How I found photography as a teenager

April 07, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

My heart belongs to photography, and like so many photographers...it happened serendipitously. Freshman year in high school was ending and I was passionate about science. I wanted to become a marine biologist because of my love for the ocean and marine animals. My mom and aunt worked in the science field but were interested in starting a photography business. They would take portraits of all of us kids and we loved it. I needed an elective class for my sophomore year and decided to take photography so I could gather free information for my mom and my aunt. Little did I know that I would be hooked for life.

I remember vividly, our first prints we made (photograms) in the darkroom. It was absolute magic watching images appear in these liquid filled trays. And photography, especially that first year, was challenging. I wasn't very good at first, and was shocked getting low and average marks on assignments. Looking back, part of it was me making every assignment extra difficult. Pinhole photographs was a perfect example.

Our teacher instructed us to find cardboard boxes and gave us a tip that oatmeal boxes were ideal. I rejected the idea of anything other than a perfect cube box. I couldn’t find the cube box of my dreams, so I made one. So many light leaks in that “perfect” box. It took me days to fully seal all the light leaks and actually make a decent exposure. But the joy I got from overcoming the challenges I set for myself reinforced my love for photography.

It’s been almost 20 years, and I still have this undying passion for photography. Part of that passion is because photography is always changing and evolving. There is so much to learn and it’s impossible to know everything in this field. Combining that aspect with the love of challenging myself, and I find photography as an endless source of joy and adventure. Burke Uzzle said it best, “Photography is a love affair with life.”

 


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