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NoBS Member of the Month/Photo of the Month: Tommy Cooper

You all know him as T COOP on the board, but you can now call Tommy Cooper NoBS' October Member of the Month. Here in his own words is how he got into photography and what he has been up to lately:

"I got hooked on photography back in the 80's when my mom gave me a Minolta X-370 for Christmas in my late teens, I burned up so much film in that camera I wished there was digital back then. I kept a subscription to Popular Photography for years, I did not know of any other place to learn about photography. It was not much of a class in high school for either.

After a year or so of trial and error after error, I was getting nice results. I asked some family friends if I could take pictures at their son's wedding. They agreed, but I had to stay out of the pro's way. No problem I just stayed back and captured other stuff, the "candids." And that is what they purchased from me.

So I shot a few more weddings, got paid for them and within a year, they all ended in divorce. Well I don't know if this is my cup of tea. So trade school it was and I have been in the technology field ever since, about 21 years now.

I joined NoBs in the middle of 2007; I checked out the site and liked what I saw. I said to myself "If I don't like if after a while, I can just quit." Well, I am still here and I love the family that surrounds me. Since joining NoBs I have been doing sports, T&I pretty solid.

I started out with one basketball league in my home town, and now I am doing basketball leagues for the whole county, along with the baseball leagues, county soccer leagues, and dance schools. In between T&I that takes up all most all the weekends from January to April, I have been boosting my numbers in weddings in the past year and referrals from past weddings are coming in. Plus, for the past 2 years of shooting weddings, no divorces yet. "Fingers are crossed."

Senior numbers have been climbing. All this is from word of mouth over the past three years and it's getting stronger. My goal is to go full time in four to five years; its work, but it is fun work to me and I like what I am doing with it. I am getting there. I keep heading for the light at the end of the tunnel to go full time, I can feel it and it is getting close.

I have also started taking on contract work for AT&T/YellowBook to photograph virtual tours for business in central TX.

Plus it was a great month for contests. I finally entered some images to WPPI's First Half 8x10 comp and came out with one of my images scoring an 81 for an Accolade of Excellence.

Now, what got me here and what keeps this drive? "NoBs!!!" hands down. Newbies just getting here and starting out not knowing what your camera can do. Do this: learn your camera and what all those dials and buttons do. Take pictures of friends "family maybe not so much" post them up on here, get some feed back and take some more pictures. Always post, post, post. It's how you learn on here. Talk to these members, make friends, they can last a life time. Go to classes, go to an Inferno. Last two Infernos I attended "ROCKED". But always have fun at what you are doing, if its not fun it just another job.

I know this is a bio thing, but I have to do a shout out, if this makes it in the newsletter. Jason, thank you. You are a brother to me. Tammy and Chasity my step sisters. Neil my T&I Godfather, you have changed my life sir. Mike, Andy, Steve & Shelly, Julie L "Cal Gal", "Hell my Inferno family" you know who you are, and Lamar. Inferno sets the fire within... And last but not least Rob & James, this would have never happened if it were not for you two. I would have never met such talent or have traveled to the places I have traveled. Thank you NoBs.

Tommy Cooper

About the Photo of the Month

My winning image is of a senior guy from my home town that has been dying to come out and try some cool stuff. It was shot on a black background, one strip light kicker camera left, 5' octagon camera right, used different layers for eye color, skin, and such along with a little topaz. Shot with canon 5DMKII set to RAW and pocket wizards.

More of Tommy's Photos

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