Welcome to Parker Golf Photography!
I've been wanting to get my thoughts and ideas down in a blog for a long time. With the temperatures dropping, I figured it was a good time to get a start on it.
I'm hoping to be sharing my thoughts about course photography and the gear I play, along with possibly some videos from the courses I play and photograph. Interesting facts and fun images from the course.
I've been golfing since I was 11; I started with a set of clubs my father purchased at a garage sale, and I was registered through the local summer recreation program at my elementary school. We would learn about how to swing the club and proper course etiquette until the last week, where they let us out on the course. That lasted for four holes before they pulled us off due to complaints from the adults trying to play behind us.
The following year I signed up to play weekly at a local executive course and I played almost weekly for the summer.
I've been playing golf off and on ever since.
As for the photography side, I've always been the guy with a camera in my hand as a teenager. I worked at a local photo lab in the mall for a few years before going to school for graphic design. After not photographing regularly for a few years after school, my wife bought me a Canon film camera for a wedding gift which re-ignited my interest in photography. We went to San Francisco for our honeymoon and drove along the Pacific Coast Highway for part of our trip, including 17-Mile Drive and the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course.
Shortly after that I started working part-time at a local private club; I was the guy who ran the driving range. Why would I do that? For the free golf, of course! I worked twice a week for two summers prior to us starting our family. The perk of free golf on Mondays was great as I could adjust my work schedule and work a half day on Monday and work 9 hour days for the rest of the week.
It was here that I one day brought that Canon film camera with me and ended up photographing some of the course. I still have the film I shot from that day. While not the best work I've done, it helped ignite my connection of photographing a course with the landscape photography I was already working on (which can be seen at davidaparker.com). With my landscape work, I've won several awards and have been published in multiple medias as well as worked with ad agencies for specific photographic shoots.
Then digital happened. I picked up my first digital SLR camera in 2005.
From there I reached out to one of the local courses and asked about getting access to the course with my camera. I'd brought it along on a couple of rounds of golf and thought I had some terrific images. The course was awesome and let me have free roam of the course. To this day, they are my go to course for testing out new ideas or gear.
After that, it started to take off. I'd done some very small marketing of my photography for golf courses and received a couple of requests for pricing. I would end up photographing two courses that year, which I thought was fantastic.
After a couple years of pursuing the landscape and scenery photography and not pursuing my course photography, I ended up jumping in the golf photography world. Not only am I a photographer, but I'm a one-man business planner, accountant and marketing department.
I've been asked why I would rather photograph a golf course instead of the landscape work that I still occasionally photograph. It comes down to several things, actually. Being on a course and seeing the sunrise and sunsets happen is an amazing sight to see. And every course is different; they offer their own unique challenges to get the best images to represent the course. And like golf, you continuously learn with photography.
I do still play golf. While I doubt I'll ever win any tournaments, it is still fun to get out and chase a ball around a course.