When I first began thinking about being a photographer, actually a photojournalist, I was in elementary school–I got my first camera of my very own. Then in high school I began using my dad’s Yashica TL Electro X to take pictures for the school newspaper. I loved it. I also loved writing the articles. We had to take our own pictures for the articles we wrote. My goal in life was to become a journalist. However, the real world intruded and I ended up going to work after high school. My dreams were deferred, and a car payment ensued, then rent, utilities, and the real world. I took pictures at family events, then later took pictures of my children, all the while forgetting about, or not letting myself think about my prior dream of being a photographer, or a writer, or both.
This past year and a half, however, I’ve been reminded of my dreams, and I’ve been encouraged to pursue them. My husband takes my creative talents seriously, and is supportive. So supportive, in fact, that come February or March I’ll be attending New York Institute of Photography (online). We don’t have the money for me to go to NY, though I wish we did. Until then, I’m studying on my own. While shopping at one of Books-a-Million‘s discounted book sections I purchased “The Illustrated Practical Guide to Digital and Classical Photography: the Expert’s Manual on Taking Great Photographs,” by Steven Luck and John Freeman. I had bought myself a brand new Kodak Easyshare camera and at the time I knew next to nothing about digital cameras. I’d always owned Polariod’s Instamatic cameras, Canon or Kodak 35 mm cameras, or used my dad’s Yashica. I wanted to learn about digital photography.
Well real life intervened, once again, and though I was taking pictures all the time when I went out with friends, or at family events, etc, I only skimmed through the information in the book. But the more I took pictures the more I felt the urge to take pictures of everything. More and more moments became “Kodak Moments” for me, and when I didn’t have my camera I felt naked. Truthfully, subconsciously my dream was there bubbling below the surface, but I didn’t have the confidence to even think about the dream being viable.
One night I was out with friends this guy they knew had an acoustic show at one of the bars we frequented. (Mind you, my children are grown by now, and I’m single, so hanging out with my friends listening to great music, and being able to take pictures meant I was in heaven.) While sitting at a table with my friends, listening to Pokey play his guitar and sing, I see this guy walk in. He greets Pokey’s wife, and my friend A___ with a big smile, hugs are passed around, and he sits down. I ask A___ who he is and she tells me. Well, I take a picture. The guy doesn’t stay long because he has to get up really early the next morning for work, and we’re never actually introduced, but his personality made an impression.
A few weeks later I run into the guy again, I’m out with friends, and he’s out with friends, though we do have mutual friends. We’re still not introduced. Then a few weeks later I’m invited by my friends to attend an acoustic show that that guy is having–you know, the one I asked about with the great personality. So I go, camera in hand. By now, I’ve become the bar’s official non-official photographer. I am finally introduced to that guy, and well, needless to say we’re married now. He calls the picture I took of him that first night that we didn’t meet but I asked about him, and he definitely noticed me, my stalker picture. Jokingly, he called me his stalker, but his real nickname for me is “paparazzi.” I’m always taking pictures.
This past July he bought me a new camera (my trusty Kodak Easyshare one broke) and he got me a Canon PowersShot SX150 IS. I love my camera, and it’s the first of many we’ll be buying. This birthday he wants to get me a Canon Rebel or Nikon‘s equivalent. He likes Nikon, I like both, so I guess as I get more and more into this I’ll figure out which one I like better. Now he’s supporting me in the pursuit of my dream. So much so, that if things go well, and they will because I am determined that my dream no longer be deferred, we’ll be investing in my future career as a photographer at tax time and I’ll be going to school for photography. Though it is a certificate program, and not a degree program, I am super excited about it. Once I’m done with that I’ll be going back to the local community college here to get an associate’s degree in business–I’m taking opening my own photography studio extremely seriously.
As an avid researcher, I’ve read enough about the photography business to know that without knowledge about the business aspect of it my photography dreams will go down the drain no matter how great a photographer I am, unless I want to work for someone else (NOT).
The picture I’ve inserted is one I took with my old Kodak, just after I bought the book. It’s a bit out of focus, and it’s not the best picture, but I liked how it turned out. It gave me the confidence to skim through the book for tips to improve my photography, and then I began taking pictures everywhere I went (thus, the “stalker” photo).