Photographer Ken Gimmi
Q: What drew you into photography initially?
I had a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera as a kid. I loved taking pictures with my little box camera where ever I went. When I got into college I started to do darkroom work with my film and making black and white prints. I used a series of cameras including a twin lens reflex, a ranger finder 35 mm and a Single lens reflex camera. I started to find out the advantages of interchangeable lenses. Most of the time I took black and white and slides.
Q: How long have you been working at photography?
I would say I have been a hobbyist for over 50 years. Professionally I have been doing photography for six years.
Q: Is Photography a hobby for you or a way of life?
This fit with my teaching style in church and in business using multimedia to communicate ideas. But in 2003, I had the opportunity to devout time and energy into developing a professional approach and launched a phase of my life as a professional photographer doing weddings and portraits. I joined the PPA and TPPA and started to attend the annual Texas Photography School.
Q: In what ways have you grown as a photographer?
At Texas School I became more focused on Digital photography and Digital Art. The teachers are the best in the country. But this has led me into Photoshop CS4, lots of filtering and photo enhancement. Belonging to the National Association of Photoshop Professionals has been one of the best training benefit. This has also led me to exploring Corel Painter 11 and the crossover areas between Art and photography. Artists throughout the centuries have used things like the ‘camera obscura’ and later actual photograph stills to inspire and feed their painting thought processes. I am convinced anyone can take a good picture with a decent point and shoot camera. However, it takes the eye of artist behind the lens to see and reveal the emotional picture that is in the photograph.
Q: In what ways would you like to advance your photography skill? (Post processing, Better equipment, more knowledge)
Improved equipment is always a desire. Currently I use Fuji S2 and S3 Pro cameras. A new S5 or the new Nikon camera would be nice. I still own a Hasselblad Medium format film camera. I would love to be able to get the digital back for it, but that is a financial dream right now. I always want to improve on my Photoshop CS4 and 3rd party plug ins that improve my capacity to be creative. Diversified training from photography schools and NAPP are always a continuing priority. In a non structured way, I want to keep visiting places that display art such as art museums. I want to examine the art for it’s composition and development.
Q: What if any advice would you give regarding photography to someone new to the field?
The basics of the camera and photography need to be second nature to the photographer. You need to know how your camera works and how it can be manipulated to gain the picture you want. The other important factor is to find someone who will be your mentor. Any opportunity you have to work a photographer’s assistant or work for another photographer who will teach you is a valuable training experience. If you can find a camera group where you can get effective feedback about you images is an added benefit. Many cities or areas have “photography guilds” that are associated with Professional Photographers of America are an excellent resource in this area.