The Editors’ Choice program is just getting better and better! Each month since November, an incredibly talented group of 500px community members is chosen to scour the site and pick their favorite images; and each month, we sit down with each and ask them a few questions to see what kind of wisdom they have to share with us.

This past month, in addition to asking them to reveal their favorite Editors’ Choice pick and the reason they loved it, we also asked them about their photographic “Aha!” moment — that pivotal moment or experience that made them realize they wanted to be a photographer.

Scroll down to find out what March Editors Casey McCallister, Katie, and Clay Cook had to say.

Landscape Photographer Casey McCallister

500PX: How did you get started in photography?

CASEY MCCALLISTER: In 2007, I moved to the high country of Colorado. I always had a love for the outdoors through climbing, camping, and hiking, but the beauty of the Rocky Mountains compelled me to pick up a Canon Rebel and start taking it on trips.

My photos were always the one amongst my friends who were posted to Facebook and taken to print. That was motivation to keep shooting and soon I fell in love with the art form of photography. I began to read everything I could get my hands on to learn the craft, all the while finding other artists and mentors to take inspiration. Sites like 500px, Flickr, and Facebook were incredibly helpful for me to build my base.

Can you describe a pivotal moment, occasion, or photograph that made you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

CASEY: I had an epiphany or self-realization back in 2011 during a day snowboarding where I caught myself looking at a mountain range in terms of lights, darks, highlights, and shadows rather than the mountains that they actually were. It was then that I knew that mindset would never change.

What was your favourite Editors’ choice pick and why?

CASEY: I’m drawn to scenes that show a human engulfed by the elements. It’s like they have their own stage to perform on. This photo by Sandi Bertoncelj captured that feeling perfectly. It’s almost like you can feel yourself in the scene. That feeling, to me, is what makes a great photograph.

To see more of Casey’s work, be sure to follow him on 500px, pay his website a visit, or show him some love on Tumblr and Twitter.

Photoartist Katie

500PX: How did you get started in photography?

KATIE: I started gradually, tried a lot of different cameras, mostly taking pictures of pretty girls.

Can you describe a pivotal moment, occasion, or photograph that made you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

KATIE: As I’m mostly a photoartist, my pivotal moment was when I just realized that the photograph by itself was not enough for me. So I started to use Photoshop, adding objects and atmosphere that I basically could not create in-studio.

What was your favourite Editors’ choice pick and why?

KATIE: This photograph is exactly what I like: a combination of photography and magic… Photoshop.

You can see Katie’s entire portfolio of incredible photoart creations by following her on 500px, checking out her website, or visit her LiveJournal.

Editorial Photographer Clay Cook

500PX: How did you get started in photography?

CLAY COOK: You have to go back to my teenage years when I first got into video, music and art. I believe my passion for everything “creative” stemmed from my mother who studied to be an interior designer and the business side of me came right from my Father who owns and operates a successful flooring distribution company.

Eventually, I really started to get into the creative side of music. The rush and the adrenaline that music like Metallica and Nirvana gave me was unmatched, it was something movies could not do. It formed into a deep passion of mine and spent the following 10 years pursuing a career in music.

During that time on the road, I ran into many photographers, some better than others, but I had a grand respect for the art of photography. By 2007, Some of my passion for music had swayed into the world of Adobe Photoshop and graphic design. I designed flyers, album artwork, websites, and even edited others bands images. By the time our band had split in 2010, I decided I wanted to take on graphic design full time and started inquiring about DSLR cameras to shoot my own stock photography.

In December of 2010, I received my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D5000 as a Christmas gift. Never did I imagine it would completely change my life.

Can you describe a pivotal moment, occasion, or photograph that made you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

CLAY: I remember a few of my close friends in the music industry had picked up a camera and I always enjoyed seeing their work comes across my social channels. I was jealous that they had the ability to create their own imagery and take it into Photoshop to play.

There was one particular image; the father of a musician I respected. The portrait was very dramatic and it was simply a test shot to try out some new strobes, but it was that moment I knew I wanted to do that and I would do anything to create a similar portrait. Diving into the lighting and camera was a big step, but it’s one I took and never looked back.

What was your favourite Editors’ choice pick and why?

CLAY: I loved this image from Martin Strauss. I love the lighting, styling and concept. The perspective is unique and it really inspired me. It actually ended up on a mood board for a recent shoot of mine.

See more of Clay’s work by reading his ISO features (here, here, and here), following him on 500px, visiting his website and blog, or check him out on Facebook, Twitter, and Model Mayhem.