(Photo by Michael Guio)
I had a conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday about the process of learning photography and how appreciative he has been over the last few years of my allowing him to ask me questions, and I've always never had a problem with it because I feel as though he keeps me on my toes with my profession. I also told him that I'm honored he looks at me with photography because I look at photography that I want to emulate for instruction. The above photo Mike took at the very beginning of his photographic career, and it's one of my favorites of his. Really it goes to show that you never know where your inspiration will come from, or where it will take you.
When I was just starting out as a photographer (learning with the goal of being a professional), I only knew two photographers at the time personally, and they were both very inspirational to me. The first was my grandfather who was a recreational photographer and an Electrical Engineer for Inland Steel. He never thought he could make a living out of photography, and so he did a job that is a lot more complex than photography could ever be. The other ironically knew my grandfather in the steel mill. The only difference is that he was the Staff Photographer for the Mill.
(Photo courtesy of Chelsea Leininger)
That photo was taken as part of my senior project while at Purdue under the supervision of Tim Fuller. I shot one of the first two senior projects to have ever been shot digitally. Really the first two projects shot digitally were shot that way without permission. We did it because professionals around the globe were adopting digital, and yet our professor Tim was adamant that film would prevail and would always be better. In the end, he was almost right according to this article.
He is most likely the reason I just short of idolize the work of people like Dave Black, and Joe McNally. The people that strive to make images of moments in real life, look like something you can only imagine.
He was a stick in the mud, hard headed, completely uncompromising when it came to his students quality of work, and I couldn't be where I am today without his inspiration. If I had a nickel for every time he told me to re-shoot something, or that something wasn't sharp enough; I'd easily have a thousand dollars. When I look at works that I don't like, I remember his criticisms towards me, and know that I need to be honest towards any works as that they may reap the benefits of said criticisms as well. Maybe I'm not always as brutally honest as he was, but more people should be. He believed that nothing was an accident, any light in any shot, of any video or still image were all planned. Because of him, I see light the way that I do and I aim for nothing but to shoot things accurately when I shoot them; like Joe McNally, or Dave Black. I am by
Inspiration can come from anywhere. It's the greatest honor of my life that I have been called inspirational by at least even 1 person. Tim Fuller was inspiration to hundreds. He was a Professor, a mentor, a teacher, and a friend. He will be sorely missed by more than a handful of people. May he rest in peace. More Soon.