I actually got my start with non-snapshooting using medium format - I had a Seagull 203 folding rangefinder (see the other thread about them), then moved to a Hasselblad, before finally getting into 35mm with a Contax 167MT. Now, gear-wise I'm all over the place with everything from a Contax G1/G2 outfit, an RTS III when I need an SLR, to a 14x17 when I want to do SERIOUS portraits. I got started in film just before the dawn of the consumer digital age, and I can remember selling the Olympus and Kodak digital cameras that would get so hot they'd almost burn your hand after taking a dozen images (I worked in a camera store from 1994-1999). Ah, the good old days.