Doug Burke, a Winston-Salem based photographer, received his first Canon T5I about a year ago and is already making a name for himself. Self-taught, with the help of YouTube tutorials, Burke is like many artists hoping that this passion will someday become his sole focus. “I would watch a lot of stuff on YouTube, then ask for constructive criticism on certain Facebook groups. I would try to remember the things I did badly and just not do those things again,” Burke said.

With an inside sales job, working 40 hours a week does not allot for many traveling photography trips, but that does not seem to be slowing his clientele. Between paid and trade photoshoots, his list of clients is consistent. How does he feel about being in front of the camera? “Nope, not comfortable at all, we are all our worst critics,” Burke says quickly, not even having to contemplate being the subject of a photo.

Burke describes which styles he is pulled towards, “I really love black and white. I just really love it. I do try to appeal to more people so I’ll do color and bright happy shit. I enjoy it but not as much as a dramatic black and white.”

With two daughters, and a girlfriend, there was a moment when Burke had to separate the camera from his everyday life. “My girlfriend would get a little annoyed, it’s like my camera was my other girlfriend. I have a lot of photos of my younger daughter, but generally I have to bribe her,” Burke laughs. “In the next three to five years I’m hoping I’ll be done with the day job and I’ll be able to live off my photography. But we will see.” !