How did you get into photography?
I get asked this question a lot by my clients!
These days everyone loves photography! It’s so versatile and there’s a camera and editing software out there made to fit everyone’s needs; which is amazing because it’s the best way to share our lives with each other!
But my story… how I came to be a photographer, is quite different… a bit odd in fact. And while I could just say “I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was little” (which is half true) that’s not the way I came to even entertain the idea of photography as a profession.
My parents were both photographers, or at least they were in the business so to speak. That’s important because they introduced me to a world that was more than just pick up and click. But they are’t how I got started. They are how I came to appreciate art and the love of photography and graphic design. But became a photographer or artist? NO WAY… I was not artistic in any way. I wanted to work with children, and I did for 6 years at the local children’s hospital.
In 2004 I had a routine shoulder surgery that went a bit “off” to say the least! That’s a long story and one for a much later time but because of that one surgery and a few other things in the following years, I needed to have my entire shoulder replaced.
This story starting to sound a bit odd yet?! Are you wondering where in the world photography is coming to tie in?
In 2007 , I went in and had the socket part of my shoulder replaced with titanium. The recovery process was extremely long and extremely hard. I had minimal use of my right arm as I was recovering and had to learn how to do things all over again. It wasn’t quite as hard as the initial surgery, but the rehab was grueling and painful.
This is where my parents come in! They saw the struggle I was having trying to keep up the PT exercises at home after a painful 2-3 hours of PT 3 times a week. My mom especially worried as most moms do. So they came up with a pretty creative plan!
I got in the car one afternoon after a particularly painful PT session and I was in tears. It was too hard and I thought I would never get the strength or range of motion back. I was feeling defeated and scared.
My mom sat there and listened to me whine a bit and then pointed to the surprise she had for me in the back of the car… a Nikon D40 with lenses and a pretty cool camera bag.
My parents were pretty smart. They knew I loved pictures and they knew that “real” camera bodies are pretty heavy, so they thought this might be a fun way for me to start working out my shoulder when I was hanging out around the house.
And it worked!
I was so excited about the new “real” camera that I began taking pictures of just about everything. I spent hours outdoors taking pictures of bugs and flowers and landscapes. I took pictures of our family pets and the brownies that my mom would make me (almost every day!) And then when I eventually went back to work at the hospital, I started taking some pictures for projects in our department.
I researched and learned about editing software while my parents helped me navigate the settings on the camera itself. I would read about the camera while I was waiting for PT and I would watch videos late at night.
I never thought that it would take me as far as it has taken me now. At that moment, it was just fun, and it was a way for me to see the world in a different way. It helped me gain strength in my shoulder and motivated me to think that there was no limitations despite the bionic arm! I had no intention of going anywhere except out the front door to take a few pictures of family and friends for my own scrap booking.
In September of that year I had a friend who was getting married. She was looking for a few images to help her create her save the dates and also to post their engagement on FB. We decided that since I had a pretty nice camera and knew a small bit (I cringe even thinking about that now) about editing, that I would ride on down to the beach with them and take a few pictures of them hanging out. It was quick and simple. It was also windy and in the afternoon with full sun. YIKES!!!
But my friend loved them (which is all that matters) and it started me thinking… would any of my other friends let me take their pictures?
I had NO CLUE what opening that window would bring!
Check back next Friday to read part 2!