Thursday, April 29, 2010

When did you realize the power of photography?

I started taking photos when I was five years old. My parents got me a Kodak 110 camera, and I took many awful photos (you know, headless people, blurry close-ups, weird shots of things I liked). When I was 10 or 11 years old, I took a photography class in Middle School that taught us how to use a camera as well as how to develop and print our own photos. Can you believe the film we used was not 35mm? It looks like 120 film. Weird.

5th grade photos

Those were a few of my attempts. I remember feeling very uninspired, and we had to finish the whole roll (of 16, I think) within a day or two. It wasn't until we moved to Arizona when I was 12 that I held a "real" camera - it was a Minolta X-370. The other day, my dad claimed we lost a lens and had to buy one in Colorado. I remember it as - we bought the whole camera in Colorado. If we'd had it before, Dad - why weren't we using it?

Do you remember the first photo you took when you thought "wow! that's amazing!"?

My sister and I argued over who took this beautiful portrait of our other sister, R. She was 3 years old, had little blonde pigtails, and was holding a purple wildflower. The bokeh (not that I knew that's what it was at the time) stunned me. I'd never seen such a thing before! Her face was in perfect focus. I'll have to find that one and scan it... I'm sure it's nothing special - but to us, it was inspiration to take more photographs with Dad's camera.


  1. For me, it was when I bought an SLR for my husband (then boyfriend at the time) who wanted to take a photography class. I looked through the lens after he opened it and thought WOW!

  2. I think I realized the power of photography early on when I started shooting (2001 roughly). Even in the beginning I'd take photos of various thing which would disappear not long after I made the photo. Local landmarks first. My hometowns old Feed Mill & Water Tower were first to go.

    The notion of recording things no one would ever see again really made me realize its power. Not that it is a decade later and some of the people in those photos have started dying, the power really has set in.