This last weekend I was digging through some of my old family photographs and had the idea to share some of my early, early photography work. When people ask me about why I started photography or why I enjoy it, I used to give a ‘I just do’ kind of answer. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized this is simply how my brain works: how my eyes see the world, how I remember special moments… all in images. I walk into a new space and I see the space in images that I could create. When I set up a photoshoot it is easy for me to visualize what I am going to create and how I am going to shoot it. When I go on vacation and I see a beautiful landscape, an amazing sculpture, or something pretty that I want to photograph, I see the image in my mind before I take it. When I was younger, I couldn’t have explained how I see the world: the interaction between space, eyes, brain, and photography. I didn’t have the training and knowledge that I do now to take that ‘eye’ and turn it into something visually amazing. So let’s take a trip back in time to my early days in photography.
I started my early photography career with a 35mm camera, chasing down my family pets and capturing images of the walls in my house, the carpet, and little more than those pets’ tails.
There is actually a series of these hallway images, I guess I thought this needed to be documented thoroughly.
Not all of the pet photography I did in my early days was really bad, some of it was just mildly awful like in the image below. This image of my cat, I absolutely loved. I thought the framing was great, I was closer to my subject, the photo was actually sort of brighter, the list goes on.
Here is a selfie of my best friend and I, years before you could see your image instantly!
My early portrait work leaves a little something to be desired. While walking up the stairs and taking a picture at this angle is not the best way to photograph my dad (left/ first image), I think I have a strong rule of thirds in both examples above… kidding! But really, there is just nowhere for your eye to go expect the subject… I might have been onto something here. (My sister is sure to have words with me after she sees this!)
Another one of my master pieces that I just loved. I still do, even though now I realize this image is filled with flaws. My sister and her cat, the bond and sweetness between those two was immeasurable. That cat only liked her and would follow her wherever she would go.
As I am writing this, I see the similarity in this ‘pose’ to the one of her and her first son, found here.
This one might be the worst of all. This appears to be the first shot off a roll of film where the first half of the frame was exposed to light while loading the film into my camera. The second half of the shot is my Grams. She looks like she’s sitting at a table of some sort with her elbow on the table and hand up to her chin. Clearly this isn’t a great example of my early photography work but the image is of someone I love dearly and so I held onto it. I don’t know where she is, I can’t place the slightly in focus room behind her shoulder, but it’s of her so I keep it tucked away with the rest of these early images.
Clearly, I am right handed and thankfully I don’t get my finger in photographs any more.
The majority of my landscape photography was taken from a car window, or out the back window as we were traveling from one point to another. I didn’t ask to stop and have my parents pull over the car so I could get ‘the shot’. For one, I wasn’t sure the answer would be ‘yes’ based on the amount of times I needed to stop to use the restroom, and for two, I thought these shots were just amazing like this: out the back window with the reflection of the inside car on the right side of the shot. It’s life as I saw it.
I am sure all kid based photography from the 90’s into the early 2000’s looks much the same, but for me, it was my work. My photography. Back then I could stare at these images with pride just like I can now with my current work that I create for clients. (Like in this blog post of my favorite 15 images from 2015.)