Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The funny thing about me and photography

Still life with passion
I've incorporated photography into my professional life. I often take photos for projects I'm working on, or have been hired specifically for photography. You see a lot of my exploration here on Lelo in Nopo. A lot of what you see is just documentation of my life, things I see, how I live, people and things I love, places I go. It's just a little glimpse, actually. My recent explorations into macro photography and the lensbaby are good exercises to get me more comfortable breaking out of the mold with my photos. Change it up some. I've been a mentor to a young girl in a photography program, and I've worked with lots of professional photographers, all over the country. On set, from afar, and everything in between. I often develop photography guidelines for clients. Photography, therefore, is a big part of my life, really.

But you want to know a secret? This is a big one. You ready? I failed photography in college. And it was a requirement of my degree. I know, can you believe it?

I had major issues in my photography class. Growing up, there was major tension in my family around cameras. Dad would get the camera out, mom would get tense, we'd have to pose for what seemed like hours while dad set up the equipment and got the timer set. We'd take the photo, tension mounted, arguments erupted, and total breakdowns ensued. Looking at the multiple photos from these shoots you can see red eyes, smiles through clenched teeth, body language that says "get me the hell out of here." I think through the years, I was trained to See Camera. Get Upset.

When it came to my photography class, I couldn't get through it. I didn't want to go to class. I didn't want to participate. I didn't want to hold the camera. I tried two times, and couldn't get through the class.

Until a friend helped me out, and became my coach. Getting me comfortable, gently, with the camera. Not overwhelming me with the technical aspects, but using it as a creative outlet. It was a nontraditional way of learning photography, and I took to it.

I eventually passed the photography requirement for my degree, and ended up specializing in video production. But my issues with the still camera stayed with me for sometime. Through my exploration over the past 3 years with digital cameras, I think I've gotten over it all, but it's funny how those things can stay with you. And it's funny how those issues I had, kept me from something I love today. I can't imagine not taking photos now. It's part of me. It reflects me. And that's the wonder of photography, isn't it?


Unknown said...

That really is the wonder of photography and why I enjoy it so much.

I love macro. Even with my new L-series glass, I love my macro lens the most. You have one of the Lensbabies? I have been so curious about those for a while now. How do you like it?

Zoe said...

I miss taking photos. Actually what I really miss is working in the dark room. Ah, some day.

We just bought a new camera a few weeks ago and I am totally intimidated by it. I know I won't learn how to use it until I just pick up and start shooting, but it's almost like I don't even know where to begin.

Tricia said...

We never cease to be our parent's child. Even if it's just a bit.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post Lelo. I take either a great photo (fleeting and no rhyme or reason) or a completely crappy one.

Tell me, what camera do you use for this blog and what do you like and dislike about it?


Anonymous said...

I love shooting! I have a friend who is a professional NW photographer & he gives me all kinds of tips. He also lets me borrow his stuff:0) I have his macro...they are a bunch of fun.

I have seen some very nice shots here...glad you got over feeling anxious about are very talented.

Great post!


Rozanne said...

There's been such a revolution in photography, hasn't there?

I totally know what you're talking about with the tension surrounding photography back in the pre-digital, big-heavy f-stops galore age of cameras. My dad and my aunt and uncle were all hard-core amateur photographers. Oh, the slide shows of Greece, the posing for "professional" studio portraits taken by Uncle Wally under glaring, hot spot lights that hurt my eyes and made me sweat. Yeah, I know what you're talking about!

So much has changed. For the better!

Sorry to dump so much baggage in your comments box--I didn't even know I had it until I read your excellent post.

That's a gorgeous photo at the top of the post, by the way.

P.S. Funny we both (sort of) blogged about cameras yesterday.

Monogram Queen said...

Wow I would have never guessed you failed photography in college. You are so good. You make us see what you see!

LeLo said...

Lisa-Yes, I have a lensbaby. You can see my work with it here, and in my flickr files. A recent series there is the Where Gnomes Live. I'm getting used to it and am loving it! Lots of fun, and super dreamlike.

Zoe-Yes, some people really love the darkroom. I'm not such a huge fan of it: I'm less technical and more immediate gratification, thus digital is great for me. I'd love to see your photos! Post them!

Tricia-I thought of that while posting. You are so right.

Cuisine bonne femme-I'm so glad to see you here! I use a Canon Rebel and I love it for its smaller size for a camera of its kind. It's auto focus is a little rough however. But I do love it. And I love that I have a brother in law who works for Canon and I got it on discount. :)

Shelly-That's a good friend to have!

Rozanne-You know the pain! And yes, it's very coincidental we posted about cameras on the same day. I haven't taken photos on the edge of the Grand Canyon, but RSG has!

Patti-Thank you. :)

And overall apologies for the over use of exclamation points in this comment. I blame it on the cold weather.