I’ve been asked by several people how I got started in photography. I introduced myself a little bit when I started a new program I call The Photography Mentoring Program. Although I introduced myself and the beginning of my journey into photography I’ve been asked for more details. There has been some further interest in a deeper look into this. So after considering this, I’ve decided to share that through this blog the very beginning of my photography journey. I also share this in a podcast with image slides if you prefer.

My journey does start out a while before getting my first camera. I’ll share some highlights with you! My name is Don, as you know, I’m from a small town, an hour North of Toronto, called Jackson’s Point, Ontario. From around the 6th grade I grew up in this town. It’s a cottage-type area with a massive-sized lake, excellent for lots of swimming during the summer school breaks. I never really thought about my own photography going back to this point. But I did recall a couple of years ago, well after getting into photography, that something did click way back then, but I didn’t actually realize it at the time! (What a shame!)

At the time phone photography was not even a thing! I mean when I was in high school, I got my first cell phone which was a pay-as-you-go Motorola flip phone which did take pictures but was probably about 16 bytes and absolutely awful quality. Back around the time of the 7th and 8th grade, I occasionally took photos with $10 disposable Kodak film cameras, when I was able to get them. I would use them more or less to take photos of my family and friends, and when the rolls were full and I had a bit of money and a drive to Walmart I could get them developed! I remember going on a field trip at the end of the 8th grade, (end of middle school/before high school), with two or three of those disposable cameras which I used a lot with friends and at Marine world of the whales and bears!

Following that, I don’t recall taking many photos between then and the end of high school. From there I went to work at night in the same small town until I was about 21. After a little while, I thought it would be nice again to take photographs with friends and so I bought an inexpensive Canon Powershot point-and-shoot camera, which I used exclusively for that purpose. A little while later, I somehow lost that camera. I moved to the city and maybe a year or two after I again bought a cheap point-and-shoot camera, with the purpose of taking photographs with friends.

I took the following photo at the beaches in Toronto in November 2010! I was shocked myself when I came across it. (To respect my friend’s and family’s privacy, I’m choosing not to post personal photos.)

The Beaches in Toronto shot on a point-and-shoot camera. (Sony DSC-W310)
The Beaches in Toronto shot on a point-and-shoot camera. November 2010.

I also dug up some old pictures from 2011 at the Canada Blooms flower festival with my then-girlfriend, now-wife.

These pictures are far from remarkable. But I enjoyed discovering them and reflecting on the very beginnings of my photography journey. Mind you, at this time I had no thought of pursuing photography, it never even crossed my mind.

I had absolutely no creative skills at the time and knew absolutely nothing about what makes a good photo, but this is where it all basically started! I got married in November 2011, I would live in Toronto with my wife for another year after that before moving to South Korea. But after the wedding, we took an awesome trip to Seoul for 3 weeks where I took more photos of what I saw on the trip. I can even start to see a little bit of photographic potential from that point!

I will pick up from that point in my next Photography Journey article.

In the meantime, I have a question for you. When did your photography journey start? What are the very first pictures that you took? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear the story of your journey from the very beginning as well! 😊

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *