View Full Version : At what age did you start taking pictures on a regular basis?

05-31-2007, 04:56
I mean, not like when did you fire your first shot, but when did your photography hobby/habit start?

05-31-2007, 05:00
I started serious photography at age 11 when my parents bought me a Spotmatic (which they really struggled to afford) - I'd been doing it irregularly for the previous 3 years using an old Voigtlander TLR.

05-31-2007, 05:18
It all started a year and a half ago, when I got a kiev 4am and an Iskra. The 4am's shutter is acting kind of floppy since last week, but I was shooting with the Iskra today. It's been an engaging time of screwing up and learning and refining the skills by shooting and developing. It's been great therapy and the cameras have kept me on the tracks through a lot of trial and tribulation. The hobby has cost some bucks but it has given back so much.

05-31-2007, 05:34
About 13 or 14 for me when i took lessons from a photojournalist in my hometown

05-31-2007, 05:41
I started with an Agfa Rapid camera that used a cartridge-type film, resulting in square images. I may have been 14-16 years old or so. Then I got my Dad's Zeiss Contina, and I was hooked.


05-31-2007, 05:46
my first was a Pentax K1000. I bet Im not alone there. I still have it and it still works fine.

05-31-2007, 05:51
I was 16 (in 1985). It was in high school journalism courses and with a local newspaper photog that mentored me. After a year or so with a borrowed Pentax K1000 it was time to step up. I had a part time job and my parents co-signed for my first bank loan so I could buy a Nikon FE2, MD-12, 24/2.8, 85/2 and 180/2.8. That was a TON of money for a 17 year old but the lenses stayed with me for nearly 20 years and the work I did as a teenage stringer more than paid for the investment... Fond memories.

05-31-2007, 05:59
At the tender age of 8 I was given a Hawkeye Brownie (tale told elsewhere here) and I've been shooting ever since.

05-31-2007, 06:13
For my 8th birthday, my Grandfather gave me a Kodak Target-620 box camera. I was just facinated, and have been ever since. Boy, those 8 exposure rolls sure went fast!

Later my Dad set up a darkroom, and that was another facination. Dad gave me a Voigtlander Bessa 66 (Baby) for my 12th birthday. Things were better, that took 10 exposures. When I was in college I got a Retina Reflex S. 35mm, interchangeable lenses - Wow. Things have snowballed from there. :cool:

Ming The Merciless
05-31-2007, 06:14
When my Dad passed away I got his Contax RTS and fell in love with photography. That was about 18 years ago & I was in my early 40's. I really got serious about 7 years ago.

Tom Harrell
05-31-2007, 06:22
I began with 8mm movie film in 1965. Shot that a few years and in 1984 I bought a Minolta X-370 SLR. I used it up and went to an X-700. I went through two of those and moved on to a Canon T-90. Now I am into RF.


05-31-2007, 06:26
After some pennypinching, I got my fist instamatic at age 8. My dad already let me use his Contax soemtimes. After a lot of saving, I finally got my first RF, a Canonet 28, when I was 11.

05-31-2007, 06:28
14 for me, with my parents old Minolta SR1. But by age 15 or so, I'd graduated to a K1000 after the Minolta proved less than reliable. I've been using Nikon equipment since 1985 (age 20).

05-31-2007, 06:34
about 4 years ago, or 14. I pretty much stole my sister's Kodak digicam until I got my 20D when I was 16. My M2 came at 17 with lenses throughout the year, and a whole slew of Canon L lenses came this last birthday, my 18th.

05-31-2007, 06:38
I'm 30 and I started real photography 20 months ago, after the birth of my daughter.
Before I had a digital P&S, and before that when I was 16 a film P&S. So I guess the birth of my daughter is also my "birth" to photography. I started with an Olympus OM10, then a Pentax MX; 2 months later, a Zorki 4K, 2 Zorki 4K, one Zorki4. One month later, I bought my first Leica (III), a Leica M2 a few months later and today a Rolleiflex 3.5F.
I can say that I started "taking pictures on a regular basis" for one year and a half. Not too bad :o

05-31-2007, 06:40
I started serious photography at age 11 when my parents bought me a Spotmatic (which they really struggled to afford) - I'd been doing it irregularly for the previous 3 years using an old Voigtlander TLR.

At the tender age of 8 I was given a Hawkeye Brownie (tale told elsewhere here) and I've been shooting ever since.

8?? That young! Wow you impress me, guys.

05-31-2007, 06:48
Age 13, 1976 when my Dad drove me to the city and brought me down to one of the old camera shops on Kearny St. in San Francisco (that street is a glimmer of what it once was, maybe one shop left---rip-off joint too), and we bought a Pentax K1000, 55mm lens and a 200mm Vivitar (wow, a telephoto lens!). It was between that or a Fujica something. I really wanted a Nikon FM2 or Olympus OM1 but my meager newspaper route savings could not handle it.

05-31-2007, 06:53
Sounds like dad has had a big influence on a lot of us here.....

05-31-2007, 07:06
Sounds like dad has had a big influence on a lot of us here.....

Just ask Ash (and myself). Dad is the only guy who has the money for the cameras I don't have when said cameras would be most useful. :p

05-31-2007, 07:12
I started a couple of years ago, with a (sorry) Nikon Coolpix, then I moved back (forward? ;-) ) to the lovely Oly 35 RC that I used on a school trip in Prague at 16.

05-31-2007, 07:14
I started taking pictures regularly when I was 16.
As a Christmas gift, my parents gave me a brand new Fujica STX1 with 50mm and a Flashlight;during my summer holidays in Hastings (East Sussex, UK) I started burning 3M colour picture film and Kodak 64 ASA/Agfa 50 ASA slide films.
It was a wonderful camera, but unfortunately died few years ago.
The slides are still great with fascinating colour after 25 years!

05-31-2007, 07:42
35 :( with the fed3b I bought here.
You guys who are documenting your youth with excellent pictures, keep shooting, you will treasure it. There are maybe 5 pictures of me in my teens and 20's.

Stephanie Brim
05-31-2007, 07:58
I started at about 17 with various digital POS cameras, then bought the Nikon FE. Three or so years ago I bought a Canonet that changed my life.

05-31-2007, 08:02
Wow, I'm surprised the poll is showing a younger start than I'd expect. I was 22, and in the Air Force stationed in Turkey. My mother had told me firmly that I was to get a camera and take picutures to send home. I did, but it was only months later that a photo hobbyist in the same building got me interested in learning more about it, and that was the start of my hobby interest.

I set aside the Brownie Super 27 I'd gotten on my mother's urging, and got a "good" 35mm, a scale-focus King/Regula. And that took me out on foot expeditions around the countryside and made the whole experience richer.

