Thirty-three years ago today I went to work at my first freelance photo job after finishing college. I remember that day because it was my birthday, I turned twenty, and it was the day that Elvis died, he was forty-two years old. I have never been much of an Elvis fan, but I seem to remember that day in a “where were you when” sort of context.
I was at Bill Ellis’s studio on Edwardia Drive in Greensboro. I printed some black and white fashion photos and shot a picture of some cedar ice-cream makers. After a few days working there, I had a call for a full-time job at Glen Godfrey Communications in Raleigh, that started in September as I recall. A year later and I was back at Alderman’s where I had been an intern, then in 1982 I was off to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 18 months. When I returned to the US, I had so many options, but in October I rented the building that still serves as my work space and started the company that is now known as Mark Wagoner Productions.
Today I went by Bill’s old studio and sat in the parking lot and reflected on all of the experiences and travels of the past 33 years. I have made many great friends and relationships that I cherish. There is not much I would change.