Hi folks, and welcome to my very first blog entry on the entire interwebs, ever!
So first off, I guess I should introduce myself... I'm Scott, also known as MetalWarlokk in some circles (or more often, "That Warlock dude with the camera!"), founder and photographer for MetalWarlokk Photography and Altered Ego Images. I've been taking pictures off and on since about 1993, when I discovered black & white film photography during my final year of college while earning my BA in Fine Arts at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. I had spent the previous 3 years learning drawing, painting and sculpture, which I enjoyed, but to be perfectly honest I really just wasn't all that great at, in my opinion. In my last year I decided to try photography, and I fell completely in love with it... the shooting, the lighting, the processing, hours in the darkroom playing with toxic chemicals, trying to get an image just right. It really just clicked for me, it had the creative element I needed, but also the technical aspects that seemed to suit me as well. I spent 2 semesters with a great professor, and I learned a lot... I just wished I had tried it sooner.
Unfortunately after college, like many people, I was broke. Photography is an expensive hobby, and it was even more so back then before digital, since you had to spend a fortune on film, needed an actual lab and darkroom with equipment and chemicals to process your own stuff, or pay someone else develop it for you and lose all control over the creative process. So, while I still had my old Minolta, I very rarely used it and pretty much gave up photography for a long, long time.
So, being a broke college graduate with a degree in Art, I did what any analytically-minded creative type would do in the mid-90's... I turned to computers. Starting off it was the PC gaming industry and computer graphics, and eventually the more technical side of things. I became fully enveloped in the PC world, and spent a lot of time learning how to use and maintain computers, which eventually led to a career in IT which has lasted over 15 years.
Then, back in 2008, something strange happened. I was going through a bit of a life crisis after the ending of a long relationship, and a good friend of mine suggested I check out some local bands playing in town. I hadn't been to a concert in years, and had never checked out the local music scene in Charlotte up to that point, despite having lived there for several years. I had always been a music lover though, so I gave it a shot... and I was hooked. The music, the lights, the people, all of it completely entranced me. I started going to shows all the time, meeting bands and musicians, and became very good friends with several of them. One tax return season, I decided to pick up a new digital camera and start taking pictures of the bands that were playing... I wanted to give something back to the scene that had quite literally changed my life. I got a very inexpensive Panasonic Lumix super-zoom, and I started taking live band pics, and MetalWarlokk Photography was born and things have never been the same since.
Now, after spending the last 4 years or so shooting mostly bands on stage, I've decided it's time to try something new. I remembered how much I enjoyed playing around in the studio in college, messing about with lighting and models and trying to create something of my own, rather than just capturing what was happening in front of me. I picked up some basic studio lighting equipment, tried a few band promo shoots in my garage with some good friends, and started working to become a studio and portrait photographer. While I know I will spend the rest of my life learning and perfecting this new craft, I at last feel like I am doing something that is important to me, and makes me feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment I have not had from working in computers for a really long time.
Altered Ego Images is a giant step for me... it's a brand new creative endeavor, but it is also my first step into the business world. It's going to be a difficult transition, but I hope it will be a successful one in time. I've still got my day job, so my hours may be somewhat limited, but with patience and perseverance, perhaps one day I can make a living making awesome photographs of amazing people, being exactly who they want to be in front of my lens.
That's what Altered Ego Images is really about, taking pictures of people being whoever they want to be. Because that will let me be who I want to be... your photographer. Won't you join me on this new adventure?