05-31-2007, 08:02
I used to pick up my Dad's OM 1 when he had it out on Holidays or Family events as a child. He got me a Minolta (something) when I was sixteen and I loved it though he didn't. I understand why now.
When he died a couple of years later and I picked up the OM 1, I used just it for 10 years or so until I could afford lenses, other cameras, a darkroom etc. The minolta is in box somewhere with dodgy electrics. Seems I was exposed from about 5, if you'll pardon the pun

I think Dad's have a lot to do with this alright

05-31-2007, 08:08
my first was a Pentax K1000. I bet Im not alone there

That was my first "proper" camera too. I was about 13 or 14 I think.


05-31-2007, 08:10
My dad certainly got me started. I was given a Yashica RF for my 10th birthday. I still treasure that camera.

05-31-2007, 08:22
sdadly, i was stupid and did not keep a lot of the photos I took as a beginner. I really regret it now.

05-31-2007, 08:50
Yes, dads seem to be heavy factor here. I also must credit my eldest brother. I was 9 when he showed me how to develop and print

05-31-2007, 09:33
my first camera was a compact camera..i think it was a konica, it was near 14 i think.., but i don't use it so much...
Then at 17 I has another compact, a olympus, I used so much for take some shots to some landscapes and graffitis.
At 18 i took my father's Yashica Fx3 with two lens..an start my photographic journey!!
later i Have:
EOS 300
Zorki s
Bronica zenza

And a few months ago..a friend, Branki(rff member), talk me about rangfinder cameras..I bought a Bessa R! It was the discovery of a new world!!I always dreamed about take photos with a light camera in low light situations...EUREKA!!
the rangefinder cameras fight against my other hobbies...
And now is coming a Leitz CL!

05-31-2007, 09:48
I got an Agfamtic 50 (126 cartridge) on my 6th birthday.. parents were both professional photographers..lucky me.
At 11 got permission to use a Yashica 124 Mat-G (120 film) just for myself, at 14 got the Nikon F passion and starded on the weeding familly business and on the studio with the Hassy's... Then revolution came and was all about street photography... until today!

john neal
05-31-2007, 10:25
I was about 7 when I managed to pursuade my parents to buy some 120 film for an old box camera that my aunt gave me. At 11 I went to senior school and we had a darkroom, so I no longer had to spend all my pocket money on D&P - also got an Agfa Sillette for my birthday. It has all been downhill from there :D

05-31-2007, 10:53
I started shooting an old fixed lens, 120-film camera around 8 or 9. I remember being very excited going to the drug store to pick up the B&W prints. I was never very satisfied then with the resukts, and still dislike it when anyone processes and prints my film to this day. That's one reason I really like Digital - it's so much easier to do it all yourself. On the other hand, I still love to shoot film but only have it developed and scanned these days. All the rest I do myself.

There was a long hiatus of off and on years after 9 when I shot sometimes more, sometimes less. Since my late '30s, I would say I have been a regular shooter. These days ( 60 years old now) I shoot every day and consider the day a loss if I don't get some shots in. I always carry a camera, and I don't mean my cell phone!


05-31-2007, 11:15
I started to take photos around the time I turned 20, after I got my first digital camera, a Fuji MX-1200 point and shoot. Within a few months after that, I moved from the SF Bay Area to Europe, which was a positive shock. Since the environment was so new, I documented everything and everyone for my folks back home. My friends liked my candids and soon got used to me taking photos. It turned out to be great practice, and the rest is history :D

05-31-2007, 11:23
I was 17 (back in 2003) when I bought a used Nikon Coolpix 4500 (digital). Fortunately I wasn't very pleased with the results I got - speaking of highlights, strange auto-focussing and functionality - everything just seemed unnatural for me. Then I found an old Praktica L2 in our cellar, I simply liked how everything was adjustable and for the first time I got a feeling for exposure-guessing, dof, composition and everything :) ... Afterwards I bought a used Nikon EM and some darkroom gear - which in fact was my first introduction in b&w photography.

Then I went pro (haha :P) and bought a used Nikon FA. Followed by the first rangefinder impressions with a Yashica GSN. My latest acquisitions are a Bessa R3A and a Olympus XA, which I just got today.

Unfortunately I wasn't very lucky with the used gear I bought, except for the Bessa R3A, which was in perfect condition. Both the Yashica GSN and the Nikon FA had some metering issues and there was also a problem with the AF of the Nikon Coolpix 4500. The XA seems fine, but I have to wait until I have some time to shot and the develop the first rolls :)

I will forever love my old Praktica L2 for teaching me how to photograph, although it had a real dirty finder without a split-image rangefinder. Without this camera I'd probably just take pictures with a fancy digital P&S today.

05-31-2007, 11:27
I was 8. The camera was a Bencini Comet II. Similar to the Bencini S:
Unfortunately I lost both the camera and the photos taken with it

05-31-2007, 11:32
ok, DeadSexy gets the avatar award.......whats the story...

05-31-2007, 11:36
I found this beauty on Ebay and this time is exactly the Bencini Comet II
Had the seller been from Europe I would bid!

05-31-2007, 11:39
ok, DeadSexy gets the avatar award.......whats the story...haha thanks, but unfortunately the story behind it is that I typed "m" into the google image search in a moment of pure boredom and THIS appeared on the first page. sorry :/

05-31-2007, 11:44
ok, i'll make up my own story then. Funny though.....

05-31-2007, 11:55
8?? That young! Wow you impress me, guys.

I feel like I was very lucky (and very cursed) to have found what I wanted to do so young- something happened when I looked through that vf in 1970 that I knew was right for me.

05-31-2007, 12:31
ok, i'll make up my own story then. Funny though..... good idea. i guess everybody has to :)

05-31-2007, 15:14
I was about 11 or 12, which would make it 1979 or 80. Got a Halina (if memory serves) 110, which I thought was great because of its motorized film advance. When I was 13 I got my first slr, a Fujica STX-1, which is where the fun really started. Sold it to a mate who fifteen years later became my Best Man. Wish I still had it though...

05-31-2007, 15:33
Sounds like dad has had a big influence on a lot of us here.....

The only reason I started "doing photography" was because I picked up my dad's cameras. I started taking photos last year.

05-31-2007, 15:35
At the tender age of 8 I was given a Hawkeye Brownie (tale told elsewhere here) and I've been shooting ever since.

I think I was 8, maybe 9 (those years are really one big blur) when they gave me a Brownie Starflash (RED model {blow on fingernails, wipe on blouse}) and I immediately thought I was the Inquiring Photographer or something.

That got me started. I soon learned to think independently and disobey every "rule" of photography that my dad insisted I follow. :)

05-31-2007, 17:16
Just started High School. I bought a Vivitar SLR, really a Pentax K1000, and started immediately in B&W to be artsy........oh well.



