Photography & Me
Photography has always been part of my life. As a kid, we always had a camera or two, and there are albums full of shots. When my sister was a teenager my dad bought himself a Minolta SLR, and he bought my sister one as well. We still have them both. Sometime around then we also had a camcorder, and my brother played around with it a lot, making home videos.
I had a few small cameras, but never really was serious about it. When I got to high school I took the photography class, because both of my siblings had, and it was one of the very few interesting elective classes available in my high school. I used my sisters SLR, and spent a semester shooting and developing black and white film. And getting to know one of my best friends to this day. Then I graduated high school and forgot about photography. It was an expensive hobby, and while digital had started to make an appearance, it was still super expensive too.
In 2007 I moved to Grande Prairie because my boyfriend at the time had moved up there. I don't really know what prompted it, I must have talked about photography a lot, he bought me 2nd generation Canon rebel with an extra battery and a battery grip.
I spent a fair bit of time playing with that camera, though I didn't really remember any of the things I'd learned in high school. I didn't have any friends in GP, and my boyfriend was gone for work a lot. So I spent a fair bit of time alone, taking odd selfies. I dabbled with that camera for a long time, but never really seriously, though I did learn a few things along the way.
That relationship ended in 2011, and as like, consolation or something, I bought myself a new camera for Christmas that year. I got the Canon Rebel T4i. Single, fairly insecure, and pretty lonely, I spent a lot of time with my camera. I learned a lot more. I tried new things. I posted quite frequently. In 2013 my cousin asked me to photograph her wedding. I agreed, and in preparation, I talked some friends into posing for me. The couple shoots and the wedding went pretty well. Somewhere along the way, after the wedding, I decided I was too socially awkward to shoot people. In reality, I was insecure, uncomfortable around couples because I was jealous, and convinced that I was an awful photographer and fairly dumb.
I kept shooting, just not people. I was shooting pretty regularly but had no direction or ideas for where I wanted to go with photography.
In 2015 I moved home to Lacombe and started a job in Red Deer. Over 2015 I held myself to a couple of monthly challenges to learn new skills with photography, and on January 1, 2016, I started a 366 photo project. Still feeling lost photographically, my intent with the 366 project was to shoot just for myself, every single day. I did that, and I still have photos from that year that I love. At the end of 2016 I couldn't stop and so I've continued on, shooting daily for 3 years now.
2018 has been a year of restlessness. Photographically and personally. I've wanted more from my photography. I've been unsatisfied with my photos. I bought a new camera, which was nice but didn't solve the problem. I've felt more and more like I need to try working for myself. I lacked the courage to quit my job, so I just kept at it, miserable and longing for something else. Well, the decision was made for me when I was let go in August.
This past spring I had decided I wanted to take a photography workshop this year, I had spent a morning trying to find one with no luck. Then later in the day, I opened facebook just four minutes after Dave Brosha had posted the Evolution Retreat in Trochu. Having spent only half of what I'd budgeted on the camera upgrade, I decided to just go for it. I signed up for the retreat.
That retreat happened at the beginning of September. Just a week after I'd lost my job, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. After losing my job I had decided I needed to work for myself, but had decided writing would be the best route to go since that's what comes naturally to me and is the least scary.
Attending the retreat re-ignited my passion for photography, and gave me concrete plans, ideas, and inspiration for starting a photography business. So, basically, photography has been squirming its way into my world for my whole life. Let's see where it takes me if I let it lead the way.