What can I tell you about myself? Well the list is amazingly long and boring but I’ll do my best to keep it lively. I was born and raised… just kidding I won’t go that far back or you’ll stop reading about me. Anyway I remember when I was a kid sitting watching over my brother’s shoulder while he was working on the computer and not having a clue what he was doing I still thought it was the coolest thing. Like Aaron, one of my first computers was an Apple IIc with an ImageWriter Printer. Those of you who know it will appreciate the walk down memory lane and being able to see technology advancing as I was growing up was pretty amazing. I used to play around in various programs, most memorable was Print Shop, and I would make banners and cards, basically whatever I could.

The trend continued to high school with learning new software and watching as my brother was doing freelance design so from the time I was introduced to it I was always around it. By the time I was in high school I was creating ads, business cards, menus and anything I could working to make a few bucks and also doing work with nonprofit organizations so you could say my path was set for design so I never really looked into programming. Once I started college, I studied Liberal Arts with a Graphic/Web Design focus.

While in college I started to work as a Graphic Designer for the school newspaper while also working with a marketing firm doing design work as a freelancer. At one point while I was working at the the paper I had an opportunity to take photos with my first digital camera ( Kodak DC290 ) yeah $1000 for a 2.1mp camera the time since the technology was still new and I started to really work editing photos than just creating layouts. They even offered a Photoshop class that I never went to because the instructor knew I was only taking it for credits so I only showed up to get and drop assignments once a week. Throughout this time I met a girl and went out for the first time on February 14, 2001 because we were both boycotting Valentine’s Day. How did that turn out you ask, well I ended up marrying her in 2005. During our time together I had started getting more interested in photography and she bought me the first Canon Digital Rebel which only further made me want to learn more and now I was able to use my design skills with photos.

In early 2005 I spoke with a friend of mine as I had been involved in natural bodybuilding in the past and asked about shooting an event. I was given my first break at the OCB Spirit of America in April that year and have been a Photographer since and April 2014 marks the tenth time I have shot that event. Throughout all of this I also had continued to freelance as a designer but also worked for restaurants, painting companies, Sign-It, a local sign shop, and then spent a number of years working at Ritz Camera and The Real Estate Book as a Graphic Designer. Basically I have done a little of everything, not because I didn’t like what I was doing, just always given opportunities to try different things and this was from the age of 13 to 33 so it balances out nicely.

So how did I end up working with FileMaker, well I had played a long time ago in version 7 and never really understood how it worked, but my brother had been working with it for a while. So a few years ago he called and asked me about creating documentation for one of the files since I had the design background and I said sure so I started to see it working and was amazed at what could be done so I started working as a sub-contractor for him doing basic stuff with creating and updating layouts when he needed it and slowly started to do more work.

This went on for a while and I would travel back and forth from SC to MA to help him when we needed to get some decent work done fast. Last year he offered me a job to come work for him as an employee so after a 2 week trip down at the end of April in 2013 we decided it was time to move. September Lois and I moved with our 2 kids, Kaleb (7) and Kaley (1) and I became a full-time employee at The Scarpetta Group with a great team that just works awesome together and I am not just saying it, it’s absolutely true. If you don’t believe me stop by the office.

So what now, well I have been published in various fitness magazines as a photographer, feel free to check out my work here. Currently I had my blog post series FileMaker 13 Stylin’ which is all about custom styles in FileMaker 13 Themes published as a one a month in Database Magazine in Apple Newsstand. If you haven’t read it yet start with Stylin’ Part 1 and there is still a couple more to the series I am working on.

Hopefully you learned a little about me or if you meet me you’ll say to yourself “that explained a lot.” Also feel free to drop an email if theres something we can help you with or just to say hi.


– James

James Scarpetta
The Scarpetta Group, Inc.
FileMaker Developer