I think Photography has been in my family for multiple generations and I just followed in the same path without even realizing it.
My Great Grandfather owned a big studio in Detroit called Bonish Photo. Back then the studios would take the school photos, almost all the weddings in the area and many of big occasions. My Grand Father also followed in his footsteps running the studio till his elder years.
My father was one of the first to not follow in that path and actually hates photography because he said he had it shoved down his throat his entire life.
His brother, my uncle, actually owns and runs a very successful photography studio in Fowlerville Michigan with his family today.
That's just the background on my photography. I think I've owned or had accesss to some sort of camera since I was a small child. My mothers side of the family was just as much into photography as my fathers side with her father actually shooting for the Royal Air Force in Canada. So there were plenty of cameras around the house to play with.
My first real camera was a Canon Rebel that I saved up for a few years to buy. I can remember at the age of 17, everyone thought I was crazy that my filled camera bag was more expensive than my car was
Once I met Cindy, we both got into photography pretty seriously. After too many arguments about who got to use the camera while out hiking, we saved up enough to buy another Rebel Body which would also allow us to carry Color Film in one and Black & White film in the other.
We were living in Florida at the time and is where we had met each other. I would stay enrolled at Palm Beach Community College for many years because as long as you were enrolled, you had use of their dark room. I never attended any classes, but the instructor knew me and knew what I was doing and OK'ed it.
When we moved back to Michigan, we went to visit Cindy's grandmother who lived only a few blocks from where my families studio had been all those years in Detroit. By this point my Grandfather was in a nursing home and the studio had burned to the ground after Detroit took a dive into slumville.
My father, Uncle and I still kick ourselves for not cleaning out the place and getting all his Large Format gear out before it burned down.
While at Cindys Grandmothers, we sat talking about our lives up to this point. Due to a nasty divorce between her parents, she hadnt seen her grandmother since she was a child and had moved away from Michigan.
When I told the grandmother my last name. She asked why it sounded so familiar. I told her that my grandparnets used to own Bonish Studio. She got up from her chair, walked over to a cabinet and pulled down some photos of Cindys Fathers baby pictures, her parents wedding and multiple other family photos that all had the Bonish Studio logo on the photos.
At that point, we knew our relationship was fate, and have been taking photos together ever since.
Thank goodness for Digital, as it has saved us thousands of dollars on the wasteing of film and the storage is sooooooo much easier. One of my tasks this summer is to scan the images from the hundreds of family photo albums we have at my parents house.
Its amazing that she has book cases filled with photo albums, and I have a few terabytes worth on hard drives. Her collection takes up an entire room, mine can be carried with me in my palm.
Thats our story. I'd love to hear some others.