SmugMug Corner #101: Bill Pador

It may be a little later than normal (though it is still Friday on the west coast), ;) the SmugMug Corner this week features retired police officer turned photographer, Bill Pador. We've got over a dozen photos, and a great interview. Enjoy!

Name: Bill Pador

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a retired/disabled police officer with 16 years of service before becoming disabled after several serious injuries in the line of duty including a career ending spinal injury. Of all the awards I've received I'm most proud of the 'Purple Heart' from the American Police Hall of Fame, 'Wounded in Combat Award' and my life's proudest achievement - The Class 'A' "Police Medal of Honor." That was in my crazy days, now I make people smile with my photography and art which couldn't make me happier (or safer). LOL!

What is your background/training in photography?

I'm what I would call a MUTT trained photographer, 65% self trained, 20% formal/professional instruction and the rest is split up between books, magazines and online courses. I still study new shooting and post processing techniques almost daily to stay sharp and up to date.

How long has photography been a passion for you? When, where and how did it start?

The 'Passion' started at age 12 when I picked up my parents old Polaroid out of the closet one day. There was a fresh pack of film loaded so I took some shots of my back yard and flowers and got hooked INSTANTLY when I peeled the backing off and saw what I had created. I have been shooting for over 34 years since that day and can't remember a time that photography wasn't an important part of my life.

What equipment is in your camera bag? What piece of equipment will be added to the collection next?

I presently shoot a Nikon D300 as my work horse and is IMO one of the best all around cameras for the price on the market. It certainly has all the features a pro needs without going over board on price. My glass collection is packed mostly with Nikkor lenses like the 50mm f/1.4, 10mm Fisheye, 18-200 VR etc. But I also have several Tamron pieces I also love including 1 of my favorites the 90mm Macro (awesome) and the 17-50mm VR. I'm also a big fan of wireless flash with 6 Pocket Wizards for my SB-900's - 800 and 600 flash units. Manfrotto Tri and Bi pods are always present as well. Next toy will be maybe a Nikkor 400mm.

What are your favorite places/subjects to photograph? Why?

When I'm shooting for "ME" I just can't get enough of the outdoors, making images from anything nature produces always excites me but I also enjoy man made objects like old buildings, bridges and vehicles. I don't like STAGED images unless there is a meaning behind it (i.e. formal wedding shots, products etc). I like naturally occurring scenes that can be appreciated by all who view it.

Who are your biggest photographic influences? Why? What about their work influences your work?

There are so many really but overall I would say early on 'Ansel Adams' landscape work was a big influence in my eyes as a kid because of the way it made you say WOW! My modern day hero is without a doubt 'Joe McNally'! I have studied everything Joe puts out because IMO he is a 'Lighting Genius' and if there is one singular skill that has helped my work stand out from the crowd is creative lighting and Joe is simply the BEST in my book! My dream is to meet Joe McNally in person someday to thank him for sharing his skills and bringing my art to a much higher level and maybe watching him do a live shoot - how cool would that be!!!

How long have you been Smug with your photographs? What features do you most enjoy with your SmugMug account?

I've been with SmugMug for about 4 years I guess. I started with a basic page but went PRO soon after I learned how easy and fast it was to set up my business presents online with it. I can't say enough good things about SmugMug really - they have always treated me like a king and my business always runs like a clock.

If you had do sum up in 50 words or less the impact SmugMug has made on your photography/photography business, those 50 words would be...

SmugMug has been an important part of my business because it made my name and art known 'world wide" - a place where my clients see their images quickly allowing them to get prints, download or show their friends anywhere in the world. The 'impact' has been 100% positive not only generating tons of business but tons of friends and fans all over the globe!

If you had to give one piece of advice to those wanting to pursue photography, what would you tell them?

Photography has been much more then a life long hobby or job for me, it changed my life during some hard times (and continues to this day) and I owe it a lot. It's an art form that keeps giving long after the image is made - "Remember Dreams DO Come True."

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Sat, 2011–08–13 00:36
Categories: SmugMug Corner