Sunday, December 27, 2009

Growing up Creative

Reading some of my earlier post today, I realized how boring this blog has become….I get so wrapped up in going over some of the basics; I forget to tell some of the stories. Shooting for more than 15 years now, I have had so many different experiences. Some not so great, some I will never forget. 

In the beginning…
I was 12 years old, my aunt was my idol. She traveled, saw the world, and captured many photos while doing it. As kids (cousins) in our family we had a tradition of gathering around the kitchen table as my grandfather set up the old movie reels, and played silent movies that showed our parents and grandparents seeing the sights and the world. Hours upon hours of noiseless history.

On my mom’s side I have two uncles and one aunt. Each had 2 kids. (There were 6 of us that grew up around the same time, all within a 10 year age period, I was the oldest). Every holiday after dinner, we would all gather in a 6x12 kitchen, with an oversized table that took up the entire room. Grandpa would set up the movie projector on one end of the table, the lights would go out and the fun began for us. We saw our parents as kids, our grandparents much younger than we ever knew them. We laughed as my uncle would pick on my mom. We saw them visit landmarks like “Old Faithful”, family in Montana, Wyoming, riding horses, running around in places that we would eventually see ourselves. My grandfather was an avid movie maker and picture taker. Not only did he have boxes of reels, some miles long, they had drawers and drawers’ full of old black and white photos, my grandpa had taken. I would and could spend hours going through all the photos. 

My grandfather, not only was a photographer, he was a geologist and collected rocks, a film maker (you actually have to wind this camera to get it to work), a graphic designer (creating Christmas cards every year from photos he had taken), and he was an archeologist, (using his metal detector to find hidden treasures buried in the ground or at beaches.) He was a musician, (harmonica, wooden flutes and drumming on anything he hands ended up on), he was an Military man, spending a few years in California on duty (met my grandmother there). It wasn’t until years later during his funeral that I realized my creativity, didn’t actually come from my aunt, but from her dad and my grandfather. His influence on our family was astounding. Of us (the oldest cousins) we have a photographer, stock broker, archeologist, musician, military man, and business manager. We are all part of who this man was.

Since I was the oldest, I grew up with my mom’s sister, who when I was two was still in high school. So I spent much of my younger years, hanging out with my aunt. When she finished college, she traveled the world and took photos as she went. I remember sitting at my grandparent’s house going through all her photos and thought “I could do this”.

That was the turning point at 12 years old; I knew I wanted to become a Photographer. I then spent the rest of my childhood, usually with camera in hand. The Kodak 125 camera, was the first one (still have it to this day), I eventually graduated to the lost art of 110 cameras and film and then on to 35mm. My first real SLR camera was a Minolta SRT201. Sometime during college, I upgraded my camera and bought my first Canon. I wanted Nikon but I could only afford so much.

My first 35mm camera
My first 35mm camera
I miss the Minolta. It was a simpler camera, no bells, no whistles. It shot the way I wanted it to.

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