05-31-2007, 18:59
When my Dad passed away I got his Contax RTS and fell in love with photography. That was about 18 years ago & I was in my early 40's. I really got serious about 7 years ago.

I started taking photography seriously around 11 or 12. My folks got me a Cosina C1 or CS1 or something. I'd been using a Kodak Instamatic before that. They soon realised i was better than my old man, so i had his Canon T70, then an AE1, before getting an RTS. That had a beautiful piece of glass, 50mm f1.4. Wished i'd never traded it for a Nikon F3.

05-31-2007, 20:32
In 1975 I was 15 and took a Summer school Photo class...started with Kodak Instamatic 126 cameras and then moved up to Minolta 101 or 102's (School's cameras not mine).
May of 1976 my dad bought me a Vivitar 400 SL camera kit...I still have that camera.

05-31-2007, 20:33
My granddad gave me a Leica IIIa when I was 6 and I'm still shooting 47 years later. Had my first darkroom within a year of getting that camera.

05-31-2007, 20:47
60s I started shooting, and got an enlarger for my birthday.

my best friend and I spent many a long evening in my bathroom printing B&W we NEVER saved chemicals, we used 'em all up :D

05-31-2007, 21:06
Started when I was 15. Spent the money from a summertime job on a Zenit-E..

05-31-2007, 22:57
I can't remember off-hand if it was my first or second quarter in college (which would make me 18 or 19 at the time). I had started school as a graphic design major, and fell in love with photography when I took my first class as an elective.

06-01-2007, 00:38
I was lucky to have good people teach me, first darkroom work and then the taking of pictures, when I was still under 10. By age 12 I had exclusive possession of the family Rolleicord, and soon a Canonet had been acquired.

Bike Tourist
06-01-2007, 03:59
At age 22.

The army transported me by rolling and pitching troop ship to Bremerhaven. After getting off the ship, and while going by train to Augsburg, some PFC in personnel asked me if I'd like to be in the Public Information Office. I said "yes" since it would not be the infantry.

When I arrived in Augsburg the sergeant said he was due to go back to the US in three days and had only limited time to teach me all he knew about photography.

It proved to be too much time. I ended up learning from Modern and Pop Photography.

06-01-2007, 05:29
Got a Brownie Hawkeye when I was 8, then a Spartus Press when about 12. Got serious when I joined the yearbook photography staff at 14. 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 Speed Graphic using Press 5 and Press 40 flashbulbs and Super XX film. For personal work, was given a Kodak Pony 135 and bought a Yashica 2 1/4. Then a Canon II with a Nikkor 50 mm f 3.5. Then traded the Canon II body for a Leica 111a body (+$25), then...

Steve Bellayr
06-01-2007, 10:16
10 years old with a kodak instamatic.

06-01-2007, 10:51
13 plastic lens Kodak 127 Brownie kit present, saved for user Periflex gold star at 15, user Nikon F black for 21st present, no one told me the early blacks were like hens teeth.


Ken Ford
06-01-2007, 11:18
At either age 7 or 8, when I found a ratty Speed Graphic and extra film holders at a garage sale for $2. The guys at the local camera store took pity on me and developed my film and reloaded the holders with expired stock for however much I had in my pocket at the time. They did get me moved over to a rollfilm back pretty quickly, though.

I still have blurry 4x5 negs of trains around here somewhere - I was a source of constant amusement to the crews. The Graphic was almost as big as I was!

06-01-2007, 13:19
I was 12 when I started to photograph. My mom was a young, single parent, we were on welfare, while she was going to school and working fulltime. She some how received a scholarship for me to go to a private school during the summer. Needless to say, I did not want to go. The counselor stated they had a photography class, and I said I did not have a camera, so that would be pointless. My mom then promissed me that if I went to summer school for her, she would buy me a camera so I can take the photography class. It was the only promise she ever kept, and this was the one thing that kept me out of trouble all throughout my youth.

The camera was an olympus OM-1 with a 50mm lens. I eventually sold it, along with the oter lenses I acquired for RF.

Those were the days . . .

06-08-2007, 08:42
the poll doesn't have a button for my response: i haven't started yet.

Silva Lining
06-08-2007, 08:56
I got a James Bond Secret Spy Camera when I was about 7 that used 126 film I did use it a few times - I then graduated to a Hanimex 110 camera when I was about 10 - My father got fed up paying for my developing, so taught me how to develop B&W under our stairs and bought me a second-hand Praktica MTL3 with a 50mm Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50/2.8 when I was 11 - I still have it and occasional use it. The rest is GAS

06-08-2007, 08:59
I was 16, had access to a dark room and just never got out of it until the digital age. I still visit my darkroom but I scan a lot...

06-22-2007, 22:04
Sadly only a year or so ago and I'm now fifty five. :( Here's hoping I can string out another thirty or so years ... or I'll feel severely ripped off! :p

06-23-2007, 01:30
At 32, after i bought my DSLR.
Then i found this site, and my father's Lynx 14.
Then i got GAS.
The i bought 20+ cameras......

I know.. i know ... sad story....

06-23-2007, 02:06
My father is a non pro photografer and his friend the same... so at primary school I started to taking photo with a point and shoot Olympus and with an old Polaroid. when I was 12-13 I started with his new F1 and it was complete love for the photo. Till now I've bought a lot of camera but the F1 is still my LOVE

07-13-2007, 07:43
I was given an old Kodak Instamatic in 1979 - I was six - by a Great Aunt ( there's actually a pic of her in my gallery!) She couldn't work it because of the tiny viewfinder and thought I might like to play with it ( she also gave me a cigarette lighter to play with around that time, halcyon days eh?!)

When it became obvious I enjoyed taking pictures my parents bought me a Praktica something or other that was boxy, clunky and had a screw in 50mm lens. I stuck with that for ten years and then my parents divorced when I was sixteen. In my father's haste to leave he left behind an old Minolta SRT 101 and a slightly newer XD-7(?) with a whole load of prime lenses. It was those two cameras and the 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm & 135mm lenses primes he left behind that I used throughout college, only when I decided to try and go pro did I buy my first Nikon...an FM2 that I've still got!

I guess I can add myself to the list of people who owe their interest in photography to their fathers!!!

07-13-2007, 08:03
I was a relative late bloomer, starting in about 1978 when I was 30, right after the birth of our daughter.
What started out as nothing more than snapshot documentation of her growing up, quickly turned into a serious passion, that has consumed me ever since.

07-13-2007, 08:05
My parents saw my interest in photography early on, for some reason, and got me a Canon T50 with a no-name 50mm lens in 1985 or thereabouts. I loved that camera, and learned how to ISO-shift in order to fool its auto-exposure system. I loved it so much I didn't even realize that the no-name lens had all kinds of diaphragm and focus issues. Heh.

