Every so often I get asked how I found my interest in photography. The truth is, I never considered it until I attended Digital Media at Mid-East Career Centers. I wanted to be on tv or direct or design. Photography sounded boring. What would I know about using a camera (little did I know I was already learning photography skills working in video). The below gif will help provide a visual of what I was doing in high school and hat I thought I'd be doing.
Here’s what led to the possible interest in photography. First, I should warn you, If you’re looking for an inspiring story about a girl who just always loved capturing memories and happiness….you should probably stop reading because this isn’t that kind of story. Shallowness is what led to my interest. So if that doesn’t turn you off, keep reading and I'll explain.
So in my Digital Media class, we were just introduced to a new program (Photoshop). At some point we were instructed to find someone in class to take a photo of us and then edit it in Photoshop. YIKES! I had exactly NO computer skills!
I found a friend to take the photos and……. SO MUCH EXTRA CHIN!
I was a very self conscious teen and there was NO WAY I was gonna let that photo stay as is. So I got a genius idea. I could use the clone stamp to clone way my extra chin-age! (Terrible idea…..should have used the liquify tool and a mask……or better yet…..RETAKE THE DAMN PHOTO!)
Anyway, despite how weird it turned out, I was IMPRESSED! I couldn’t believe I could actually take photos and get rid of all your acne and chins on the computer! My life was changed, Guys.
I thought this was so fun that I decided I should start taking pictures of people I knew so that I could Photoshop the hell out of them, too! Everyone likes that, right??? HAHA! Not so acceptable today, but at the time (2005) I was still working with a very different mindset. Forgive me.
So after graduation I kept doing this, but I still went on to major in electronic media in college (didn't see a future in it for me), then off to hair school (and dropped out with only weeks to go…. but I wasn’t passing that test anyway so that’s a conversation for another
Overall, I really wasn't connecting as well as hoped with any of the majors I was chasing and soon I had a little girl. I needed to get REAL serious and figure out what I want to do! I realized I could make some extra cash taking pictures of people and then playing in Photoshop…which I LOVED! So I finally seriously pursued photography a career (FINALLY!)
I’m not going to lie to you. For a long time, I valued the Photoshop skills over the photography. I didn't pay much attention to detail because I thought I could fix anything. Over time, and after lots of blunt constrictive criticism haha, I slowly started to see the art and special skill involved in the picture taking itself. And as I continued, I started to realize that I was actually pretty good at senior photography and felt like I could provide a style missing in my area.
Today, Photoshop and other editing software are just tools I use to retouch as needed and clean up. No more alien skin people creations here. I honestly love working with my senior clients and parents and finding ways to capture them at their best. I've even found ways to work my need to assist others and share my expertise into my business!
For me, the art in photography is now in how I choose scenery and posing to suit each individual so that their photos are capture natural expression! I enjoy helping my clients choose their wardrobes and seeing them all dressed up. I love watching them glow up in front of the camera in ways they did not expect. And now I actually prefer less required editing in Photoshop (Can you believe that turn around???)