I first became interested in photography back in high school. I took a class to learn how to develop film and enlarge photos in a dark room. This was before digital photography! I also learned some basics about composition and lighting. To be honest though, I think those things come naturally to me. Nobody has had to teach me how to compose a shot, I just instinctually know what looks pleasing or interesting to the eye. I think I get that from both my mom and dad. They are both very artistic. My dad likes to do photography as well and I've seen some excellent pencil drawings of his from way back. My mom like to do pencil drawing and painting. She has been commissioned to do drawings of people's houses and paints the most fabulous Christmas ball ornaments.
Here are a couple of photos I took for my class in high school. It was rumored to be very difficult to get an A in the class, but I walked away with an A-. Not too bad! (I had to take a photo of my photos because they are mounted on really big pieces of board and I have no idea where the negatives are, so you'll have to just ignore the glare.) The first one is a silhouette of my mom, the second is of my little sister.
When I took up photography again a few years ago, it wasn't that great. Here's one of the first photos I submitted to allrecipes.com.
I had a lot to learn and get acquainted with again. Within a few weeks I had caught on and improved greatly.
Now it's almost 2 1/2 years later and I think I've grown a lot as a photographer and I'm pretty proud of myself. Last year I entered a contest for the hospital here in town. There were looking for nature photos to decorate their new maternity ward. I entered the photo below, but I did not make the cut. I think it's a really cool photo, but it may have been too abstract for what they were looking for.
When I heard about a photo contest this summer for the Munsinger Clemens Gardens here in St. Cloud, I knew I could do much better than last year and decided to enter. I was so surprised to learn that I had won first place in the hard scape category. I would have been happy to just place at all, let alone first place! The photos were judged by a retired art professor at St. Cloud State University, so I was completely honored. Here is the winning photo.
I still have so much to learn about photography and I've even considered going back to school to study it. Seeing how expensive that is, I'm content for now just having it as a hobby and teaching myself through reading and shooting as much as I can. My life is pretty great right now. I'm cancer-free, have a wonderful hubby and two adorable dogs. I have a job I really like and that gives me the time for my hobbies of cooking, photography and writing. What could be better? Hmmm, maybe if I had that telephoto lens I've been eyeing.....