I didn't use it really regularly until 1990 or so, but by '94 I had the first of several AE-1 Programs in my kit. That, I suppose, was the real beginning. Besides, the T50 had been stolen while I was studying abroad in the UK, and I had to move on.

Fast forward to ~20 cameras, assorted parts, and an eBay addiction. Oh, and a pile of unscanned negatives and undeveloped film. Ah, well; life is good. Moral of the story is: give a kid a camera - an RF if you can...


07-13-2007, 13:51
In the late sixties and early seventies I used to make three pictures per weekend, with the Box Brownie 620 rollfilm camera that my mother won in a raffle about twenty years previously. That "progressed" to Instamatics (126 and 110), then to 35mm with an Agfa Optima followed by a Praktica MTL3. My first developing was from these cameras using colour slides and the Agfachrome process (not E6).

I sold the MTL3 and lenses to get a Leica 111 something with a Summar, but couldn't get on with the viewfinder so traded it in six months later for a Contax 139. At university I also had a Yashicamat, later traded in for a Mamiya C3. I still use the 139Q (nearly 25 years now) and the C3, although the latter is a bit damaged these days.

Now I have a couple of rf cameras, including recently a Zorki 1 which looks very much like the Leica but is in better condition (still needs adjusting on the shutter speeds though), and that is how I came to be here.

07-13-2007, 14:37
This is a tricky one. I'll have to quibble and say 15 and 38.

At 15 I got a Zenit E for my birthday and dived into the world of shooting, developing and printing (all on outdated east European materials). I then lost interest sometime in my twenties.

About ten years ago I bought one of those modern computerised cameras to restart my photographic interest. It lasted two weeks before I swapped it for a Pentax K1000 with a 50f2. Shortly after that I drifted into using rangefinders as I realised I only ever used prime lenses of "normal" lengths. I gave the K1000 and 50 to a friend's daughter a few months ago as she is starting a photography A-level.

07-14-2007, 00:26
I was a late starter... 11 years old, going off the serial number of my 20-sumat years old Helios 44-2 M42 lens (the sole remaining bit of my first SLR, a Zenit E). :)

07-20-2007, 12:00
First helped my Dad in his darkroom when I was six, so I started as a technician, and in reverse order, I used to mix chemicals, correct temperatues etc I could produce a reasonable BW print by the time I was ten, helped him out at work (He started out as a fire brigade photographer) from about 12, loading films in his Bronica setting up tripod etc etc, he gave me an old Minolta XG1 then, which would be in around 79, from then on I have taken photos on an obsessive basis, although I have had life get in the way quite often, plus lack of darkroom facilities.

07-28-2007, 06:41
Long answer: I got my first camera when I was 10? maybe. My mom bought me a Carena 35F - fully automatic camera, but I went around shooting everything with it. The one problem I had was loading the film; I got back a few very light envelopes from the developers so I used an Auto 110 for a while until I could get the hang of loading 35mm properly. Too bad 110 is dead now ...

I didn't pick up photography again until college with a K-1000 (come on - who hasn't used one - honestly?) After college I moved to Japan and got out of it again.

I picked it up again in 2001 with a FujiFilm digital camera. I used digital until March this year. I had been shooting B&W in digital but it's not the same - so I picked up some Acros 100, put it in my K1000 and have been shooting regularly since then.

Short answer: 4 months.

My grandfather was big into photography. When he went on vacation he had a body for B&W, one for color negatives, one for color slides and sometimes a super-8 camera. Unforunately most of his work had to be thrown away after he died. If he's up there watching me, I'm sure he's got an ear-to-ear grin seeing me and my collection. I've been told I'm just like he was when I'm out shooting :)

Don Gage
07-28-2007, 06:49
I used a Kodak Instamatic in 4th grade on several field trips and I was hooked. i shot 15 rolls of 8mm movies of bicycling and skateboarding over the next coupleof years. By the 7th grade I was using my dad's Argus C3 and getting pretty good grades in photo class. One of the better competitors had a father who was a Po Photog and used his Canon F-1 SLR, but I still managed to keep up with my vintage RF. I never put all this together until I read this question. That was 30+ years ago, Wow how time flies!

08-06-2007, 23:29
Hmm... I guess I started when I was a little boy when my parents bought me a polaroid camera. I played and played with that camera taking tons of photos... although now i'd look back and realize just how horrible and snap-shotty that they were.

I had always liked playing with cameras but it wasnt until I was given my late Grandfather's Pentax ME with two lenses that I began to become really interested in photography. I was around the age of 16-17 at that time I guess... But even then, It wasnt an instant thing for me. When I first started to take photographs I realized just how bad I was.

For me this really discouraged me. So for about a year or two I stopped taking photographs. However when I was around the age of 19 I bought a digital camera. A canon powershot g6.... I began playing with the camera more and more and started to become more familiar with photography in a technical means.

Eventually I realized that the powershot was only limiting what i wanted to do. It didnt have any of the features i reallyw anted and i was honestly tired of the camera.

So... I first decided i wanted to learn how to take photographs... not just snapshots. I wanted to learn how to make a photographing 'print' in the fine art terms. So, I began to do a lot of reading on the internet (digital-photography-school.com) as well as a lot of reading from old photography books.

It was this combined with constantly viewing photos in magazines, photo essay books (national geographic), and others that I began to see and understand composition, lines, color, movement, and all of the things that can go into making a print. By this time I was so interested that I finally shelled out $1,200 for my first Digital SLR camera. A Nikon D70s. By this time I was 20 years old. I began taking more and more photos with my camera. I loved taking photographs and after a year I realized that I wanted to take a real photography class.

I wanted to do film. So here I am. Three more weeks left of my intro to photography class. I really havnt learned a lot from the class in the sense of technical and teaching knowhow... but I've learned so much just from shooting so many rolls of film and really beginning to see and hone my mind and eyes to previsualize my photos as well as from the other students in my class (almost all of us are seniors or about to be seniors... most of us are film students or visual effects students)

So yeah. Here I am.... within the past three months I have bought two film cameras, a TLR and a FSU rangefinder as well as come into freebies such as a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super, etc.


08-07-2007, 03:20
I implored my parents to buy me a camera for my 9th birthday, and I recall that they got me a Konica P&S of some sort. I used that quite regularly for quite some time, but as I got into those early teen years other interests (ie, boys, lol) prevailed. Stopped photographing for a long while, and it wasn't until 5 years ago (at 29) that I picked up a camera (Nikon F100) again and began taking on a serious interest again.

08-07-2007, 05:46
In 1986, when she was 10 and I was 8, my sister was playing tag at recess. She went down one of those playground firemen's poles, but... she forgot to hold on to the pole. She fell flat on her back on the frozen sand (this was January in Chicago), breaking it in a couple of places.

