I became a professional, Kansas City photographer at the age of 12. And, as I look back on my remuneration for the photo I sold, I feel slightly ashamed.


On my 12th birthday I was given a Polaroid Swinger camera and a pack of Polaroids. I immediately started blowing through film as if my weekly allowance was negotiable.One of my first shots, with my new birthday gift, was of a trashcan lid I had suspended between two trees with a long wire. It was conceivable that I had just invented a primitive version of Photoshop because…my trashcan lid really looked like I had captured a flying saucer hovering just above my backyard! Holy Smokes!


I sold the flying saucer image to an eager buyer down the street, whose allowance for the week covered the $3 cost of this falsehood. And herein lies my embarrassment about this transaction. I had mislead him regarding the veracity of the product.


I've had business dealings with a number of wonderful folks over the years. When those same folks reflect back on me, my hope is that my business dealings with them have never led them to feel that I've ever sold them a flying saucer.

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