ViewBug community member geoffcoleimages has one of the most interesting bios you have ever read. He is a photographer, a preacher and a coroner... and his full bio goes on: "I have been a soldier and an ice cream man, a taxi driver, a lab technician, a warehouse worker, a burger flipper, a hypnotist, a carpenter, a teacher, a ditch digger, a restitution officer, an assembly line worker, a probation officer, a pizza delivery man, a court interpreter, a marriage counselor, and a seller of automobiles, furniture and insurance. I am not done living."

What inspired you to be a photographer?
I spent many hours as a child looking at the captivating images in National Geographic and Life magazines. Seeing the work of those great photographers was my inspiration.

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?
I bought my first camera, a used Yashica Electro rangefinder, when I was fifteen years old. I worked most of the summer in a paint factory outside Mexico City at the Mexican minimum wage of four dollars a day. That first camera was a big purchase.

When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it, what are you trying to communicate?
When someone looks at my photos I want them to stop. I want them to linger and look and consider. I want time to stand still for them.

What is it that you love about photography?
It has been said that photography is the marriage of art and science. I love using both sides of my brain in the creative process.

What has photography done for you?
Photography has given me a broader vision of the world and of the human condition. Nothing is commonplace. Just the simple act of framing a shot sets it apart for special consideration.

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?
Life is real and timing is important. I find it hard to pose models or set up a still life. Sometimes I will carry the idea of a shot in my head for months until the season or lighting is right. When the vision matches the image I am very satisfied.

How do you describe your style?
The truth of the moment.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
I would go with a short telephoto zoom that is razor sharp at all focal lengths, edge-to-edge, and wide open. My walk around lens is just that – a Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD. It’s a remarkable piece of glass when adapted to Micro 4/3.

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become photographers?
First tip, shoot at least fifty shots a day, every day and delete them all except the best one or two. Learn something, try something, do something new every day. Second, learn your camera inside and out. Use it and abuse it until you bump up against its limitations before you even consider buying a better one. Third, learn to post-process your images. That’s the other place where the image is made. A digital darkroom is no less important and effective than the old film darkroom where they dodged and burned and cropped their prints.

Have you received negative feedback from your work? What did you do about it?
I was inspired by a high school science teacher in Mexico who was also a great professional photographer, Lazaro Blanco. My friends Dan and David Sharp, and Chris Inman showed me the fundamentals. I am self-taught over the last forty years.

Raw vs jpg and why?
I always shoot RAW for the increased latitude in post-processing, and to keep a RAW file as a digital negative. I have found myself re-processing certain images years later when I need to convert them to black and white, or crop them to a different format.

What do you carry in your camera bag?
I carry two Olympus E-M1 bodies, M. Zuiko 14-150mm superzoom, Zuiko 9-18mm, Zuiko 12-60mm SWD, and a 50-200mm ED SWD. Also a Canon 6D with a Zuiko 55mm f/1.2 and Metabones Speedbooster for night photography. I also pack a small bag full of Rokinon manual primes and another bag full of Zuiko OM legacy prime lenses which I use regularly on Micro 4/3.

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?
Definitely Robert Capa. Nobody did it better. Nobody could stop the clock like him. I have his Magnum print of Picasso with his infant son in the ocean with water dripping off. Capa must have been in the water waist deep with him in order to get the shot. Very intimate and perfect timing.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?
Placing their subject dead center. Yawn.

What is your dream location to shoot?

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?
Sometimes I will scout a location months in advance to be in place when the light and the season is right. Many times I have been out driving and have “seen” the spot and locked up my brakes. Sometimes that perfect spot is right outside my door. Many of my images were made within a mile of my home.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?
Not every picture needs to be taken. It’s the unplanned adventures that I look forward to.

What is your goal with your photography?
I have no goal and I make no statements. Life speaks for itself and I record it. It is the privilege of old men to live in their memories, and I have a box full.