When I was a kid we used to get to go out on the road in the big rig with my grandfather, whenever it was my turn I’d go armed with a few books and as many disposable cameras as my mother would let me have. The pictures were never good, shot from inside the semi and at the occasional truck stop, but I was smitten with the idea of trying to capture the world the way I was seeing it, to be able to look at a picture and remember the moment I took it.
A few years later, in high school, I upgraded from disposables to a cheap plastic 35mm. I would’ve taken thousands of pictures with that thing, if only we could have afforded film and processing. As it is, I have a number of ambitious but terrible photos, a bunch of candids, and a few not too bad photos.
While I was in college, I took the plunge and bought a 35mm Canon SLR, which I used to take a number of really great photos of friends and family, including a few photo shoots which I hope feature on the site soon. It was around this same time that I went to work in a photo lab at our local big box store, discovered the ease of digital and began to learn about the technical side of photography.
I also began to examine what it is I love about photography, the way you can capture a moment that won’t happen again or document something in a person or place that speaks to you on a deeper level. As I look over my photos from that time it’s bittersweet; I’ve got shots of friends who’ve died, couples who’ve broken up or gotten divorced. Regardless, I’ve also got parts of their stories, a time when they were happier, when life was different, and I was able to make a moment a memento.
Then, I went to grad school. Over the course of the most difficult three years of my life, I abandoned a lot of hobbies, including photography. For a couple of years the only things I was shooting were shots of my jewelry in order to sell it and the occasional cell phone candid of my friends and family.
Last spring as we prepared to go on vacation, I dusted off my Canon Powershot and began to fall back in love with photography as we explored various landmarks in the Southwest. I wasn’t feeling confident enough to start making opportunities to shoot, largely because of life stuff that was overwhelming me, kicking up my anxiety, and making me doubt myself.
A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to shoot hockey photos for our local junior hockey team and even though it’s a challenge to shoot (low lighting and super fast movement aren’t a great combo), I love it. I feel ready to take on the world. I finally upgraded to a DSLR (it only took ten years) and once hockey season settles down I’m looking forward to making time for some new portrait sessions and landscapes. I’m also looking forward to getting to share this process and my photos with the world.