Me, my camera, and a butterfly mobile

Brett Fernau

After spending nearly a year learning to use my new Canon EOS Rebel XT, taking over 10,000 images, my financial situation was such that I needed to find gainful employment. I had spent the year looking for things to photograph. I found them everywhere. I took thousands of pictures at Descanso Gardens, pictures of flowers, trees, landscapes, ponds, birds and fish. I took pictures at the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, the Reagan Presidential Library, the Calfornia Poppy Reserve, Barnsdall Art Park, the Los Angeles Arboretum, Griffith Park, my neighborhood of Silverlake, Hollywood, Venice Beach, Disneyland, parties with friends, and family gatherings. I created still life arrangements and shot them. I shot toys, guns, tools, and cars -- anything and everything. I even shot real estate for awhile. None of this, of course, for pay. I still haven't figured out how to get paid for taking pictures. What I have figured out is that I love doing it and sharing the results, and I realized that I'd been taking pictures for years, nearly all my life.

I have shelves of photos albums. I have pictures of family vacations, Boy Scout Jamborees, hootnannies in my living room, hikes in the mountains, band practices, other muscians, kids, Washington D.C., and Rocky Mountain National Park. I have pictures taken with a Brownie box camera, Polaroid photos, Canon film camera photos. For a brief period, I owned a Zeiss Icon camera which I foolishly traded to someone for a motorcycle. Looking back on my life so far, I realized that, while I've done quite a lot of different things -- lifeguard, factory worker, auto parts salesman, country western singer, secretary, paralegal, maintenance man, mechanic, carpenter -- I've always taken pictures.

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