I think the most rewarding part about being a photographer is when after a photoshoot, the model looks at their photos and squee's "That's me!"
My journey started in 2001 when my parents gave me a Minolta SLR. I forget which brand it was, but it was grey and awesome. I took it everywhere, did a ton of shoots with my friends and quickly realized how expensive it was get the pictures developed.
In 2005 I made the switch to digital with the Canon 20D. I was still very much an enthusiast, but my work was getting better as I could quickly see what the finished product was and I could take more images without having to run to the store to get them developed.
I was always taking my friends out for mini photoshoots, and pestering them to pose.
It wasn't till 2011 that I found my niche. I rented some mono lights from the local camera shop and loved the lighting control they provided. Soon afterwards I built my first studio, invested in my own lights and modifiers and have slowly been growing my collection since then.
While randomly at the Hyatt Regency, I stumbled across A-Kon and discovered cosplay. The cosplayers there put so much work into their craft and the costumes were so unique that I couldn't help but wanting to get more involved. Plus, I'd get to do shoots of some of my favorite fandoms. (Final Fantasy, Doctor Who, Disney mashups)
While working with cosplayers both at conventions and in the studio, I focused more on posing and lighting. Honing my skill set in order to best capture the character. A cosplayer may know how their character looks and practice in a mirror to get everything right, but there still might need to be minor adjustments made for the camera. I also worked on being able to give posing direction and to this day it is still one of main areas of continuous study.
I've had some pretty amazing adventures over the years, and have the pictures to prove it. Through it all, it is the pictures of mine that you share, that makes me love photography.