was when I really started taking it seriously.

What was your first camera? Current camera?
I’ve had multiple cameras over the years, but I started taking it more seriously when I got my Nikon D3100. I upgraded to the D7100 shortly after which I still use today. I still want to make one more upgrade, but I’ll wait until I know for sure because that should be my last camera.

Have you ever made money from your photos? Is it something you plan to continue?
I’ve sold a few prints here and there, mostly to friends at work. I had planned to attend a couple of art fairs this year to check out how photographers sell their prints with plans to try that out next year. Eventually I plan to build a website but not for a couple more years. I may also start contributing to a stock site.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
Now that I have a few years of practice, I’m usually able to capture what I intended to capture. But every once in a while, I’ll get an image that seems to look better than the scene I was shooting. It’s hard to describe but I look forward to those magical captures even though they don’t happen too often.

View more of Michael’s work on Instagram.


Connie Carr is based in Dallas and travels frequently in her role as a national account manager for an Italian company. She enjoys the hectic travel aspect of her career, feeling lucky to visit so many places and enjoy local culture. To balance that busy schedule, Connie appreciates spending quiet, meditative time in nature for photography. By observing the lines, structure, and rhythm in nature and adding artistic camera techniques, she hopes to capture a little bit of nature’s magic in her fine art images.

If you aren’t a full-time professional photographer, how do you support your photography habit?
My job allows me a great deal of flexibility to enjoy photography. Even though my photography work is “part time”, it is growing into a full-time profession.

When did you start taking pictures?
Technically, I was four years old.  My first photo, which I still have, was of white ducks and a bridge. My mom thought I was wasting film. I remember thinking I was creating a masterpiece! The more real answer is 17, when I was editor of the high school yearbook. I wasn’t a fan of the photos that had been submitted for consideration, so I borrowed the principal’s 35mm camera. I had no idea what I was doing, so he taped the wheels and buttons of the camera in place and told me not to move them. It worked! I got my shots!

What was your first camera? Current camera?
Kodak Instamatic? First “real” camera was a Canon AE1. My current systems are Nikon and Fuji.

Have you ever made money from your photos? If so, is it something you plan to continue?
Yes, I have done dance, sports, portrait, product and lifestyle shoots for many clients. My focus going forward is very different. I’m focused on nature photography with final images intended for print, either for a wall or to be included in a photo book.

What motivates you to pick up your camera? How do you feel when you’re shooting?
I actually stopped shooting two years ago. Most of my work at that time was product and lifestyle photography for corporate clients and it wasn’t fun for me anymore. It was probably more about burnout, but I needed a break so I stopped. A year into that pause, I very randomly decided to join a group of photographers on a trip to the Palouse area of Washington state during the harvest season. I had never shot landscapes before and I really don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to go on that trip. But I went and was awestruck with the jaw dropping scenery in that area of the country. The calmness, serenity and enjoyment of photography returned to me during that trip. Fast forward to today and I continue to focus on nature photography.

View more of Connie’s work on her website or Instagram.


Born in Saskatchewan, raised in North Dakota and Montana. I started messing around with photography early on, shooting black and white film with a Kodak Instamatic and learning to process my own film in the bathroom, which in turn I converted into a makeshift darkroom. When I was about 14 my older brother who was in the service during the Vietnam war finished up his tour of duty and decided to take a trip to Europe for several months. He shipped all his belongings home and spent the next several months abroad. All his stuff was stored in the basement of our house and I just started digging through boxes where I found two 35mm cameras, a Walz Envoy 35 which was a knockoff of a Leica Rangefinder and a Minolta SRT 101 single lens reflex. I appropriated both, and was on my way to a career in photography.

I attended Montana State University and received a degree in Film and Television. While going to school, I was photo-editor of both the Yearbook and the newspaper, and worked summers for a portrait studio and held a second job as a Ranger for the Forest Service. At the ripe old age of 21, I started my first photo studio with a close friend and we began shooting advertising work for DANA Corp, Sharp’s Firearms and Big Sky Ski Resorts to name a few. The major bonus of this was never having to pay to ski (Awesome)!

In 1980, I moved to Dallas and began working at a large commercial photo studio, where I shot annual reports, catalogs and advertising for a varied clientele. After a few years working as a shooter, I moved on to running the studio portion of the business as well as shooting. In 1985, I started Anderson Studio and have had three different studio locations over the years. Currently, I specialize in people, fashion and oddly enough, motorsports. To those who know me and my penchant for Hotrods, not too surprising.

In 2005, I purchased a building and built a 5000 sq. ft. live work studio situation that has drive-in access for shooting cars and other large sets. Currently married to professional make-up artist, Paige Anderson, we shoot together when we can and we sometimes still speak to each other. Check it out at www.andersonstudio.com.

 

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