Editor’s Note: #My5Lineups is a new series highlighting 5 of a featured photographer’s favorite lineup shots. The fourth in the series is legendary photographer, Brian Bielmann.
I have been a photographer since 1978. I carried my camera around everywhere I went – it’s something all photographers do when they first start. You start to see everything through the perspective of a lens, and it never changes. The excitement of seeing your first image and name appear in a magazine is difficult to describe. It’s a similar feeling to when I got my first check for a photo. I sold mine for $25 and I thought I had finally made it. All these things kept me motivated to further my accomplishments as a photographer.
My road, however, wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It took a long time to get where I am today. When I started 37 years ago (wow, that long ago?) I made no money. Back then there was no auto focus or auto exposure. Shutter speeds and motor drives were extremely slow. I paddled out with just 36 photos but I was able to get a shot through hard work and perseverance. Most importantly, I loved every minute of it. For the simple fact that I loved what I was doing was the key driver in my success as a photographer. I’m now 57-years-old and I’m still swimming out at Pipeline. Not as fast as I once could, but I’m still out there and I believe my photos are now better than ever.