A Longview man is celebrating Easter by sharing his view of life through pictures. His photos drew amazement from passersby. Not bad for a man who picked up a camera only two years ago. "I had absolutely no idea what the technical aspects of photography were. They're especially amazing because they're my pictures and I'm working with an old camera and I have no talent," said Bill Schroeder, 67, of his work.
"I almost thought it was paintings. I didn't think it was pictures taken by cameras," said customer Josie Liston. At a showing at Books A Million, customers were not only buying Schroeders prints, but the story of how he got started.
A retired metallurgist engineer, Schroeder suffered a brain hemorrhage 14 years ago, and had to relearn motor skills. He bought an old camera and began traveling the world taking pictures. "I was in the minority surviving in the first place, and its an opportunity both to share the artwork and to share my story," he says.
His photographs, all taken on standard film, show the simple beauty found all around us. "I'm shooting natural images and nature just cooperates with me. They want the story behind the picture. They want, in a sense, what I tried to capture in that picture," says Schroeder.
But he takes no credit for the images, saying they were already there, all we have to do is look. "I don't really sell my pictures. I try to place them in good homes," he says.
For Schroeder it's a second career in life, and he says, proof that it's never too late to do what you want. He will have another showing in the fall.