Hi, my name is Rob Young, and I have a passion for many types of photography. While I do not consider myself a “professional” photographer, I have a pretty good eye, some decent equipment and a love for trying to capture those special moments in time that we all have and wish we could save forever.
My Journey From Then to Now
I was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin, some time ago, and spent the first 21 years of my life living in the suburb of Wauwatosa. That is also where my love for photography first started. For a while I just knew that I wanted to be a professional photographer, even though I was working on an electronics degree at a local technical college. I went to work at a large department store as the assistant manager of their camera department, and started buying some real camera equipment. After that, I moved on to work at two different large camera stores in Milwaukee, bought more equipment, started gathering contacts in the photo industry, and even set up a pretty nice darkroom in my basement. I got a few jobs here and there processing custom prints for some companies, and also freelanced for a local studio doing weddings.
It wasn’t too long before I discovered two things. One, my desire for buying more equipment and supplies was far exceeding my ability to pay for it using my photography income. And two, once photography became a ‘job’, it made it a whole lot less fun.
So, back to plan A with my electronics career. After much deliberation and counseling I ended up joining the US Air Force, and took up avionics navigational equipment repair on B-52 bombers and KC-135 tankers. I highly recommend the military for anyone, but especially for those who are not quite sure what to do with their lives, and want to learn a career while serving their country. As it turned out, long term military life was not my thing, but it gave me the opportunity to become an electronics expert, and so when I exited I had four good job offers waiting and landed a premium job with one of the major computer companies in Shreveport, Louisiana. After several years with them, I struck out on my own and my wife and I started our own computer sales and service company, at the time when personal computers first started becoming affordable in the mid 80’s. We did a lot of sales, but were really strong in service and networking, and I apparently impressed our largest customer, because they offered me a job running their IT department, making about three times what I was making with the store. Hard to say no, and so I didn’t. And that company is who I worked for in various roles for the next twenty five years.
As for photography, while I hadn’t made a dime with it it many years, it was still a major interest in my life. Having a real job that paid well allowed my to keep buying the equipment I loved, and taking more and more photos. While I started with film, both 35mm and medium format, when digital came out it absolutely blew me away. I just could not get enough.
In 1999 I was able to buy my first Digital SLR , the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-D700. This had a 5x zoom, full SLR-TTL viewfinder, a whopping 1.5Megapixel CCD and all the manual controls you’d expect to find on a true SLR. This was a very cool camera to have and use in 1999, but with a $1699 price tag, it was quite a stretch on the budget.
Check out My Gear page for a more complete list of cameras and equipment, past and present.
Where Am I Now
My current home base is Midland, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, but since I retired I travel a lot, so you may find me just about anywhere…