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Johnny McTaggart

Well, for the better part of a dozen years I was an award-winning sports columnist. I was young, confident, and on the fast-track in my profession. However, in Nov. of 2005 I lost my job. I was okay with that though. I really thought my skills would land me at a bigger and better location, with more prestige, more exposure, more money.

Months went by and nothing happened. Then, those months turned into a year, and then another year, and another. Before I knew it, I had been out of work for more than five years. Nothing was working out. I went on a few interviews, freelanced for a few publications, but nothing I could hang my hat on, nor pay my bills with month after month.

Believe me, I tried. I sent out, at last count, over 900 resumes to jobs ranging from writer to car wash clerk. The economy, coupled with tough luck, and something I still can’t put my finger on, got me too many “no thanks,” to mention.

Needless to say, my confidence withered away, I sunk into a deep depression, and really felt myself losing hope. In fact, if it weren’t for my dogs (which are the loves of my life) I might have checked out. It’s a lonely place, depression is, but I always felt the dogs needed me.

In January of 2011, however, I landed a steady freelance job for Patch.com in my area. To really secure the job, however, I had to shoot the games I covered. I really had no experience at all, although I told my bosses I had some experience with photography. I had a class in middle school, and I did really enjoy it, then, but nothing since. I hated to lie, but I really needed the money. Believe me, there is no worse feeling than not being able to provide for your family. Anyhow, I went out and bought the best camera I could afford (and one that let me make payments – thank you QVC) a Pentax K-r, and went to my first assignment camera-in-tow.

I fell in love with it from the very first frame. Every aspect of shooting – the creative, the mechanical- all of it. It was like coming home to me. I shot as much as I could, as often as I could. I watched video after video on froknowsphoto.com (thank you, Jared Polin), and really started to learn the camera and get some solid skills. I also discovered at that time that I had a real knack for emotionally charged composition and getting the right shot at the right time.

That said, I decided to dive in, head first, and really make a go at being a professional photographer. I know I could use some better equipment. I know I can use lots more experience and practice. But, I’ll get there. As long as I have this passion. I’ll get there.

I started this site not only to help people with their own photography, but also to share my story, my journey, my path in this profession. I started this site to let people know it’s not too late to change your life, to be happy, to find your passion and live it. I started this site because when I picked up that camera, pressed it to my eye, clicked the shutter and made my first real image…I felt my depression fade, my hope rise, and I knew I had a future, even if I’m still not sure where it will lead me or how far I can go with it. I didn’t feel like a loser anymore. I learned, the path will often reveal itself as you go along.

I’m hoping this site will help others find hope, find hapiness, find their passion. I’m going to try my best to make that happen. Promise.

Thanks,

Johnny

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  • MI, United States