HOW IT BEGAN
I was directing an international outdoor leadership camp in Switzerland in 2009. It was my first time in Switzerland and literally everywhere I looked I saw beauty. I only had Canon point and shoot with me that summer. I maxed out all of the settings in that camera and at the end of the summer I made a commitment to myself that the next year, I would return with a proper camera in order to photograph that place the way it deserved to be photographed.
In the fall of that year I bought my buddies dad's old DSLR and began to learn how to use it. I spent endless hours reading blogs, watching videos, bugging anyone who knew anything about photography and played around with the camera, trying to figure out how to use it. I knew nothing of how to shoot, but I knew I liked it.
I shot anything and everything, friends, family, nature, inanimate objects, whatever I could, it all allowed me to practice what I was learning from all of my research. Eventually, my friends and family grew tired of my constantly having the camera in their face, so I created a Facebook page called JB (Jeff Birrell) Free Photography. Anybody who wanted photos, got them, and they got them for free. It allowed me to photograph things I hadn't yet done. Each photoshoot gave me an opportunity to research and study and learn more about photography, how to photograph and edit things like produce, babies, couples, families, animals, farms, anything! I quickly learned what I enjoyed photographing and what I didn't enjoy. For the most part, people got some half decent pictures at no cost, while I gained experience and confidence in my craft.
That is how JB Photography came to be. My passion of working outdoors and with kids sprouted a new passion of photography.
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I would never have considered myself an artist until I started taking photographs. For me photography created a way of expressing myself and connecting with others that previously didn't exist.