I received my first camera, as a Brownie at the age of 12. I LOVED it! Shortly after, my uncle sent my brother and me a darkroom kit used by my great-grandmother. The old-fashioned bottles, trays, and glass plate negatives were a joy to use and we would tie up the bathroom for hours!

In high school, I was yearbook editor and a major contributor to the yearbook. Our basketball team took first place at the State Championships my junior year and I became quite the sports photographer. We were ranked last going into the finals and it was a real upset.

The first professional medium format camera came along just prior to entering a local community college with a photojournalism major. The professor there had studied under the famous Ansel Adams for five years, and our textbooks were the books Mr. Adams authored. Talk about intense! While Ansel Adams is hands down one of the greatest photographers ever known, his books were very technical and jam packed with information. I still have them.

My mentor, Mr. Lou Ver Baere, deserves much credit for my career as a professional photographer. He opened his studio up to me, continually gave gifts to my children, and taught me a lot about running a studio. I can still hear him saying “Learn to do it my way, Cindy, and then change it to whatever you want.” Lou was so convinced that membership to the Professional Photographers of Oregon (PPO) and convention attendance was valuable that he paid my convention fees the first year I attended. I went on to serve for several years on the board of directors and later the executive board of the PPO. Lou passed away in November of 1993; he would have NEVER sat anyone on the ground!

I photographed my first wedding in 1976 and have done professional photography since 1980. After freelancing for several years I opened Photos by Cindy in Union County, Oregon in 1987. I sold my studio in 2000 and moved to Boise, Idaho for my husband’s job. Cindy Sherman Photography opened in 2003.