I began to get more serious about portrait photography when my first daughter, Megan, was born in 1992, followed by her sister, Lauren, in 1993, and I started taking photos of them. This was all before digital cameras and readily available information online, so I would devour every book and magazine I could get my hands on about photography, lighting, composition and dark room techniques.
I signed up for a few photography courses at the local community college, and that further fueled the fire. A turning point for me came when I joined the Rhode Island Amateur Photographers group and began to win ribbons for portraits of my daughters. This is when I realized, that hmm… just maybe I could turn this into a business and make some money on the side (I was working full time at this point as the Production Superintendent at a textile manufacturer).
Soon I was being asked to photograph friends and family members’ children and began to grow my portfolio. In early 1996, I joined the Professional Photographers Association of Rhode Island and used a week of vacation time to attend my first week-long photography seminar at the New England Institute of Professional Photography. It was an exciting and intimidating week, being the newbie and being surrounded by many successful veterans in the photography scene. I headed home formulating how I could transition this passion to a part time job and then maybe take it full time.
However, when I returned to work that Monday, I learned that the business I worked at would be closing its doors forever, and that I was no longer employed. That moment was a blessing in disguise, as I decided this was my opportunity to go full-time with my photography and jump in with both feet! I went from being without a job in May, to booking and photographing six local day-cares by September.
Today, it’s been almost twenty years since I’ve made photography my career, and the changes that have taken place and what we have seen since then have been pretty amazing. Scott Sylvia Photography has experienced booming economies and lived through recessions, witnessed the changing styles of portrait photography, and has become a part of our clients’ lives… many of the recent high school seniors that we photographed in the last few years were the babies that I had photographed at those day-cares at the start of this journey!
Now, I am excited to help those at the beginning of their photography journeys with Hobby to Pro Photo. Ready to get started? Head over to the blog to begin!