She was paralyzed from the waist down and out of school for the next year, getting home tutoring while undergoing intense physical therapy (within a couple of years she could walk normally, and even turn a cartwheel now and then). Now, my mother was an insomniac, and one of her overnight passions was tuning into the 50,000 watt radio stations that you could pick up from all over the western hemisphere. One night, feeling the stress I suppose, she called into a wee-hours talk show on WBZ in Boston and relayed a bit of the story (I don't really know how it tied in with the show, but that's not so important).

To make a long story short, at this point someone at the station took down her address and started up something of a "collection" for this stranger halfway across the country, and we found ourselves with a lot of mail. Much of it was of the "here are things to help keep you occupied and your mind active while you're stuck in bed" sort, including... two tiny kodak 110 fixed-focus cameras. One for my sister, and one for myself (the nice lady who sent them didn't want the little brother feeling left out). ;)

Well, we carried those everywhere (I did, anyway, and she did too once she was out and about again, hehe). Started out as a "documentary" photography doing "street" on the playground. ;) Took the last few pictures of a good friend of mine, in fact, a few hours before he died in an accident.

Went through many, many 110 cartridges, always eyeing my parents' "grown-up" camera, which was a 35mm fixed-focus Kodak. I didn't realize that it was about the same thing as my 110, just with a bigger negative. It used film in rolls, so it was a real camera. Used that through my teens after the 110 was left on the top of our station wagon and lost during a camping trip, and bought my first Pentax K1000 upon starting college. And the rest is history! I doubt I'll ever bother with another Kodak camera, but they certainly do serve a purpose in being available to even those of very modest means. These days, of course, if you know where to look on the internet all sorts of things are available for not much money, but it was different when your options where what you saw on the shelf in the store, and nothing more--unless you took your chances at the Salvation Army shop, garage sales, or etc.

08-07-2007, 07:39
when I was about 10 I saved up and bought myself a samsung point and shoot, probably put about 25 rolls through it in 8 years, photographing holidays and such. When I was 18 I got myself a digital point and shoot and wanting to try something different I bought a Black and white developing kit and started shooting film through my mums pentax sp500. I found out about rangefinders and bought a fed 1, realising its limits I got a Bessa R. A few months later I got into buying, restoring, and trading cameras. Now I'm looking at a career in the photography business.

Ronald M
09-24-2007, 11:03
16, in 1958

09-24-2007, 11:16
At 11, I became the official family photographer using my father's Canonet. I often think about getting one just for the nostalgia. I shot quite a bit but never seriously. When I entered high school, I lost interest in photography. Now I'm back into it.

09-24-2007, 11:57
Got a job in the Livermore, CA Rexall Drugstore as camera clerk at 14...Hooked ever since. Had a Kodak Retina Reflex at 15, and a Canon 7/0.95 at 16 and moved on to an Alpa 6c with a Tessina at 17.

09-24-2007, 12:11
When I was 11, my sister's godfather (who lived across the street) showed me his Leica III which he modified to work in an underwater housing he and my father had built in Cuba. He also gave me his copy of the 1947 Leica Manual (in English) which I still own. I was so enthusiastic that my father gave me his Yashica TL Electro w/ 50mm f/1.8 lens to continue to learn the ropes.

Now, 33 years later, I have come full circle and own a Leica of my own (M8) and my children are expressing an interest in photography. I got them a pair of Kodak Easy Shares but my daughter (age 9 going on 19) is eyeing a C-lux2. Can't fault her taste, but she has to show me she can handle the Kodak for now.

Doctor Zero
09-24-2007, 12:11
Interesting most people started in their teens!

I had a Kodak instamatic I used sometimes when very young. Went on a photography and sailing (?!) camp one summer holiday, but nothing really stuck. Then, at age 18, I went to Venezuela as an exchange student, and used a Pentax P&S model; it had two lens settings: 35 and 90, or thereabouts. That started it. Kept with that during first year in university, then when I was in the States for a year I decided I needed something real. After much debate I got a Nikon F601/N6006 with Tamron 28-200 zoom. It was downhill from there...

Doctor Zero

eli griggs
09-24-2007, 18:08
At 15 or 16 in 1973-4, IIRC. I was working at the original Belk's Department Store in downtown Charlotte and I fell in love with a Petri Color 35E in a showcase. I think I paid $54 for it, which was a lot more than I made in a week of after school and Saturday work. Minimum wage was about two bucks at the time.

I shot b&w mostly and would spend lunch hours doing street stuff if downtown and taking pics of my ROTC friends if at school. I also had a photogenic cousin and between her and my sisters' friends, had plenty of subjects to annoy.

I didn't do my own darkroom work until later on in the army, when I was 18, and had bought a new Yashica SLR cheap from a guy who couldn't understand he wasn't suppose to open the camera up while running film through it. His 'complicated' camera was the first of about 7 SLRs that I bought while doing a 39 month tour, ending up with a Canon FTb, AT-1 and New F-1 as keepers.

It was shortly after buying that first SLR that I started doing my own darkroom work and bulk rolling my own film.

09-24-2007, 18:36
My story is very familiar .....

As many others here have done, my father got me interested in photography. He had a Ricoh KR-5 way back in the early 80's that had cost him a weeks wages back then. It was his prize possession an he sometimes let me ue it when on days out to the seaside etc.

Times got hard and he had to sell it to make ends meet. He later got a Zorki-4 from a work colleague and that camera fascinated me but I don't ever remember getting to use that one myself.

I became interested in photography around 1986 when I started to show an interest in the local shipping. At that time I had a bright red plastic Halina 35mm P&S that was to frank, quite disappointing to use and the results were never sharp at any distance.

For xmas 1989 I received a PRAKTICA BCA kit with 35-70 and 70-210mm lenses. I was in hog heaven and used that for around 18months until it got stolen. So the seed was sown. Soon after being parted with the Praktica BCA I purchased a Ricoh KR-10M and the rest is history. I've been a Pentax K-mount user ever since.

The main thrust of my photography has always been in photographing the local shipping and even now some 20 years later i'm still as keen as ever, perhaps moreso. I still have all my early prints and negs and whilst they are not exactly masterpieces it's nice to see how my photography has advanced in that time.

hou baloo
09-24-2007, 19:15
A friend of mine in high school gave me a Kodak Retina Ib in 1966, just out of the blue. I was immediately turned on to photography, and was able to return the favor by giving him my Minolta CLE last year - a small 'price' to pay in return for so many years of pleasure!

(The goofy part is that after using the Retina for a couple of years, I bought a Leica IIIa and Summar because it was the cheapest 'real' camera available to me!)

