My name is Jonas Ogrefoln.
The short version:
I started photography in 2013 with a broken camera. I spent 5 months alone in the Grand Tetons - Bought a new camera. - Lived 2 years mostly alone on Knight Island, AK - Since then I have been to 2 continents and 5 countries, and clicked through over 60K actuations on my Canon T4i. I think I’ve taken one or two shots that may be useful.
The long version:
In 2013, I decided to make a life change and began teaching myself photography, copywriting, and digital marketing. I had recently completed 3 years of study towards a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science. I chose not to conclude my formal education in this area due to observing the rapid changes in the industry I sought to enter, which included marketing and website development. The information I had learned my first year had already become mostly obsolete, and since I was not seeking “employment” after college, I decided to self educate.
Now, burdened with massive college debt at age 42, and no degree, I chose to bootstrap my way into a photography career. Something I had always had an interest in but never thought to pursue professionally.
I had an old Canon Rebel and a single kit lens to start with. I discovered The Caretakers Gazette (an online magazine for locating caretaker positions around the world) and found it to be the perfect resource for finding remote locations to begin my photography education unhindered by the trappings of every day life..
My first job involved a five-month stay in the Grand Tetons of WY at a private estate known as the Darwin Ranch; specifically located in the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area. My photo taking adventure got off to a rocky start, when, just three days into my stay my old camera simply stopped working.
Never one to give up easily, I spent the remaining five months alone, studying the art of taking good photos, and learning how cameras work. I also continued to “practice” via a very, very sad cell phone, and even started a now ended blog, caretakerslife.com, to practice writing.
By the time I had concluded my spectacular experience at the Darwin Ranch, I had made the decision to redouble my efforts and target Alaska for my next caretaker position. Fortune smiled on me for not loosing momentum and placed an opportunity directly in my path before I even left WY.
At a dinner party of the Darwin's owner, I "met someone who knew someone”, and in only two weeks I had secured a position on the uninhabited paradise known as Knight Island, in the Prince William Sound. I am certain you are familiar with the area.
Over the next two months, I returned to my home (Colorado at the time) and took on a tile job in Evergreen, where I lived at 9300 ft. up Mt. Evans. With the money form this job I purchased a then newly released Canon T4i and two inexpensive Canon kit lenses (18 -55mm and the 75-300mm).
For the next 2 years, I lived mostly alone at the Mummy Bay Lodge (specifically located in Thumb Bay) where I submerged myself in both the land and sea environment. I also continued to study all of the online materials I could including several online courses, and took up Photoshop and Lightroom for editing.
I also took a few photographs. My camera actuations are currently at 60K, most of which occurred on the island. I must have kept at least 3K of them or so, and continue to edit and share them through social media today.
After two years, I returned to the lower 48 (now to Ohio) and began turning my attention to the art of online marketing once again. I took a job at a start-up marketing firm, PointsPeak Marketing (www.pointspeakmarketing.com) in order to gain a much deeper insight into this fascinating world.
I have only just begun to market my photography professionally. I have a website currently in development, and seek to create a name for myself as a hard working, self taught wildlife/landscape photographer, keen on capturing the less seen parts of the world by any means necessary.
I continue to learn something new every day to strengthen my knowledge and further my career.