The past few weeks have found me at my desk, the surface awash in papers, pens, camera lenses, and Apple devices. The elusive time I’ve been craving to set my work life to rights has materialized and I don’t want to waste it. In an attempt to make the best use of this gift, I’ve scrapped my previous practice of crafting a labyrinthine to-do list in favor of selecting one task to do all the way through completion. It’s much for challenging than I anticipated. The payoff, however, is insanely more gratifying.
I’ve chosen about five areas that I want to cultivate: Writing, Family Life, Fitness, Self, and Photography. And yes, I notice that those same areas are the ones I write most about on this blog. Each day, I’ve chosen one of those areas and spent my time reading, brain-storming, note taking, and creating.
I love photogragphy. I love pictures. I love looking at them. I love being in them. I love taking them. However, with the way I’ve been treating my camera, you’d never know it. While I am an avid Instagrammer, I have been neglecting my DSLR. My camera body is pristine from lack of use. My Lightroom is laughably outdated. I need to make a change beyond toting my camera around with me like another member of the family. I need to examine what it is that I love about photography, how I got here and why I want to keep taking pictures. Some introspection was in order.
The photography blog, Click It Up a Notch, has a series of photographer interviews that I read voraciously. The more I read, the more my mind sparked and fired, ideas pinging around faster than I could grab them. If reading about other photographers created such a response, what would happen if I posed those same questions* to myself? Over the next few weeks, we’re going to find out.
*photographer interview questions courtesy of Courtney Slazinik of Click It Up a Notch.
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
I have been collecting photographs, taking pictures and making albums for longer than I can remember. I am historian of sorts, a keeper of memories. Chances are, if you and I have shared an experience, I’ve probably got a picture of it.
In my early twenties, I began working for a modeling agency in Richmond. I worked with several photographers doing stock imagery before eventually working as booking agent and wrangler. When I was a young(er) mom with two under two threading around my ankles, I became friends with Kendall. Kendall had two under two as well. Kendall also had the most stunning photographs of her kids, her family, her life dotting her walls. She had taken all of those pictures. Kendall told me how she studied photography in college (Me: you can do that?), and how when a professor criticized her technique, she told him that she didn’t care. She just wanted to be able to take beautiful pictures of her kids — her marriage and firstborn inevitable, like trips to the grocery store and taxes.
Kendall got tapped to shoot a wedding for a friend and she asked me to go with her to be her second. I was both honored and petrified. We spent the week-end in the Outer Banks, capturing everything from the rehearsal dinner and the bridal party prep to the ceremony and send off. It. Was. Amazing. Kendall and I were a good team. We formed a photography company and got to work. Several years, several moves and several kids later, our company has dissolved, but I’m still shooting. I wrangle child models (mostly my own kids) for other photographers. I pick up a few jobs where I’m sitting under the lights. I book clients looking to capture toothless grins of babies, the sparkle of happily ever after that comes with a recent engagement, the slice of life shots that will be sent out at holiday time for family and friends to enjoy. I snap photos of my kids, of my husband, of myself.
Photography can be a hobby, a passion, a career. Photography can be so many things. For me, photography is storytelling through images.
I have lots of stories to tell.