My name is Spencer Pullen and I live in sunny Southwest Florida. I have lived in the area for about 30 years. This is truly a different climate from what I moved from in upstate New York. I had to trade in my snow blower for sunscreen. Living in Florida is great during the winter however; the summers can be brutal with temperatures in the 100+ and the high humidity. I used to stay indoors during the winter, now I stay indoors during the summer!
I’m an entrepreneur and photographer. When I was in high school, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I took a few computer programming classes and they were OK, but they didn’t give me the “wow” factor. One of my classmates told me about a new class that the school was putting together. The class was called Emergent Computer Technology. It is now known as Desktop Publishing. After the first two weeks, I knew this was what I wanted to do for a career. I learned as much as I could and also did a private internship over the summer. In my senior year of high school I was helping teach others on how to use different computer applications. After high school, I attended a private college that specialized in this type of degree. In college, I worked on a variety of medias including, print, web, TV and radio just to name a few. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Interactive Media and Graphic Design.
At the time, I was working for a local newspaper. I worked in many different departments during my employment there. I started as an “Inposition” person. It was my job to make sure that the pages of the newspaper were in the correct order and sent them to the pre-press department for output. During my time there, my duties began to grow. I eventually started doing graphics for the sales and editorial departments as well as processing photos that came in. Also, during this time I was working on quality control with the press department. It came to my attention that many of the employees were having trouble with getting what was on their screen to match what was coming out of the press. This is where I started teaching. I held classes for the employees and made notebooks for them to use back in their departments.
This in effect created another opportunity. Back in 1990 when this new format called “PDF” was being developed, I could see where this would be invaluable to our commercial printing clients. At this point, my primary job at the paper was to help train our clients to submit their jobs as PDFs so we didn’t have to reassemble the jobs on the other end. This lead to an Acrobat PDF handbook that I produced for the newspaper commercial clients. Also, during this time I started to photograph real estate for the company’s real estate magazine.
I had the opportunity to advance to a new company that was going to be printing custom items such as, magazines, business cars, pocket folders and flyers. This company was cutting edge as it was one of the first to have Direct To Plate (DTP) in the area. I was a pre-press manager there for five years. Part of my job was to photograph products and places for clients marketing material. I had a chance to come back to my hometown and work for an smaller print shop.
Again, with this smaller print company I was the pre-press manager/graphic designer/photographer. They had brought me in to help raise the quality of the product that they were producing. I spent almost three years there until I went to work one day to find that my job was no longer needed. This was a result of the “crash” of 2007. In reality, this was the best thing that could of happened.
I was at the fork in the road of life. Do I go to a major metropolitan city and hope I could find something or try starting my own company? After much thought, I decided to throw the dice and see what would happen if I started my own company. During the first two years, I offered print material, promotional products, wide format printing, photography and training.
Currently, I’m offering photo training and fine art prints. This has proven to be a great combination. I love photography and teaching others what I know. I offer private and classroom style classes. Currently, I’m teaching at most of the art centers and cultural centers in the Southwest Florida area. Some of the classes that I offer are HDR, lighting, camera basics, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop CC, Lightroom and Mac products just to name a few. This has truly been a rewarding career.
I decided to try something different. I made the plunge and purchased a large format field film camera. These types of cameras were used by some of the most famous photographers in our nations past. Currently, I’m using 8×10 black and white film, I also develop and process my own negatives. This gives me total control over the final print and how it is presented to the viewer. The hands on process of loading the film, composing the scene, taking the photograph, developing the film and then creating the print, gives me a deeper appreciation of every photo I take. I have to say that I don’t miss digital. It’s great to hold a 40×50 print in your hand!
I hope that you enjoy your visit here and learn something along the way. If you have any questions or comments, please head over to the “Contact Us” menu. I appreciate you taking the time to visit.
I get this question a lot, “Are you for hire?” The answer is YES! If I might be of service to you, please don’t hesitate to use the “Contact Me” menu. If you need any kind of photographic or training services, I would be happy to assist.
Until next time….
Keep Your Glass Clean