A friend asked me the other day how and when I got into photography… which got me thinking. I don’t remember why I started taking photos (although Mom & Dad always had a camera so I was likely modeling after them). I do remember being fascinated by the old film cameras that my parents had stored in the hallway closet—one of them was an old Konica of some kind and I think it had a really cool expanding flash surround with small blue flash bulbs.
In any case, I remember having access to a small film camera pretty early on. At first, I was mostly interested in taking pictures of my pets and my toys. I think I was around nine years old then. Around age 13 or so, I took a 4-H photography course, and learned to do photo stories. In high school I was mostly into candid shots of my friends or family (especially my little nephews and nieces), plus some photos for art class, and I remember filling albums and albums of photos. In third year college, I had the chance to learn black & white photography, including developing my own prints in the darkroom. I borrowed my parents Canon AE-1 for those, and learned to shoot manually. That’s when I finally started to learn technique and to think about composition and concept.
At some point after college, my husband Rob bought me my last film camera (a Canon Sureshot Classic 120), and I used that until 2007 or so when we finally broke down and bought our first digital camera. We got a Canon G9 and I used that until late 2010 when I switched to my current camera (and first SLR), a Nikon D3100.
These are some of the photos that I’ve taken over the years… it was fun for me to see my growth as a photographer so I thought I’d share.
Age 9?: Before I became a dog person, I was a cat person… and we had quite a few cats/kittens on the farm. I loved sneaking them into the house, and they seemed to like playing with my toy cars and trucks.
Age 12? A photo of my pet raccoon, aptly named “Cooney”.
Age 13? Part of my photo story about Gerard Gaboury, a local violin maker. Taken as part of my 4-H course.
Age 15. My very first nephew.
Age 17. Three of my nephews and nieces. I spent a lot of time babysitting/hanging out with these three.
Age 17. Just a silly shot of my brother and me.
Age 18? For high school art class, I took a series of some of the old stuff (buildings, equipment and such) found on the farm. I discovered this Singer sewing machine while climbing this tree as a kid… the tree eventually fell down, and a couple of years ago, we discovered that someone had driven on to our land with a chainsaw to steal it. For that reason, I’m glad I took a photo of it.
Age 18. Still taking photos of my pets. This was our deer “Gus” sharing a meal with a few of our cats.
Age. 21. This is my absolute favourite shot from my b&w photo classes in college. I took this in the train museum at The Forks and remain convinced that I captured a ghost that day (although it was more likely the sun catching the dust particles in the air). Taken with my parents good camera, a Canon AE-1.
I believe this was taken in 2005… the first year that I camped at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and went for the entire time. As you can see from Ruk and I’s feet, it was a particularly wet and muddy year. Taken with my Canon Sureshot.
I’m going to guess that this was taken around 2006? This is my friend Ruk, staring up at a windmill near St. Leon. Taken with my Canon Sureshot.
This is from my first trip to San Francisco… my best friend and I went for a week in 2007. Taken with my Canon Sureshot.
Another photo from our trip to San Francisco (this is in the Mission District).
Rob’s little cousins, taken on our trip to Italy in 2009. Taken with our Canon G9.
Also from our trip to Italy. The Parthenon was our favourite discovery in Rome… I think because of where it is situated (in the midst of what seem like ordinary streets).
2009 was when I started taking self-portraits and this was one of my first. Taken with the G9.
If you’re reading this and are a fellow photographer, I’d love to hear how you got into it. I’d especially love to see some of your early images. Please share!
Also, if you’re interested in finding out how I got into design, read here.