KEN ROCKWELL’S STORY
When I was a little kid, I kept asking my parents for a camera and finally, at the age of five,
I got one from them. It was my grandfather’s old camera which was kept in the attic of our New
York house. I experimented with it a lot, pointing it at everything around me. I had a lot of fun
photographing the cloudless sky, the mess in my room and insects in the garden. By the age
of nine I’d read every book about photography at my local library and I was much more
interested in taking pictures than riding a bicycle or playing football.
When I was eighteen, I moved from New York to San Diego to attend the best available
university program in photography. This part of California is famous for its mountains, deserts,
cliffs and beaches popular with surfers. I spent most of my leisure time taking pictures and
improving my technique. I also made friends with local photographers and met a lot of
I was twenty when I got my first permanent job. I started to work as a photographer and photo
editor at one of the top newspapers in California. At first, I was worried that I would not be able
to manage it but I loved what I did and it turned out easier than I’d expected. The money was
good and I got to enjoy some great employment benefits. I was paid much because my
photographs were getting more and more popular. Private collectors were buying my works
and galleries were showing my photographs in different parts of the country.
I started my own website to show my photos and share some personal notes about taking
professional pictures. Soon many people got interested and started to visit it. I guess it is so
popular because it’s fairly independent. I generally do not publish adverts. It makes my website
different from other commercial websites about photography, which are usually packed with
advertisements. I’ve never done anything to promote my site other than adding my
photographs to it and writing about the techniques I use to take my photos. Search engines
show that over the years I’ve become the world’s most influential and trusted photographer.
Even the world’s largest printed photography magazine has fewer readers than my website.
Some time ago I returned with my family to New York. I couldn’t stop thinking about the place
where I was born and lived before moving to California. My best memories are from here.
Besides, it is the perfect place for me from a professional point of view. The best camera
makers have always had their agencies on Long Island, the world’s best camera stores are
here and New York is also the home of the biggest press offices. I really felt great to be back
in New York! This city makes much more sense as a place for me to work and do what
I’m passionate about.
adapted from www.kenrockwell.com