I was born, grew up, and educated in Ireland, which may explain where I gained an appreciation for light, and color. My earliest forays into photography happened as a teenager, when I began to use high quality camera systems. I discovered that my high school had a darkroom that had been disused for many years. My friends and I restarted the high school photographic club and refurbished all the equipment necessary for black and white developing and printing.
This was about the same time as my first foray into professional photography, taking portraits for high school and college dances. My high school was one of the first to make personal computers and computer training available to students. I seriously considered a photography career at that time, but instead decided to pursue my love of technology. And so I entered Ireland’s most prestigious University, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and began to study physics.
One summer I assisted Carol Weinstock, a professional photographer from California, as she went around Ireland taking photographs for her Masters Thesis from Brooks Institute of Photography on Jews in unusual places of the world. Also while in college, I conducted a research project on the first “one shot” color photographic process, which had been patented in the 1894 by John Joly, a multi-disciplined professor at TCD.
TCD is a copyright library for the British Isles, meaning that by law, every book published in the UK or Ireland must be given to the library. Instead of studying as we should have been, my friends and I often pored over the best fine arts photographic books in print!
After a move to the United States and a successful high tech career, I left Dell in 2001 and traveled with my family to Australia and New Zealand for six weeks. Preparing for the trip, I purchased a new prosumer level digital camera. The experience re-invigorated my love of photography. In digital photography I found a blend of technology and art, a truly balanced left brain/right brain experience. I loved the immediate feedback and the ability to readjust any shoots as necessary. In addition to producing traditional hard copy photos, I could instantly share images, or later upload them to the web. I was hooked.
I now use Canon digital single lens reflex equipment almost exclusively for my photography. Somewhere along the path, I got the travel bug. I had been traveling unescorted from Ireland to the UK since age 12, and by the time I left college, I had explored numerous European countries and visited the Middle East. Furthering my desire for travel and technology, I came to the US and worked in the computer industry in California. In 1992, I moved to Austin, where I worked for Dell Computers for nearly nine years. During this time I also picked up a Masters Degree in Technology Management from Pepperdine University. Of the many roles I had at Dell, perhaps my favorite was International Business Manager, which allowed me to travel extensively to Europe and Asia, but left little time available for photography.
Upon returning to the US, my first major project was producing a large number of still photographs to document the Austin Jewish Community Dayschool (now the Austin Jewish Academy) for its 5th anniversary video. Since then, I’ve produced many photographs for the Jewish Outlook and have had work published in the Austin American-Statesman, The New York Time, as well as various other publications.
I decided to turn my passion into my profession and established David Finkel Photography more than a decade ago to offer a wide range of photographic services, including event photography, portraiture, as well as photo entertainment. In addition to servicing my client’s photographic needs, I continue to enjoy travel photography and to do pro-bono work for many community organizations.