A brief history of my relationship with photography
I'm Romanian. I was born in 1985, and being a child in an East European country I didn't get to see too many fancy tech until much later, so for me my parents' compact film camera was always something so fascinating, especially since my folks were trying to keep it away from me out of fear that I might tear it apart as I did with most of my toys; but when I would get the chance to fiddle with it - without any film inside, so I wouldn't waste it - I would click that shutter button at anything and everything. Fast forwarding past the time when video games and computers were more interesting, and later mobile phones with VGA cameras, then 0.6mp or 2mp, I bought my first camera in 2005 - a Kodak CX4300. I got it from a friend, used, for €50. It was a 3.2mp piece of... junk that would go through a set of 2 AA batteries in 30 shots, so my pockets were always bulging with used and new batteries, clinking at every step. But I was happy. I would take pictures of every flower and tree and cat and mountain and cloud that would catch my eye. Being rather small I took it with me everywhere. It wasn't long, though, until the battery cover broke and wouldn't close anymore, so I had to use tape to keep it in place - sort of.
In 2007, in order to be able to finish my college degree, I needed a new computer, so I got a job. After I saved up enough money for the PC, I decided to save a little more for a new camera. That's when I got the camera that would mean the most in my early days as an amateur photographer - Fujifilm S5700. I've used it for 4 years learning everything there was to know about it - which wasn't much anyway - and mastering its manual settings.
Ever since I was a kid, I loved things that helped me to see as far as possible - binoculars, telescopes, zoom lenses, so it wasn't surprising that I would get a super-zoom camera as my third. It was a Fujifilm HS20, with an impressive 30x zoom lens which would take me where my eyes couldn't. It was bigger, better, and had new things to learn about, like RAW files. I felt a little more mature, but it was still a bridge camera and I started to feel a little limited and needing to take on another level in gear, so after 5 years, I got my first interchangeable lens camera, a Canon 700D. It belonged to a friend of mine and only had a stock lens. I quickly got a second lens, a 50mm f1.8 which helped me to better understand the use and versatility of all of the options I was suddenly facing. The difference in sharpness, angles, bokeh, low light performance, everything struck me and I was ready. I quickly absorbed every bit of new information until, after just one year, I've suddenly decided to take on professional photography. I sold the Canon for almost half of the price that I got it and bought myself the Nikon D800. A mammoth of a camera compared to what I've experienced so far. I paired it to my two zoom, f2.8 Tamron lenses, which felt like military grade equipment to me, and from that moment on, the world was mine. It took a couple of months to be able to tame the camera entirely and I no longer felt limited by my equipment. I was mesmerized by the quality of my photographs now, and it boosted my creativity and enthusiasm as well.
In another aspect, ever since college I've dealt with Graphic Design, having worked as a graphic designer as a full time job for a while, also as a freelancer, which I still do, so Adobe Photoshop comes as second nature to me, especially since I've played with it for almost 15 years. Adobe Lightroom is a breeze, so my work is ensured to always be of great quality.
Over time I've taken countless photos of flowers, landscapes, portraits of friends, which made me slowly acquire a sort of instinct as to how to use a camera, have light in my advantage, find the best angles and overall be able to take the best shots with what I had without much effort.
All of my slow preparation and practice have prepared me for this moment. Now I feel exhilarated and determined to have my career in photography thrive.