Wayne Miller Photography Cr.Photog. CPP CPP Liaison - Conceptual Photographer
All my life I have been very competitive. Not because I want to beat the other person but to better myself. I have always pushed myself in things that I wanted to learn and excel.
Now that wasn't the way I felt in school. I was just an average student with average grades, almost failing the classes that I had little or no interest. I think English was my worst and shop classes my best. Wood shop, metal shop, and of course Auto Shop was my favorite.
I also owned my own steel fabrication business for almost 20 years and closed it in the 1990 recession. At the peak of the business I had 25 employees (children) with a love/hate relationship with the construction business. I have three of my best customer file for bankruptcy and they owed me a bunch.
I am still a self proclaimed "Gear Head" today and I have completed ground up restorations on: 1961 MGA 1600 Roadster, 1962 BSA A10 Super Rocker and 1948 Indian Chief Motorcycles. Not only did I do all the work myself except bodywork, paint. upholstery then I also read and studied the history of each one. I have entered several Concours D'Elegance and won several 1st place trophy for each vehicle.
Sports in school I well "sucked at" so I became a late bloomer. I started working out at the gym in my twenties and have been at it 3-6 days a week for over 35 years. I also took up snow skiing about the same time and started racing with a singles club "Rusty Bindings". I advanced from beginner (E-Class) to expert after a few year and finished 2nd place in the A-class for men. I also started waterskiing around the same time and worked my way up into doing timed slalom course runs which I liked but never competed in any real events. I have owned several boats and water skied up until my 50th birthday
On my 50th birthday I learned to barefoot water ski and was hooked. I sold my old boat and bought a 1998 Sanger Barefooter Tournament Ski Boat. Skiing at 45mph on your bare feet takes either guts or stupidity but I think it takes ball. I learned to ski backwards, one foots, tumble turns, and one foot wake crossings. I entered my first tournament for beginners and came in second in my class. I was beaten by an 18 yo kid.... I barefooted for 15 years and after dislocating my right shoulder 6 times, and numerous other injuries, decided to retire and sold my boat.
About the time I sold my boat I was re-interested in photography. I started with film back in the 60's and lost interest after my ex-brother in-law burned all the family stuff and my photos because of an argument with my sister. I was in England for a year when I heard about it....
I joined two local camera clubs with my new found hobby and my new Nikon D100 6-megapixle camera around 2000. They had image competition every meeting so I was in 2-3 image competitions a month and hooked. Starting out as a beginner and working my way up in a few years to the Masters Class, After winning that class for two years and making a bunch of friends I left. I then joined NCPP Northern California Professional Photographers and they have monthly meeting with professional speakers and image competition.
I will always remember my first time at NCPP image competition my two images we tossed into the below 70 crap pile.... What an eye opener after being from Masters Class in camera club.
I also joined PPA Professional Photographers of America shortly after and went after my CPP Certified Professional Photographer degree. I p[assed the written test and score a 82 out of 100 questions, Then I had to submit 20 of my images for the images submission part of the certification. Well folks as luck wouldn't have it PPA rejected my images....heart broke again.
Another wakeup call make your images better and I did get my CPP on the second attempt, plus I submitted 10 more image and got a Portrait Specialty Endorsement. I also entered PPA IPC International Print Competition (each year over 8,000 images are submitted) and will receive my Master of Photographer degree in Jan 2015. It takes 13 merited images and 12 service merits for the degree. I received my Craftsman of Photographer two years ago for teaching and speaking. Also along the way I was named NCPP Photographer of the Year for 2009, 20010, 2011.
During all of the about I also joined the Blue Lodge Masons, Shrine and Shrine Clowns.
Some of the organizations that I am or been part of:
PPA - Cr.Photog. CPP CPP Liaison
PPGBA-Professional Photographers of the Greater Bay Area - Current Board Member
NCPP-Northern California Professional Photographer - Past President and Webmaster
CCCC-Contra Costa Camera Club -Pleasant Hill, CA- Past President
Rusty Bindings Ski Club -Walnut Creek, CA-Past V. President
Aahmes Shrine Clowns-Livermore, CA- Past President
Bragging rights maybe, but my point is 'Never, ever, ever, ever surrender"