09-25-2007, 06:23
Don't know how I missed posting to this before. When I was very young, my father was quite into photography. He developed his own b/w and had several cameras, including some box cameras. When I would ask to use a camera, such as on trips to the zoo, I was given a box camera. After he passed away, I got the bug to try photography again while in college, using his Welta Welti and a camera he made himself from two other cameras. While in the Army I used another folder as well for jumping out of airplanes without having something too bulky attached to me.

In the mid-70's, in Korea then, and with my own Yashica TL Super, I once again got interested as the office crime scene camera was a Kodak instamatic (if you can believe it) and took horrible photos. I announced to everyone that as soon as my camera came to me I would use it for "good" photos. Shows how interested I was that I didn't even carry it with me.

Well, in fact I decided that I would have to make my boast good, and began reading every magazine and book I could get my hands on, and got very interested in photographing for myself as practice first, and then because I enjoyed it. An indulgent instructor at the Army craft shop took me under his wing for developing and printing instruction. It was fun! I got good enough that I began to develop somewhat of a reputation for crime scene photography(in the land of the blind, lol). While there, I got my Fujica ST 901, more lenses, the Yashica MAT 124 G, and after it was stolen, my Super Press 23. I also got my first fixed lens RF then, an Olypus of some kind, which was stolen withe the Yashica MAT.

I still have the Yashica TL Super, the Fujica ST 901, and the Super Press 23. Of course, GAS has prompted me to get other things as well. I don't take as many photos as I used to, other than snapshots of the family. We had a house fire about 16 years ago and much equipment as well as slides were lost. It seems that took a lot of the fun out of it. I am starting to get back into it now however.

Sorry for the long story, but that's it.

10-31-2007, 18:19
Probably not till I was around 40. (Now 55.) For maybe 10 years I thought about it but knew nothing about cameras and had other things on my mind - family, career, studies etc. I often admired older cameras such as Leicas which I would see in shop front windows from time to time, but always assumed they were far too complex for a starter to use. Eventually I took up scuba diving (of all things) which motivated me to get into underwater photography. I bought a Nikonos and soon decided I liked photography more than scuba, which unless you are really dedicated most people only do a couple of times per year and on holidays. Eventually I sold my scuba gear and bought camera gear. The rest is history. I just wish I got into it 20 years earlier. I remember camera store salesmen trying to sell me these old screwmount cameras that no one wanted back then. If only I knew.

My first "real" camera was a Pentax SFXn which took great photos but was as ugly as a baboons butt. I qucikly grew tired of the limitations of programme cameras and sold it for a Pentax Spotmatic as it was fully manual and I liked the build quality. From there I acquired dozens of M42 lenses (mainly Takumars) and ultimately took the plunge into Leica and Canon rangefinder, Nikon SLR, Canon SLR and a few odd ball cameras like the Voightlander Prominent etc. Cant say there was one I did not get some sort of a kick out of.

As it turns out, I found out later that my grandfather on my mother's side was an avid photographer and in his youth he toured Australia, making hundreds of photos on glass plates. (Which were all thrown out years before I became interested.) Damn! These could have been a unique record of early 20th Century Australia. And perhaps it means the tendancy to be into this kind of pursuit is "in the blood."

10-31-2007, 18:52
Straight out of college for a year I bought a new Yashica Lynx 5000, one of my all time favorites.

10-31-2007, 20:04
I was 22, in the Air Force and stationed in western Turkey. Before my departure, my mother had given me an ultimatim that I was to take a camera and send back photos. So I got a Kodak Brownie Super 27 box camera, which saw very little use... Until a camera nut who worked in the same building got me interested, and showed me how to develop film in the base photo lab which was open to anyone after hours. This was about the time of the Cuban missile crisis. I believe the next camera, the first 35, was a King Regula, and not too much later a Petriflex V. I was hooked...

Papa Smurf
11-01-2007, 07:22
My first camera was an Argus C-3 Match-matic at the Sears, Roebuck, and Co. big store in downtown Alton, Illinois. It cost about $64 as a kit. The nest week the Sears ad listed it at $47. An omen as to how my life was to go! It was difficult for a teenager to make enough money to buy film, flash bulbs, and pay for processing, but I persevered! :D Funny how life comes full circle. Now I am retired with a fixed income and once again film, batteries, and processing have become dear. :(

11-01-2007, 07:44
I used a camera that belonged to one of my sisters. Shot 127 film in a Kodak Hawkeye. My mother was always chiding me about taking photographs with no people in them. I can remember expermenting with my father's 7x50 binoculars as a telephoto lens ( the camera lens fit into the eyecup of one of the eyepieces) and yellow celophane as a filter to bring out the clouds. That was in 1956.

11-01-2007, 07:50
I remember shooting on a young age, but I really started photographing during my army service, when I was 19. Later, when I was 22, I started to study photography.


11-01-2007, 08:29
Like many others, my father showed me how to shoot a camera when I was 8 y.o. Some time later he gave some basic photography books and I started to learn the basic techniques. He passed away when I was 16 and I inherited his three cameras (all three were stolen later).
But at 13, I started doing it almost regularly (one or two rolls a month).

I know.... this is a one way road...


11-01-2007, 10:44
I've been taking photographs regularly all my life... Again, my dad had an influence. He worked as a photographer before I was born and he always had photographic equipment around as I was growing up, so I've always had a keen interest in photography.

I think it's only quite recently that I've become more serious about getting better at it, though. Maybe in the last few years. When I was about 16, I started getting digital compacts and shooting tons of mediocre stuff, then I moved onto a DSLR a couple of years ago and started paying a lot more attention to the work I was producing... And now I'm starting to focus more on 35mm black and white again.

I think film is a great medium for learner photographers... It promotes a strong respect for your subject and makes you think about the process more. Loads of young people picking up DSLRs today can go around shooting photographs for years without knowing a thing about f-stops and shutter speeds. I think it's also easy for digital photographers to lose respect for "the moment." If you have a DSLR capable of firing the shutter 5 times in a second, why wait for the perfect moment to appear in your frame lines? It's
like taking a machine gun out rather than a sniper rifle.

I think I'm more of a sniper.

11-01-2007, 13:41
Hmm...The first camera was my father's Adox, than a small 110(basic desing just a lens and a shutter attached to the cartridge), then a Beirette. These Cams had one thing in common: I never saw the results of my snapping pics. Only the Beirette had about 5 pics of a 36 roll....the remaining was lost somewhere in photo-Limbo - Which also meant that I lost all the pics of my first time in London. So regardless of what others say it matters which camera you use (or give your kid).
Then my brother paid us a visit and taught my how to use his Zenith EM..... He even left it with me! The same man that said "To borrow a camera from somebody else is as if you ask him to give you his refrigerator!"
Oh yes and from then on the camera I use has to be black..which made my first real own Camera a Nikon FG costlier for my father....

11-02-2007, 05:57
I've been playing with cameras and taking snapshots on vacation since I was around 9 or so but I didn't start shooting regularly and seriously until I was 30 and inherited my dad's Pentax K1000 outfit.

