So this month marks ten years since my baby, Capture Photography, was born. Can you imagine that ten years ago I had this crazy dream of owning a photography business and here I am, literally living the dream. The story itself is definitely one that needs to be shared, because well its the story of my lifetime.
In high school I couldn’t wait to be a junior. Being a junior meant you could take photography so of course as soon as I could- I signed up and fell in love. I remember the very first photograph I took. It was the bottom of a fence with a rain drop falling off of it. Now when I took this photograph I saw it from start to finish, unlike how I take photos today. I took the photo, imagined what it would come out like, rolled out the reel of film from the camera, put it in a black bag and got the film out without being able to see it because of course it couldn’t be exposed to light (similar to a magic trick really). From there I would make a “contact sheet,” which allowed me to see a 1×1 view of the photos from the film and then coordinated the picture from the contact sheet with the negative that would become a print. Using mixtures of developer bath, stop bath, and fixer bath I would slowly but surely create an actual photograph. Do you know what I do now? I take a photo, it’s captured on a memory card in my camera, I put that card into a card reader and the photos appear on my computer screen.
I am so happy to say that I learned photography the “old fashion,” way. Learning how the photo is actually created is the foundation of taking a good photograph. As old as I sound saying this- these kids these days have no idea how easy they have it! The camera in most smart phones alone is better than cameras that cost hundreds of dollars back in the day!
So now the story. I fell in love with photography from that first rain drop and I spent hours upon hours in the darkroom. In fact until this very day every time I hear the Black Crowes song “She talks to Angles,” I am instantly taken back to that dark room in Daniel Hand because it was one of only 3 CDs that circulated in there. The darkroom was my constant. The darkroom was always there whenever I needed it. It was there through every tough time I had at the age of 17 and 18 and for that, I will be forever grateful to that 10×10 space. As a senior there was a competition and as students we had to create a theme and use our photographs to express that theme. I decided that my theme would be contrast and to display that I showcased photos from the country and the city. In addition to the subject matter having contrast, the photos which were black and white were developed with high contrast, the whites pure white and the blacks dark as night. With photos on each side, the song “Southern California Wants to be Western New York,” by Dar Williams was written in the middle.
There were two other photographers in my grade that were amazing. As much as I loved them as friends, I was highly competitive against them and knew that if I had any chance in this competition it was either second or third to these two talented chicks, that was my very best hope in being a part of this. The judges came in during the day and the show for friends and family was at night. Basically once you walked into the school, you found your piece and saw if there was anything next to it. My mother came with me and as we walked the halls we past by the first girls photography exhibition, 2nd place. “Thank god,” I thought, there was room for me in 3rd. The next hallway had the second girls work and it said 3rd. My heart was crushed. CRUSHED. I can’t believe I after all the hard work, the talent I thought I had, the hours that went into this project, the time spent in the darkroom day after day, night after nigh there was no room for me in 2nd or 3rd place. My work was in the next hallway. We went over because of course I wanted to show my mom my piece. We turned the corner and you know how you have moments in your life that you will never ever forget? The turn of the corner where my work was displayed on the right side at the very end of the hallway, against a horrible tan cheap wall made of plastic, there was my work with a blue ribbon hanging next to it. First place. My mom and I tried to comprehend what we were seeing and from there it was just tears and screams of joy. We didn’t care who saw or heard us.
Looking back in retrospect I’m amazed at the honest lack of self confidence that at no point between one hallway and the next did I ever have a moment when I considered that maybe since they were second and third, that I was first. It simply was just never a thought. That night, till this day, was one of the best nights of my entire life. That night confirmed that my love for photography was more than a passion, it was a purpose. So at 18 I found my purpose. Imagine that. Imagine being an 18 year old girl with the world at your fingertips and there it is right in front of you- the gift you were born with, the gift that would make the rest of your life complete.
So then I went to art school, got a degree in photography, started a business and I slept soundly every night. Every word in that last sentence is a lie but wait till you hear the truth because from 18 till now has been one hell of a ride and I wouldn’t change any turn for the world. To be continued…
For the purpose of this post I dug out the project, enjoy 🙂
And todays post is brought to you by the song that brought the photos together,