I have some beautiful black and white photographs of me as a baby. These are 8×10 prints on archival rag paper that my dad photographed and developed in his darkroom in our basement where I grew up. My dad was an avid photographer – his greatest joy was to take photographs of me and my brother and my mother. He also photographed weddings and I’m not sure what happened to the negatives.
I have a really old photograph that he made before I was born (yes it’s that old). He took a photograph of my mother sitting in a chair, then he took another one of a cactus when they were at a dude ranch in Arizona. He then combined the images so my mother appears to be sitting in the cactus – this is wayyyy before the days of Photoshop, so yes there was photo manipulation going on even back then. He also made a Christmas card (again before I was born) where he took an image of our house, somehow added snow, and then added my mother on a sled – all 3 separate images.
I loved the darkroom – even though I was too young to really appreciate it’s value back then. It was a great hiding place when my dad wasn’t home. I still have his cameras – old twin lens reflexes. One is a Yashika and the other is a Mamiya, along with two really large flashes, an incident light meter, and really heavy metal carrying cases; oh yeah, and a metal tripod. None of this is really practical anymore, but I love it just the same. I wish my dad was still around to show me how to use them.
He, of course, bought me a camera (I still even have some of my old cameras – film, of course) when I was quite young and I took photos all the time – it became my passion even before I wanted to do it professionally. When I grew up and had to get a job that paid enough money to pay the bills, I didn’t have enough time to devote to learning the technical and business side of owning a photography business, so I took tons and tons of images for my own personal pleasure. Then I got married and had my son – he’s going to have a lot of photographs to go through when I’m gone. When we moved to Rifle CO I didn’t have to work at a boring job full time anymore, and I saw my opportunity. I studied and studied and practiced and practiced and set up a studio in my basement. I took a course on photography and earned my Certified Professional Photographer status. Now, here I am today and I’m loving every minute of it!
Now, tell me your story and passion…