From a very early age, I have looked, drooled and marveled at photographs in magazines. At age ten, I used to sneak my dad's 35mm Fujica AX1 camera out of his closet and take random house photos. The earliest photo that I recall is my first staged photo shoot with my cat, Sunshine. On a sunny day in the mid-west summer, I decided to take a photo of her. Just one, as 35mm film was expensive and I didn't want my dad to get too upset that I was using his exposure's. I got her a plate of food and set it up outside on the front door step so that the lighting would hit her naturally. I'm pretty sure that as she was eating, I pretended that I was on a safari capturing the lion eat it's prey. It goes to note that Sunshine wasn't a lion, more like a furry Barbie Doll.
I started to feverishly flip through National Geographic magazines at a very young age. Devouring all of nature's splendors in my hungry little mouth. When I grew up I wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic. Who didn't? As I grew older I realized the chances of actually making it as a photographer would be slim. It's close to impossible to get in working for National Geographic, and I didn't think anyone would be interested in my still life photo's of cemeteries. Yep, I was that creepy goth girl in high school. By the time I was a senior, I signed up for a media production coarse and learned how to work with black and white film. Yes, a prehistoric median before the invention of the digital era. While we learned everything from designing album covers, making lithograph t-shirts, and video filming/ editing, my passion was photography. It made my heart swell like an ocean wave breaking at the shoreline. Photography had been my first love.
After high school, I wasn't sure what direction to take. Eventually, I did what any other high school graduate without college experience does. I got a job. I've been working for the past nineteen years since I graduated high school. Honestly, I haven't progressed in my career, and I keep getting laid off. You know though, every time that I'm faced with a career set back, I sit back and wonder to myself, 'what career am I talking about?' I've never been particularly good at taking orders, or directions. I can be insubordinate if I don't agree with you, and I'm stubborn. That's made my progression in the white collar industry a bit difficult for me. I've always tended to walk to the beat of my own drum. I'm a creative girl with many different creative possibilities. Not only do I passionately love photography, I'm also a writer, a poet, and a very bad karaoke singer.
Here I am again, and you may be too, sitting around trying to figure out your life. As I approach my mid-life I have to ask myself what's important to me. My passion is photography, and writing. I think that we all start to try and figure out what's important to us throughout our lifetimes. Right now, for the first time ever, I'm honestly looking at myself in a different light. I don't feel anxious, or rushed, or stressed about money. I know that it will come when it comes. That's the life of a photographer/ writer. You never know when the next payday will happen. You just have to believe in yourself, your passion (no matter what it is) and never loose the enthusiasm of being a child.
Who knows, you might also have staged a photo shoot or two when you were a kid.