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A Photographer's Journey

Sometimes the Path Chooses You

Commercial Work

I started professional photography doing commercial work. I was doing things like weddings, real estate, product shoots and portraitures. I enjoyed it and it kept me moving. I learned a lot about the technical aspects of photography in this period. I learned about lights and lighting, aperture and depth of field, the rules of composition, and a few other useful things. One of the most important things I learned was how to immediately identify losers and delete them. You can't spend a lot of time trying to rescue broken images when you have a delivery due.    

Calendar Project 

At one point, I thought it might be a good idea to make a calendar of photographs for my clients. You know, like a big business card. Living in Santa Cruz, there were plenty amazing landscapes around, so I decided this would be the focus of my calendar. So, I got busy shooting.

Shifting Sands

I built up a small collection of what I thought might be calendar worthy shots and starting showing them to folks asking if they thought it would make a good calendar. To my surprise, several of them wanted to know if they could buy them as wall art. And, they wanted them fairly large, like  30" x 45". I told them "no problemo" and I printed them up. 

The first print I sold was a 30" x 45" Metal Print of "Sunrise on the Boardwalk."

Sunrise on the Boardwalk, Metal Print - Santa Cruz, CA

 Fine Art Photography

A few years later, I realized I was a fine art photographer. I wasn't doing commercial work at all any more. Occasionally, I still pull out my lights and set up for a studio shoot, just for fun. But, fine art prints has taken over. The truth is, I like it this way. Commercial work was fun, but it is a service and you don't really have anything of your own to show for it, after the fact. With fine art I get to keep building my little collection, while looking for more beauty to record.

The Calendar

I never did make that calendar. Maybe some day, I will. Or, perhaps I will throw some images into coffee book and call it "The Landscapes of Santa Cruz", or something like that. What do you think?        

Greg Milligan
Photographer & Owner
Santa Cruz Art Prints

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