I have been on the fence about writing a more personal entry to my blog and whether or not it would be wise or beneficial for me as an artist. I am usually an open book in person, but only because I am aware of the person I am speaking to. In a blog post, I was intimidated by how many people would actually read it, soak it in, accept it, and understand it. 2015 is all about new things for me, blogging personally is one of them. Writing is also something I would like to improve on this year and practice makes perfect, right?
Most photographers rave over how amazing their job is and how it is awesome to do what they love, which is true. I do love my job! On the other hand, there are cons to every job, even in photography. Today, I would like to share with you my first moments and encounters with Photography. And maybe next week I will share with you a little more about how I got started on my own; including hurdles and the nitty gritty.
My first camera, that I could call mine, was a Minolta X-370 35mm steel body camera. I love this camera and still have it. I have actually thought about heading to the local camera store and buying some Fuji 400H film and taking her out to play. I don’t think I will ever part from this camera – ever.
During my Sophomore year of High School, I signed up for Photography 1 as one of my elective courses. I am SO glad I did. This class was all about shooting entirely in manual and with film. We would walk around town and use what we learned to create some [sometimes] beautiful photos. I say sometimes because when you first start out shooting manual, it isn’t always the best photos that you have ever taken. Whose with me? Especially this day in age where we are spoiled with DSLRs and the instant review that we get on the back of the camera. Not with film – no way José! After our photo walks we would come back and develop and process our work ourselves in the school darkroom. It was the coolest thing EVER! I loved working in the darkroom and learning how to manipulate photos just as we do now-a-days with digitals photos in Photoshop. This course was by far one of my favorite parts about my life experiences with Photography. I could write a whole post on just my love for the darkroom. There is just something about putting that blank piece of paper in the solution and seeing your image slowly appear. It is just amazing!
I had so much fun in Photography 1 that during my Junior year I signed up for Photography 2. Well, they got rid of the darkroom that year. I was extremely sad. Photography 2 was all about digital post processing (aka editing). This change wasn’t because it was the second course, but because they completely got rid of the high school’s darkroom. Like gone, gone forever. (Insert Pouty Face) As the days went on in Photography 2, I came to realize how much I still loved it. That is wasn’t just the darkroom that I loved, but Photography all together. We did similar things like go on photo walks but the after was a bit different. We had to take our film to get developed and saved on a CD and had to bring it back to class where we would edit and print our photos. Photoshop was the program we used to do all the editing, rather than using cool techniques to manipulate a photo in the darkroom. I believe at the time it was PS CS2 or the earlier version, I can’t remember correctly but it sure was fun. I am so glad I was introduced to Photoshop years ago. I have seen it develop just as I have over time.
Shortly after high school, I took a job at Eckerd (which is now Rite Aid) in the Photo Lab. I loved all things photography and thought this was a good start. Wrong! Most of the stuff I developed was the typical disposable camera, tourist photos of people from all over the world, on our beach. No fun for a creative person by any means. It was interesting to learn how those machines worked, though.
After working in a drug store lab, I have firsthand knowledge when telling my client to NOT print their photos at any CVS, Walgreen, Rite Aid, Walmart, etc. The year or so that I worked there, their monitors were calibrated maybe one time! Yes, I totally said once! OUCH! EW! I could go on and on about how terrible this is, but I won’t. Instead, just trust me when I say please don’t take your professional photos of your family in these places to have printed. A great consumer lab I always recommend to my clients, friends, and family is mpix. Photographers, please educate your clients and please don’t let them print their wonderful photos at places such as this. It seriously can make or break a great photo.
After leaving Eckerd, I started working for a local photographer. I first started in her lab where she processed and developed her own medium format film. After a short while, she invited me to assist her during weddings and beach portraits, which eventually led to me second shooting along side her during weddings. I loved this! I wanted to be this – a photographer. I fell in love and I wanted it to flow in my blood 24/7, and it has. Photography, besides my family and friends, is my life and I love every part of it.
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