11-02-2007, 16:21
When I was in Kindergarten, at five or six, I got a Kodak Instamatic 110 and proceeded to stalk around my neighborhood making "spy pictures." Honestly, I was obsessive about it. My main subjects were stolen shots through kitchen windows and close-ups of water meters. (Don't ask; I have no idea why!)

This went on for several years, and my dad, an amateur photographer with a basement darkroom, took notice and gave me his Canon QL-17 GIII, most often pre-loaded with Tri-X. I think I was around seven or eight years old and it was shortly after that that dad taught me how to print the film he would develop for me.

I've been hooked ever since. I shot sports for the local weekly paper in high school, went to art school and had several jobs as a reporter-photographer at small-town newspapers. Now I just shoot and scribble for my own amusement.

11-07-2007, 06:49
Started about 6 (22 yrs old) months ago because I was in Israel and my friends and family pretty much threatend my life if I didn't take pictures.

I started with a Holga and am now the proud owner of a (used) Bessa R (not all of us can afford leicas...) and I use a 50mm/1.5 lense and I just recently got a 35mm/2.5 lens which I'm trying out here in Athens, Greece (again more death threats if no picutres were sent home)

11-07-2007, 06:58
Seriously at 11. My sister's boyfriend was a photographer and he let me snap a few rolls with a nikon F witha 35mm lens. Before that I got comments about nice photos but those first rolls got the juices flowing. I talked my dad out of his Argus C3 Matchmatic and my aunts CircaFlex TLR.

I have been blessed tohave put a roll through almost every type ofcamera the last 35 years and I ain't stopping now.

Roger Hicks
11-24-2007, 12:14
My father has never had any interest in anything other than snapshot photography, but his father was a very keen amateur. I never knew either grandfather, as both were killed during WW2 before I was born. George Hicks died when HMS Gloucester was sunk off Crete, Harry Reynolds on the Russia convoys.

So when I decided that the Ilford Sporti 4 I'd had since I was 11 was not enough, my father (who, like his father, was in the Navy) bought me a two-year-old Pentax SV on the express condition that I learned to process and print my own pictures: he also bought me an enlarger, trays, etc. That was when he was posted to Bermuda in '66 and I was 16. And he found 4x 200 foot cans of 1963-dated FP3 swilling around in Stores. When I started I didn't even know which side was the emulsion side (the film was wound emulsion out).

Still using Ilford, though...



11-24-2007, 20:08
I had a camera about 9 or ten 10 but I shot regularly a bit later.

I began professionally at 18 years old as a cub photographer for a small daily newspaper. A Speed Graphic and a Crown Graphic. Lasted about a year.

Then I moved up to a tiny weekly newspaper. Lasted 6 months.

Downhill ever since I'm afraid.

leif e
01-11-2008, 05:26
Bought my first Nikkormat at 18 for my first student´s loan, after having envied several friend´s Spotmatics and Fs for a couple of years (they were better off and older than me). Had to sell it, got a Minolta SRT 100b a couple of years later. Since then...

Luddite Frank
01-11-2008, 06:58
I think I first started taking pictures when I was about six (c. 1973), when an aunt gave me her old Kodak Dual-flex III TLR. (Which never took a sharp picture in my hands!).

I became interested in old cameras around the same time; my first fascination was with TLR's and box-Brownies with the reflex finders...

I soon became fascinated with folding cameras, and got a couple of those too.

At that time, "ancient" formats such as 116 and 616 were still available (at the local drugstore!), as well as 620 and 828... so I shot with all of those, until the supply dried-up.

I took some fairly decent pics with a #2 Box-Brownie using 116 film, as well as a Jiffy Six-Sixteen folder(my first focusable camera).

When I got to high-school, my dad let me use his Nikon S on occasion, and I began to try taking more "skilled" pictures.

Senior year of high-school, I acquired a Kodak Retina IIIc outfit from a friend's father; this was my first "real" camera; I shot lots of Kodachrome with that camera.

After college, I stopped taking pictures for a while - like, 10 years or so...

I've really gotten back into photography about five years ago, when I "stole" a Minolta XG-1 outfit at a rummage sale for $50 (camera, power-winder, and about 5 lenses): my first "modern" camera !

Then, I made friends with a real camera-nut (he fancies East-German stuff) and very good photographer... he talked me into getting an Exakta, and thus my most recent flirtation with photogrpahy has begun, here in the twilight of film...

It would seem that my picture-taking has been "Driven" by what gear I've run across, and my deisre to use it.

My latest passions are thread-mount Leicae, and large-format.

Still trying to conquer the basics, such as "composition" and "exposure"...

Luddite Frank

Al Kaplan
01-20-2008, 20:04
I had a couple of box cameras as a little kid. The first one took 127 film but when I was about 10 I got one that took 8 pix on 620 fil and had a built in flash that took (I think) M-2bulbs. I got a 35mm Ansco camera at 13. By the time I was 18 I had a Canon II-S and a couple of lenses. I was HOOKED.

Years earlier my dad had made a darkroom in my grandmother's house with a 5X7 Elwood enlarger and in the attic was an ancient Folmer-Schwing 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 view camera with a 5X7 reducing back, so I was into large format before I was 20.

01-20-2008, 21:38
I only started serious photography when I turned 29 (that`s when I founded my business)

I wasted 9 years before that just collecting and selling Leica`s and Rollei`s and never using them, back then they were all China Cabinet Princesses

It`s much much more fun now shooting especially what I shoot, (Retro PinUps) but I do regret that I didn`t start doing it since High School, I didn`t get into cameras until I joined the Army and went to Germany (at age 20 I started collecting) - it`s been downhill from then on ;)


01-20-2008, 22:41
Until I was in college, the only photos I had ever taken were the family trip snapshot kind. With disposable cameras no less! Then I had to take photography for my art degree. The first time through, I failed. The second time though, something clicked.

Now I have many cameras from the fifties, sixties, and earlier; and they all work. I know what kind of films I like and why, and I know a great deal about photography technique and history.

Oh, and I passed Photo 101 the second time around, as well as intermediate, advanced, color, and experimental. But, truth be told, those were just excuses to get more cameras and take more pictures.

Steve Williams
03-12-2008, 02:38
I started with the family Zeiss Ikon folding camera at age nine and became the official family photographer for vacations, events, and was even allowed to shoot non-official pictures.

Two years later my parents bought me a Honeywell Pentax H1A (?) SLR. I shot pictures with that up until college. Somewhere in Junior High School I purchased a Yankee Developing Kit and processed my first roll of Tri-X and made a contact sheet. Any further darkroom work had to wait until college.

And I just kept shooting and doing things until I woke up one day in my early 20's and realized I could make money at it. Decades later I am still at it...

