After much convincing, I decided to start this blog to share my photography, receive comments, ideas, critiques, motivate myself to take my work seriously and do it every day, discuss the arts in general, share the work of those who inspire me, and share my point of view in life.
When my mother, Ugly Stepsister, started her blog, she kept telling me I needed to write a blog of my own and that I would be good at it. My first reaction was, "what on earth could I write about that other people will want to hear?" Eventually she convinced me that a blog with a focus on photography could be really interesting, and wouldn't be as overwhelming as writing a general blog about my life. It would also probably be far more appealing to the general public than blathering on about myself each & every day.
Reader comments, ideas, critiques, suggestions, and other feedback about my work & this blog are not only welcome, but encouraged! Please share your thoughts, methods/techniques, favourite artists, etc., I would LOVE to hear what you have to say!
Most of the photography I'm doing at the moment is with my pocket digital cameras and cell phone camera, while I occasionally shoot with my Canon AE-1 Program SLR film camera (which is by far my favourite of my current cameras). I enjoy shooting a variety of subjects; including landscapes, wildlife, plant life, children, pets, cityscapes, everyday household objects, urban decay, and more.
I live in an ever-changing, always interesting household that includes my uncle, three cousins, two cats, & four dogs. Some days I feel like I'm Alice & I've fallen into the rabbit hole or through the looking glass. Being involved in photography & the local arts scene helps keep me relatively sane (of course, it's all relative).
How I Became a Photographer:
I have always been interested in photography (I got my first camera at age 6), and art in general, but growing up I never thought it was something I could do as a serious endeavour. One of my dream jobs was being a photojournalist for National Geographic, but I never even mentioned it to anyone because I didn't think I had the potential to do something like that. I put that in the "dreams I won't actually get to follow" box along with being an architect, and instead I focused on my environmental interests.
Throughout elementary school & most of high school I knew I had talents in other areas, such as writing, environmental studies, and history, but I pretty much assumed my art skills were not much better than my math skills (which is to say satisfactory, at best).
Then in high school things started to change. First, my grandmother let me have her really nice camera, a Canon AE-1 Program which she had bought around the time I was born. I got a roll of black & white film & discovered that my photos were actually pretty good! Not only did other people like my photos, but I liked them. Then I took an introductory art class in school where, in addition to learning about rules of composition, colours, shading, & shadows, I learned that people really liked my drawings. It shocked me the first time I drew something and realised it was good. Me? Artistic? When did that happen? I realised though, that my drawing & painting skills are still rather limited. If an art project holds my interest and I work hard at it, it can turn out well, but they often require more effort than I am willing to put forth. Photography on the other hand seems to come to me a little more easily. That is how I started to realise that maybe I could eventually get serious about photography.
After high school, I went to Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. Warren Wilson, or WWC, is a small (roughly 850 student) liberal arts college in the Swannanoa Valley of the North Carolina Mountains. I chose to attend Warren Wilson because I had decided to get a degree in Environmental Studies, which is one of the areas WWC is best known for, I wanted to be in the mountains, I wanted to go to a small school, I liked the idea of the work program (all on-campus students have jobs) & community service requirements, and I wanted to be somewhere liberal and artsy. At WWC, my courses were quite varied since I was not restricted to the core liberal arts curriculum & courses within my major the way students at some universities are. At what other college could I have taken electives such as Old Time Singing or Appalachian Flatfoot & Clogging?
In my 3rd year at Warren Wilson, I audited a Photo I class and absolutely loved it. I learned the ins & outs of shutter speeds, apertures, film speeds, light, & composition. We learned how to develop our own black & white film and had free reign in the darkroom. My camera went absolutely everywhere with me, and most of the money I earned at my second on-campus job went towards high-quality b&w film. One of my best friends & I spent hours in that darkroom developing roll after roll of film together. I loved what I was doing and knew that from there on out photography would be a major part of my life.
|Canon AE-1 Program: Photo by Mnemorino in Wikimedia Commons|