I recently studied Ansel Adams, one of the most famous photographers that comes to mind when thinking of photography. Ansel grew up mostly playing piano till his parents gave him a camera on a trip they took where he found his calling for photography. The piano was still a part of his life.
Ansel had mentors in his life that helped him grow to who we know him as. That helped him get shows. An interesting fact is he shot for over 5 years (about how long I have been doing photography now) before he ever even had a show and he did not make money from it. ( I have had a few shows and been paid to take photos for people).
I can relate to him because of the fact that we were not good at school and how we learn. Adams was taken out of school, while I got extra help when in school. He liked to try thing new things with photography and I do as well but with the more technology side of things. He liked finding and going to cool places and getting shots that the every day person would not see or go.
Ansel Adams used a camera called a medium and large format which at that time was a very big and heavy camera because he had his tripod the plates and filters and also other things he had to cary up to all his locations.
He was a big into the dark room as well. ( I have not done film but at some point i would like to and develop it as well.) One of the funny dark room things he did was after he made a print and wanted to make sure it looked right he put it in the microwave to make it dry faster.
As the years went on and he could no longer go to crazy places, he did workshops and taught photography. He taught sometimes without a camera just a paper with a frame cut out.