I have served on the Denison ISD Board of Trustees since 2008 and currently serves as the board president. Previously to being on the school board, I served as an elder for six years at Sherman Bible Church and led several short-term mission trips into Mexico. My wife, Kathy, and I have been married since 1986 and have two daughters who have both graduated in the top ten of their classes at Denison High School. We also have three granddaughters and one grandson on the way. My younger brother, David, also graduated from Denison High School as Valedictorian in 1985. Both my wife and daughter, Chelsea, work for Texas school districts. Besides photography, I am the owner of RLS Structural Services, LLC which provides engineering services to the fabricated steel construction industry. I also founded Steel-Link.com in 1998 which is an online community for the steel industry and is still very popular today.
I'm also a proud member of the following organizations: Professional Photographers of America, Denison Chamber of Commerce, Denison Education Foundation, Denison Performing Arts, Sherman Art League, Life Loyal Sig of Sigma Chi Fraternity, American Institute of Steel Construction, National Institute of Steel Detailing and American Welding Society.
About My Photography
I first picked up a camera as a child. I believe that it was a black and white Polaroid instant camera. You can see one of my earliest photos from that camera below. It's of my grandparents at their house in Bixby, OK. From there I graduated to a Kodak Instamatic film which used cartridge-based film format called 110. In my junior year at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas I decided to take my first photography class. My parents got me my first "real" camera (shown below) which was a Miranda 35mm film Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with an interchangeable lens. This was all way before digital photography was common. All film and print processing was performed by hand in what was called a darkroom. My senior year I was lucky to chosen as one of the few staff photographers for the school newspaper and yearbook. During that time I took literally hundreds of photos.
I then attended East Texas State University (now Texas A&M - Commerce) with major in Photography and minor in Computer Science. I remember one of my photograhy instructors telling us that we were doing well to get one single good image out of a 36 exposure roll of film. "Shoot as much as you can afford" he stated. Back then film and photo chemicals were expensive, especially for a starving college student, so I rarely got any great images. I simply tried to make every shot count and moved on to other assignments. It was during college that I also got to experiment with medium and large format photography.
I never went into the field of professional photography, but instead decided to follow my fathers footsteps and entered the steel construction industry. However, I kept photography as a hobby - off and on throught the years. It has only been in the past couple of years that I have begun taking it more seriously. I guess getting my daughters through college and married has given me more time to enjoy my love of photography and travel. With the advent of digital photography and the inexpensive costs of digital memory cards, I can now afford to shoot hundreds of images. If I am lucky I can get a great photo every once in awhile.
Digital photography has made it affordable for just about everyone these days. Memory cards are cheap and processing isn't required anymore. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start shooting!