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You’ve been reading their articles for months or years. Have you ever wondered: “Who are the photographers who write for dPS”? Today meet San Diego based photographer Jason Weddington.
My first camera was a Kodak disk camera, similar to the ones shown here. I must have been 8 or 9 at the time. Around the same time, I took a black and white photography course during summer vacation. I learned how to develop black and white film, as well as how to make prints. I remember being very proud of an image of an empty root beer can that I’d photographed in the street. That photo sat in a frame on my dresser for a few years.
Then I went several years without having a camera or being exposed to photography (pun intended). In 1998 I joined the Marines and was stationed in Japan. I bought a Kodak Advantix film camera, because I wanted to be able to capture and share scenes from my time in Japan. I wouldn’t say I was interested in photography per se, I was more interested in ‘taking pictures’, if the distinction makes sense. I was happy to point and shoot, and drop the film off at the lab. I would flip through the prints and say things like “too bad that one didn’t come out.” In those days I thought cameras made photos, not photographers. Pushing the shutter was like rolling the dice, sometimes the pictures came out, sometimes they didn’t. It would be a few more years before my awareness changed.
By 2001, I was really into computers. The Internet was still pretty new, technology was racing forward, and some exciting things were becoming possible. I bought a digital camera, because it was yet another cool thing I could do with my computer. I was more into computers than cameras – digital seemed like the logical camera choice.
In early 2001, I saw some fine art nude photographs on the Internet. I was amazed and inspired. I hadn’t seen much fine art photography before, or maybe I hadn’t given it much notice. But this time my eyes were opened to a whole new world. I became aware of photography as an art form, rather that simply a tool for capturing moments.
I’d just married a beautiful woman, and I had a 1.2 megapixel (!!) digital camera. It seemed so simple. Knowing next to nothing about photography, I asked my wife to model for me. The pictures weren’t very good. Suddenly I became aware that photography is a skill, and a skill that I needed to learn.
The short answer is “neither one.” The long answer is more complicated. I left my full time job as an IT manager at the end of 2012 to start my own business. My goal is spend more time on my personal photography projects, and more time with my family. I’m building a business around my interest in photography, but I don’t plan to work full time as a photographer.
Going forward I hope to make a living from a combination of activities. I’ve just finished a book of my photography, and I’m beginning to market prints on my website. I’m also in the process of launching a software company. We’ll be producing products and services for photographers.
That’s a hard question, I hope I’m never in that position. I guess if I had to, I would limit myself to photographing people. I like portrait work, I’m inspired by the idea of creating a portrait that really captures the sitter’s personality. I love it when people are happy with a photo I’ve made of them, since most people don’t enjoy being photographed.
I wrote a trial post for dPS in September of 2012, and was accepted as a regular writer in October. I’d already made the decision to leave my full time job to pursue my own business, and I wanted photography to be a big part of that. I genuinely enjoy teaching and sharing, when the topic is something that I am passionate about. So writing for dPS is a good fit, and the timing was perfect.
I’m a Canon guy. My main camera is the EOS 5D Mark III. I also have an old Canon AE-1 film body, and a Canon EOS 7s (aka ELAN 7) film body.
I like prime lenses. My favorites are probably the EF 135mm f/2L and the EF 50mm f/1.2L. Is is cheating to pick two?
Become a student of light. Practice visually deconstructing photographs and picturing where the light comes from. Do the same thing in real life, as you walk around your city or neighborhood. Notice what light does to a subject when it comes from above, from the side, from behind, from in front, and from below.
You can learn the technical stuff as you go, and modern cameras will take care of exposure for you most of the time, at least well enough to get you started. But no camera will teach you how to find the good light.
I’ve just hired a software and web developer to help me build a social media marketing service for photographers. The goal of the service is to provide a set of online tools to help photographers get more exposure for their work on major social sharing sites like Flickr, 500px, Facebook, and Tumblr. We will start development in March and I hope to launch the first version of the service in May.
I’m also working on my second photography book which will be a collection of photos from Japan.
My Portfolio Site – This site features my portfolio, fine art prints, and my books.
My Blog – This is my personal blog. The focus going forward will be photography tips and tutorials, information about my photography projects, and eventually some premium training materials.
Uncovered Beauty – This is the brand for my fine art nude photography. You can see some of my work here, and later this year I will launch a fine art nude photography training course from this site.
Facebook – Like my Facebook page to get updates when I have something new to share. I post links to my dPS articles here, and also share photos and tips. As my other projects move forward, I’ll post updates from time to time. I try to make sure that the things I share on Facebook are genuinely useful.