I got hooked on photography in the '80s: my first grade, later profession, was Geology, and having a camera for a Geology student was a must. So I ended up buying a second-hand Olympus OM1 with a 50 mm 1.4. During the summers I participated in photography workshops. I had the chance to put my hands on black and white development gear for a few summers. I increased my equipment, and established a good relationship with a professional photographer who put on my hands a Zenza Bronica, a Mamiya, he taught me how to proceed in weddings, and he lent me some material. I could take a look at the wondrous world of the big format with a Sinar P2. I was very concerned about technique, I approached studio photography, and I got excited discovering photographers who quickly became my idols. I soon realized that there were far too many big photographers; they had made up everything, they had tried everything.
Then, there was a huge gap: I turned into computing, research, academia, little children with whom hauling around SLR gear, three glasses, speedlights, filters... was pretty unfeasible and unavailing. Digital photography bloomed up; everyone got bewildered. How on earth could one decide to invest in some serious digital stuff?
Well over my fifties, after many years without more hobby than swimming to be able to stay on my feet, I decided to buy a second-hand DSLR to improve our lousy family pictures, swearing not to get hooked once again. I didn't want to post pictures; I didn't want to take part in contests -my work is itself a perpetual contest. I was sick and tired of the Universal Deluge of Images, Post-Photography was here. But unavoidably it took over me once again (you might want to read my statement about Post-Photography if you haven't read it yet).
As I see it, photography is all about moment and narrative in the first place, then composition, eventually technique. But the moment is a privilege which requires patience and intuition, and therefore and excepting portraits, alas, I usually end up obsessively trapped in composition and technique. I enjoy shooting anyway, developing and sharing images, taking portraits from my friends. I make pictures for someone to enjoy them hanging on a wall. Otherwise, I'd resort to a cellphone. On the other side, having great gear and a little experience and keeping it just for private use makes me nervous. Therefore, and subject to my time restrictions, I sparingly cover events for the social and athletic organizations I work with. Along with sports photography, I deem event photography is the hardest one. It's always a challenge for me, a technical challenge, a physical and psychological challenge more often than not. But I can seldom refuse when I'm asked to do it!
My family and my work are both a privilege and a pleasure, but they both imply a firm commitment. That makes me feel quite often that every minute I devote to Photography is a minute stolen from my family, my students, my research, despite the fact that I really need some leisure time as everybody does. Yet "Only in our free hours do we seem to have a certain choice" (Erich Fromm, To Have or To Be) and more often than not that's a really tough choice.