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Gus Woltmann’s Story

Gus Woltmann

I was only five years old when I first held a camera in my hands. Because before then who would give a toddler a camera? I remember the moment crisp and clear. Truth be told, I did not have the faintest idea on how to use it at first! A camera seemed like any other gadget which my dad had and it made absolutely no sense to me, which is now even a bit embarrassing to admit. It was not quite an eureka moment, and I did not say 'I can trade my pencils to this new cool thing' right away. Thankfully my father, an avid photographer who was set on leaving no one's actions go unrecorded, was there to help me get started in what to me was just a small, intriguing device.

To this day I count that as the beginning of my career – the birth of Gus Woltmann Photography. I took a couple of pictures as soon as I learned how to press the button, but for many days, months and even years the photos I took would still come out a little blurred, a little shaky, a

little awkward or plainly boring, I was a child after all. However, after getting a taste of photography I was not going to let that stop me. I felt as if the little box had lit an enormous fire within me, which my parents won-dered if it would last with me until I died – and I honestly believe it will. But if the dead can take pictures, I already know how I will spend eternity.

Taking photos had become my main hobby, and I loved taking unique pictures – although most people would probably agree their uniqueness was rather questionable back then. A question you should ask yourself is: what makes a picture unique? Many people do not appreciate photography as an art, and think that it is all a plain click and nothing else. They never consider the long journey a photographer must go through and how many shots have to be taken to achieve the perfect photo. The more I grew up, the more I was impressed by the work of photography veterans. Everything about it amazed me, but what stuck to me the most was how they managed to get excellent results with just about every click (we never see the out takes of course, no one wants to show a bad draft). Truth be told I came to be quite competitive about it, and set out on a quest to do better than the professionals I looked up to. I wanted my own pictures to stir the same reaction as theirs did, and hear the same words from the audiences. A 'photography star', so to say.

Being competitive drove me through my teenage years. I had no problem going out of my comfort zone if needed – no effort was too much to reach the top. As I was barely 15, I needed guidance of course, and the choice of mentor was obvious: my father, one of those great masters for me, a true photography veteran with all the years on his back seen through a camera lens. The man who taught me how to work a camera took me to the next level, and also helped me link up with the professionals I looked up to so much. I was ready to go any lengths to grab even the tiniest speck of their talent. When I put the lessons they passed onto me into my camera work, every click was a little and sometimes a lot better than the previous one. Now, I had my camera, I had better knowledge, and was on a path that made me grab and grow with each step forward. I had started loving adventure as I started to visit new cities to capture the most of this beautiful and bewitching world. My urge to explore new places was my motivation along with everything I saw in daily life. This desire took me only a little ahead every time I picked up my camera. With time, it became so strong that I could not think of anything else other than photography as a career choice.

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