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I started out in photography as a frustrated 9-year-old in need of a good venting. I was having a tough time with one thing or another, and my parents were done with my behavior, so they entrusted me with the family camera and told me to take a good walk outside.
With camera and stuffed animal in tow, I found that taking photos was fun. I had a Kodak Easyshare, a camera my grandpa had won from some place years and years before my mom had ever owned it. A really old point-and-shoot and a kid with an attitude. That’s how I found my passion.
The Kodak became mine after my parents bought a brand new Nikon Coolpix S8100. After that, I took it with me pretty much everywhere. One of the best “friends” in the whole world. As time went on, I got more creative with my snapshots. I took photos of the lilac bush in my backyard, messed with all the buttons on the camera, and took photos of anything and everything that looked interesting. I never edited…didn’t know how to…so all my photos were in their purest forms. My Mom took this photo of mine, below, to a conference and showed it to a photography instructor. He was impressed.
Then, disaster struck. My dear camera had gone off on a trip in the safe hands of my dear Dad and had returned broken (not due to my Dad, just from old age). Boy, I cried. That camera had lasted so long, I’d begun to think it would last forever. But, I put the camera in its case, packed it away in a drawer, and decided not to let it get me down. That Nikon point-and-shoot my parents got? They bought another one, and I got that camera. I took it to Washington, DC with me, took photos of the hummingbirds on my porch, shot lots of fireworks, and did everything I had done with my old camera. Best friend #2.
And then, in 2013, I upgraded to a fancy, entry-level DSLR. A now non-existent blog post by photographer Carlie Kercheval helped me make the decision to buy a Nikon D3200. But what is the point of owning a fancy DSLR if you only use it on Auto? I know more than one person who has bought a great DSLR, only to use it on Auto. So, I set out to learn the tricky thing called Manual Mode.
I started on Program Mode, since it seemed like the cheat sheet way of learning Manual. Let me tell you, going Manual is NOT as hard as everybody says it is. You just have to practice. I stayed on Program just long enough to get the general idea of Manual, and I leveled up to Shutter Priority. I shot a concert using only Shutter Priority. After that, I tried Manual. Loved it. Never looked back (except when I don’t have time to dial in the right settings for a family photo when I put my DSLR in the hands on a non-DSLR-savvy person). Manual is the best thing in the whole photography world. It’s freeing. In fact, I decided to try Auto again just for the fun of a quick snapshot…and I couldn’t see how I had tolerated its limits before! So, yeah, all the Auto modes went out the window. I NEVER shoot in Auto anymore.
In the past year, I’ve turned my passion into a business, created an Instagram account, and started this website to share my portfolio and stories. I love what I do, and I’m excited for what the future holds, especially as the new year is coming up. I like to say that photography is a bit like happiness – it’s a journey, not a destination. I’ll never get the perfect photo, but I can still try for 99.9%! Thank you to all the people who have helped me in my journey…especially my Mom and Dad. I am no longer a frustrated kid with a point-and-shoot. I’m a very grateful teenager with a DSLR. 🙂
If you are interested in booking a session with me and have any questions, please contact me! I love meeting new people! You can reach me by filling out the form on the Contact page HERE. Thank you for reading my blog! Have a VERY merry Christmas!