You never forget your 1st love – your 1st camera!
So what was it that made you pick up a camera for the 1st time? I get asked this question so many times that I started thinking about how random things in our young lives can have such an effect on our adult lives. With those thoughts running through my head I thought this subject might make a good blog post.
My photo journey began when I got a Minolta 35mm SLR camera for Christmas in 1975 or 1976 – I don’t remember asking “Santa” for a camera and don’t recall even having a strong interest in photography but “Santa” must have known something. Seemed liked the only thing that I had an interest in was making sure my tan was perfect (I grew up in Miami) and making sure I always had a cute boyfriend! Yikes….such standards I set for myself. Anyway, I took to that new camera like a fish to water and the next semester in the 10th grade I chose Photography 101 as my elective and as they say, the rest is history…
Mr Summers and Mr Farnsworth were my photography teachers at Palmetto Sr High in Miami and they changed my life forever. I had one “bestie” in school who’s parents were photographers, her father a very well known NY photographer, I remember having kind of a crush on him – he was so tan and handsome and SO cool. And her Mother a wonderfully talented artist in her own right. I remember going on a shoot with my friend and her Mother and I loved the vibe she had – so free and creative and strong! I wanted to be like that – little did I know that seeds of who I would be “when I grew up” were being planted.
I think back to the subjects I would go out and shoot in Miami…..it mostly involved beaches and birds and all of the “Florida things” that people photograph. But I do remember being drawn to TEXTURE – I remember an old park bench at the beach that had washed onto shore in a storm and it was covered in barnacles – it would have cut me if I touched it but I remember LOVING the texture of it. OMG – that was over 35 years ago and I still remember that so vividly and I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning. Wow – those barnacles are totally opposite of the “texture” that I now shoot in Arizona. But what I really loved more than actually taking the photo was spending endless hours in the darkroom seeing how perfect I could get each print – time stood still and I was finally “interested” in something that school had to offer – it only took 10 years of school for me to find it but hey, better late then never. I was SO bored in school – I just didn’t see the point of sitting through all of the endless chatter, tests, cliches, proms, drama, angst, you know – ALL of the things that high school was and probably still is. I was a master of skipping school – come on the beach was only a few miles away – kids don’t try this at home – I don’t want your parents yelling at me. But, and yes there is a BUT, when I found photography I couldn’t wait to get to school so I could immerse myself in the magical darkness of the chemical filled room that captured my imagination. Now that I think about it, was it the smell of the “brain cell killing” chemicals that made it so magical or the creative process………hands down, for me it was the creative process…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :o)
To this day I truly believe that my Minolta camera was the best gift I ever received and I have my Dad and my Step Mom to thank for that! THANK YOU for seeing something in me that I didn’t know was there. That’s a photo of my Daddy when he was in High School – I love that photo! Anyway, my life as a photographer has not been an easy one but it has been a magical journey that has brought me riches that money could never buy – the sights and places I am fortunate to witness take my breath away on a continual basis. I see and feel things that most people will never experience in their live time and for that I am grateful.
So there you have it….that is how my journey started. How did yours start? I wish you the BEST Photographic Journey – I still have a TON of photos to shoot and look forward to the next place that will take my breath away –
Happy shooting – Cheyenne