I was first introduced to photography in High School, by process of elimination. There were few electives I could chose from and Photography sounded a heck of a lot better than making pillows and sewing.
For the class, I needed a SLR camera. I started off using a Pentax SLR and a couple of lenses my grandfather owned when he was younger. He wasn't using them anymore and had no problem giving them to me. I don't remember much about them other than they were really old, and very used. The class taught me the basics of composition and developing black and white film in a dark room. I enjoyed the class and I wish I could say the rest was history, but it wasn't. After the class, I didn't really have the money to buy and develop film, so my future-to-be hobby got put on hold for a few years. About 10, to be more precise.
Once out of college, I got a job making good money. To shorten this "About Me" page, let's just say my passion has always been the weather (Meteorology was what I first started off studying while in college). When I moved to North Carolina, I saw something I rarely saw living on the beach in Southern California; thunderstorms. This is where weather and photography collided. I wanted to take picture of lightning.
My first photography related purchase was a Canon EOS SLR with an EF 28mm-135mm lens, and over the next few years a ton of money went into slide film (Provia 100) and developing costs. It wasn't uncommon to get only one shot on a 36 exposure roll of Provia 100, or sometimes none at all. I did this for about 5 years. Then digital SLRs came into the picture and everything changed.
I sold my Canon SLR film camera and bought the Canon Rebel XTi (450D). This is when things really got fun for me. Lightning photography was much simpler and way less expensive. After moving to Colorado, I really started to enjoy landscape photography as well. Photography is now my #1 hobby.
Over the next few years, I upgraded my camera to the Canon 6D (full-frame) and bought the Canon 16mm-35mm F2.8L USM lens. This lens is almost always attached to my camera, unless I'm doing macro stuff, in which case I use my Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro.
Photography is just a hobby of mine. I don't make a living at it, but some day it might be nice to do so. I did however get paid for a photograph that got published in People Magazine. I shot a wedding for a family friend's niece, both of whom work at REI. People magazine was doing an article on "company's that care". Their story was the one published for REI and they used one of my photographs from the wedding (see top of this page).