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First recipient of the Master of Photography Degree in Jackson, Michigan
First recipient of the Photographic Craftsman Degree in Jackson, Michigan
First holder of the combined degrees in Jackson, Michigan
First PPA Certified Professional Photographer in Jackson, Michigan
3rd Runner up, "Studio Photography" Magazine Cover Contest
Wrote several articles that were published in "The Professional Photographer" Magazine
Art Leather/Bride Magazine "National Wedding Photographer of the Year" award winner
Collection of my photographs on permanent display at the International Photography Hall
  of Fame and Museum
Court of Honor, Kentucky Professional Photographers
Best Out of State Portrait, Pennsylvania Professional Photographers
Michigan Professional Photographers Top Ten Photographer & 320 Club award winner (twice)
LRP "Five Star Studio" Award winner
Listed in the "Who's Who of Advertising"
Presented photography seminars and workshops at dozens of Local, State, Regional, and
  National Conventions in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico

After seeing the photographs a friend of mine made with his Nikkormat, I borrowed $150 from my mother to purchase my first real camera: a Canon FT SLR. My friend gave me me lessons...until my photographs started looking better than his! I went to Europe my senior year in high school and made about 2000 images. Some of these images were published, and I won several awards at the local county fair.

I did some little jobs for money here and there--nothing serious--until a school friend of mine asked me to photograph her wedding. Even though I told her I knew nothing about wedding photography (I had only been to one wedding in my life) she said she couldn't afford much and if the pictures were as nice as my European images, she would be satisfied. My friend with the Nikkormat had been taking a correspondence course on photography and said he would loan me his lessons. They were woefully outdated, but they gave me a basic understanding. I borrowed a lens from one friend, a Kako SuperElite strobe from another, and two weeks before I turned 19 I photographed my first wedding. She was ecstatic with the pictures, and things just snowballed from there. I started doing portraits in my parents' living room until I married in 1973. I worked a job and ran my photography business from home.

Anxious to have a "professional" store front studio, I accepted another local photographer's offer in 1977 to enter into a partnership...let me just say that I do NOT recommend it, and leave it at that. In 1979 I made an offer to open a studio in a department store that was accepted. At the last minute my partner backed out. It caused some friction when I told him I was going forward. It turned out to be a very wise decision on my part, as our partnership ended at the end of 1980.
This studio space was small, but my wife Joyce and I built it into a good business, but it was our long friendship with our friend and mentor the late Lisle Ramsey that catapulted us to owning a very successful business. We bought into another local studio and then opened a second studio in Adrian, Michigan in 1985. We advertised heavily and the studio was profitable after just 9 months! We had to quickly find a new location in 1987 for our Jackson, Michigan studio as the department store was closing with very little notice!  Again, we advertised heavily and the business ran seamlessly, even with the move.
During this time, my advertising and promotional techniques were drawing the attention of a couple of color labs, and my name was mentioned as a good person to learn business from. I started to receive offers from photography groups to hold seminars and workshops and speak at conventions. I also started to work on my Master of Photography Degree from the PPA. After my father suffered a stroke I closed my studio location, sold my house, and bought a home on 2 acres in the village of Spring Arbor, Michigan. The home had two addresses and two driveways so the business and living areas were totally separate. This way my wife, daughter and I could care for my parents, which we did until their deaths in 1999.
I decided to retire from full-time photography in 2006 to concentrate on writing and sales training.
         Self portrait  Steve Bohne