PHOTOGRAPHY: Documenting Everyday Life
When I was 10, my parents taught me how to use their Minolta camera. I had spent years studying the glossy pages of National Geographic and I was also no stranger to the art museum. Learning how to use that camera enabled me to record a living journal of my life, as well as the lives of others. Photography entered my bloodstream and changed my creative perspective of the world. Photography is still my hobby, my outlet, my voice and my addiction. Forget the tedious technical talk of apertures and settings; ask me about my secret life as an amateur photographer and I will tell you that each photograph is a story. My photographs say a lot about who I am and how I see the world. Whether I strive to capture the personality of a loved one or preserve the fleeting beauty of nature, photography is the means by which I create a vibrant journal of the world in which I live.
I fall into a silent category when it comes to photography. I shy away from the uber-professional camera mongers because my tech speak is sorely lacking. My professional friends strive to maintain the best equipment and achieve an excellent status in the eyes of their peers. I wish them the best. Neither am I the occasional hobby photographer who totes her camera on vacations and documents her children's birthday parties. In such circles I am enthusiastic... perhaps a little too much so. I find myself in-between - where the fervor of photography meets the penchant for a good time. My camera is almost always with me - either in my backpack or in my car. If it interests me, I capture it. If I feel like a moment is slipping away, I document it. If I stumble upon beauty, I keep it forever. You do not have to be a professional photographer to take excellent photos. More importantly, you don't have to be intimidated by equipment and technology; there are so many user-friendly cameras on the market today. If you don't know where to begin, start by taking photos of those you love most! The more you use a camera, the more comfortable you will become. For folks like me, a camera is another extension of the mind and body. I do it because I love it. What more does a person need? Your imagination is the limit.
GULP I never tire of taking portraits of children. My son was exploring driftwood on a beach at Fort Morgan. His animated exploration was delightful subject matter!
AUTISM My goddaughter has Asperger Autism. She has a gift with animals. She loved holding the rooster and we both liked how the colors of the feathers were an abstract version of the Autism Awareness logo.
THE ROAD This is what happens when you see something breathtaking and remember that your camera is with you in the car. Believe it or not, this is my driveway in March, in Alabama! Whenever I view this scene, I am instantly transported.
OCTOPUS Almost everyone I know has photoshop…except me! The kids and I visited an aquarium and I captured this octopus. Once home, I simply changed the photo into a negative and voila! The kids loved it!
COFFEE TALK Everyday objects can be a great focal point. For example, I love coffee, I collect coffee cups, and I love the bizarre and humorous. Just in case my favorite cup breaks, I have a great memory.
AUTUMN Walking up the driveway, I looked at the gorgeous leaves lying all around and I had to grab the camera. I love photographs which show textures.
ALABAMA I cannot control my photographic impulses when industrial locations are involved. In an old train yard in Calera, Alabama there is a goldmine of imagery just waiting for a camera. This is a photograph of a train car, complete with graffiti.
RADIO DAYS Textures can be fascinating when photographed. My husband was cleaning out an old workshop and discovered these glass tubes. There were hundreds of them littering the concrete floor. I grabbed my camera…
COMETS Like an impressionistic painting, this photograph was better a little out of focus. What would normally be considered a mistake turned into something interesting because to me, the color of the fish transcended any need for details.
Oota This is Oo-Oo, or Oota, our family’s beloved daschund. He went too the beach every year and surf in the ocean waters of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Now that he has passed on, this image brings back the most wonderful memories.
SUMMER VACATION I have photo albums filled with normal photos, but once in a while I see one that begs to be dressed up. This particular image is of my three children during a family vacation. While I love black and white, I had to include the lips!
STELLA Who says a photo has to be a 4x6? I always experiment with cropping my images. Some photographs are best suited as a rectangle, such as this image of my beloved Corgi, Stella, during her first visit to the ocean.
JACK RUSSELL PUPPY I am a professional dog groomer by trade, so I will take a few pics of my clients. I always take great care to capture as much of the animal’s personality as I can. Zoe was a doll!
FIRECRACKER When I took this photograph, I knew my light settings were off and that the lighting was impossible. I kept shooting and later discovered this image. The light opposed to the fading body can be symbolic of childhood and the bright future.
ADDICTIONS Have you ever tried to define yourself by using a still life of personal objects?
BLACKSMITH My husband is a blacksmith and his bench of tools never fails to fascinate me.
AUTUMN BOUQUET I love the juxtaposition of real, lucid colors against the simplicity of grayscale photography. To do this, I must make a black and white copy of my original photograph. I then cut and paste them together.
PEEP These beauties nested in the eaves of our porch and I couldn’t resist! I faded the original color to soften the image. For me, it created a cleaner, sweeter vibe.
DAUGHTER This image of my daughter on the beach was changed into a sepia image. The effect was startling. The original image is bright and colorful, while this one looks nostalgic. Experimentation with imagery is always a welcome exercise.
TIRED Anyone who has kids has seen this look. After a day of baking cookies, playing, painting and drawing, swimming, biking and a makeover, my niece was ready for nap time.
SALVATION I captured this image during my daughter's selfless act of saving a stranded fish from a shrinking tidal pool. Happenstance becomes symbolism.