I have a goal...

I have been taking photographs since I was old enough to hold a camera. There are 2 hobbies I've had my entire life: guitar and photography.

I took the "guitar thing" as far as I was capable of. In the early 90's I was in a hard-rock band with 4 other guys and we were pretty damned good. I worked remarkably hard to get there. We played cover tunes and mostly played at sports bars. But we had "a following" and got paid to play at these places.

Now, 45 years after I started taking Polaroid snap shots, I have begun to take photography much more seriously and to work hard at getting better.

The catalyst for this sudden change in effort came after 2 good friends asked me to photograph their wedding.  I was glad to. I took hundreds of pictures and ended up with a handful of good ones. But only one that I am really proud of.

After editing the pictures and feeling very dissatisfied with what I produced, I dumped the point and shoot and got a dSLR. I stumbled across Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup. That book is great. Period. But what's best about buying that book is you gain access to a private Facebook group where peers post pictures and critiques and advice. I feel like I paid for a $10 e-book and hit the photography lottery.

Now 2 more close friends asked me to shoot their upcoming wedding in 3 months.

- So I have a goal -

I am going to continue to improve my photography. I am going to continue to make it a priority in my life. I am going to learn these very technologically advanced devices (My camera has 27 basic auto-focus adjustments, what's so damned automatic about that?) And I am going to learn how to photograph weddings.

My final exam will be in May. The 3 or 4 days surrounding a wedding where families from all over the US will gather for probably the only time. Then the post processing. Then I will face my toughest critic and ask myself "pass or fail". And fail is not an option.