04-30-2008, 01:09
Soon after I was born, we moved to a new house and by dad's light table was in my bedroom, the darkroom next room over. Since he was doing professional photography and just starting a printing business it was hectic days (not too noticed by me at the time). One of the early "toys" we played with as kids was the lens from the 5x7 Linhof. We loved to trigger the shutter….

Other early novelties were box cameras, a German folding camera (not to be named) that always ate the film, Mamiya Super Press, Pentax, and so on…. We used an Agfa with a "wide angle lens" and a Pentax 35mm for all family vacations, and we all shot photos from when ever we could hold the camera.

In those early days it was clear that German film gave better results on the Agfa and Japanese films seemed to work better with lenses from that part of the world.

Interesting thread….

05-30-2008, 02:17
Seriously at 15 with a Dacora Digna, shortly followed by a Dacora Dignette, a forunner to the Ilford Sportsman. This was soon traded for a used Contaflex I with a 2.8 Tessar which I still have. The magic of seeing images emerge from the developer kept me hooked.

06-03-2008, 13:47
I started off with an Olympus 35RD that I think I got as a christmas present when I was 15, just before I went to Germany as an exchange student. I shot about a roll a week of Ektachrome 64 or something while I was there and have been hooked ever since. Took the RD with me to college and used it there for a couple years; got my first SLR at the same time and it's been shooting & GAS since then as my bank account allows.

Murray Kelly
06-29-2008, 08:20
I was given this god awful camera at age 12. It was an english camera that wasn't in focus at any distance. It's a wonder I perservered at all! Luckily I then acquired a decent 620 Vigilant (Kodak) that restored my belief that photography was a pursuit that was worth the effort! :-). Shut in the pantry and dipping the film in soup dishes. Parents calling out the minutes.
Next was a Retina 1A. Then I was hooked!


07-11-2008, 14:46
At about age 11 I bought the first camera of my own - an Instamatic. It was a fairly basic model, as that's all that pocketmoney could stretch to, and looking at the models for sale on ebay, I think it was a 25. For a couple of years before that I'd been handed various family folders and been shown how to use them - odd thing, Medium Format was my first film, now it's my latest one.

07-11-2008, 15:26
my first was a Pentax K1000. I bet Im not alone there. I still have it and it still works fine.

Nope. You're not alone. My first real camera was a K1000.
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/data/500/medium/IMG_0207.JPG (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/data/500/medium/IMG_0207.JPG)
I bought it new in 1978 and it still works perfectly. My actual first camera was a Continintal 110 pocket camera, bought at about age 13. I suppose that's technically a camera -- kind of, in an utter trash way. I try hard not to think about that one though.

08-05-2008, 01:47
i started 12 years ago. initially with a deceased estate canon ae-1 then got introduced to rangefinder format with my mother-in-laws voigtlander vito B. Also GIVEN a plaubel makina 67. never looked back since. have been taking pictures with rangefinders in different formats.

08-18-2008, 05:13
I checked "10-14", which seems to be the most popular choice, mainly because I can't remember much any further back than that. My photography over the years has been on and off so many times, however, that I wish there had been an option for "all of the above".

08-18-2008, 06:11
My first camera I ever used was my father's Nikkormat when I went on a school trip to Atlanta at the age of about 17. This was in 1998 when fully automatic cameras and even digital cameras were becoming quite popular. My father taught me how to read the little needle in the viewfinder, and set manual exposures. I'm very grateful I started learning this way. Years later I became more serious and bought my first RF on Ebay, a Yashica Electro GSN. Later my father saw me with the camera and commented.... "that was the first camera I ever bought." It's funny how these things happen.

08-19-2008, 03:19
Having both my parents as photographers I do not remember not having a camera.The first camera I was conscious of was a 35mm Retina Folder. When I was 4. I would go to the hospital with my mother where she did volunteer work taking pictures for research on Polio patients and their rehabilitation. With my dad I got yo go all over Cuba to all sorts of assignments.

09-16-2008, 07:33
I first started taking pictures seriously around age 11. My dad (in accordance with the theme) gave me a Canonet QL17 and I shot as much as I could scrape together the money for film.

09-19-2008, 07:45
I began just over a year ago. One day I just decided to go for a walk with the family digicam (I don't remember why), and took photos. Haven't stopped since then. I get out usually at least once or twice a week to go shooting. My subjects have changed a lot, but I still enjoy it as much as I first did (maybe even more now, that I know a bit more about what I'm doing).

09-25-2008, 16:58
I began at age 12 with a Brownie or Argus roll film camera which I won on a Shrine raffle. After a while of burning up film my Uncle, a rabid amateur gave me a Ricohflex 120 TLR. My parents saw I was serious about it and gave me a darkroom for Christmas and we set it up in an old garage which we had to make light tight. Cardboard walls and tape got it usable although I had to go to the house for water and had no heat or A/C. Well at that time, no one had A/C so I didn't know I was missing anything. Another Uncle, a pro photog, also took an interest in my education and between both and some magazine subscriptions plus visits to the library I learned enough to get really hooked.

The next summer I got a lawn mower and got a contract with a neighbor who owned a small development with about 10 or 12 houses and began my first business. I made enough from that to take my sister and myself to NYC where we visited my Uncle who was stationed at Ft. Slocum, an island in the middle of Long Island Sound. We had a blast experimenting in color ( this was about 1952) and we shot using color printing paper in his 4X5 Speed Graphic. I wanted a different camera so we visited Willoughby's where I purchased a 2¼X3¾ Speed Graphic. I was hot stuff!! I lugged that thing all over, including to Washington, DC ( I was living in the SC lowlands) where the band marched in the Cherry Blossom Parade. We were on national TV!!!

Back in SC I used the camera to photograph football and basketball games and that was quite a learning experience. Especially night football. I used cut film holders as I never did get a roll film back for it. I think everyone ought to try that type of experience before they complain about zoom lenses and digital or film. I never had more than the 105mm lens which came with the camera. I also had about a dozen film holders and carried a film changing bag and a box of spare film in my case, the old standard Graphic case.

My first time using a 35mm camera was my uncle's Voitlander RF and it was in meters and had no range finder. I had to guess the distance and convert to metric system but I got some great shots, including one good enough to win an honorable mention in a national magazine contest. I love hearing people say, "you can't do that kind of photography without AF and AE cameras. I'm glad I didn't know that then; heck I never had an exposure meter till I was in my late 20s and bought my first 35mm SLR when I was in Japan. I guess many of you who shoot VF cameras know whereof I speak. I think I was lucky to have grown up in photography as I was growing up myself. I wouldn't exchange those memories for anything.


09-28-2008, 06:26
I started at 6 when my godmother gave me a Kodak. I do not remeber the type ...