I've been reflecting on my journey recently, and how it came to be that I get to work from home and do exactly what I love. I want to take you back to where this photographic journey all began.
My older brother was always interested in photography, and bought himself and SLR camera. This was in 1994 so yes, it was film. For all your purists out there, you might be glad to know that I got my start when film was very much a thing!
He took this amazing close up shot of my kitten chewing on a branch. That photo is one of my most treasured possessions to this day. I was fascinated that the camera could see something that we couldn't see for ourselves.
I was only five at the time, so understanably, my older brother did not want me touching his brand new expensive camera.
Fast forward to 2002, when I was thirteen and my thirst for photography renewed. I was finally old enough to touch the prized possession. I knew nothing about depth of field, shutter speed, light metering, etc. But I had two new subjects that seemed pretty willing to be moved from chair to chair while I captured them. So, for your viewing pleasure, one of the first images that I ever took.
I know, it's a masterpiece!
When I started Year 12 (Sixth Form), we got to take Photography as part of art. I was so excited. They started to train us to use our cameras. I learnt about the basic technical aspects, developing my own film and developing my own images. We also learn some cool techniques - such as creating a negative print! I absolutely adore the darkroom, and I really hope my journey takes me back there some day.
Due to a number of reasons, I didn't take it beyond that in school. I still really enjoyed it, but I stuck to doing it in my down time. For my 18th birthday, my mum bought me my own digital camera. I was over the moon. Although it was just a compact, that didn't stop me taking 100s of photographs when I went to Australia. The rule of thirds allows you to take some pretty lovely landscapes, and Australia had plenty to offer! Sometimes, you have to break rules too.
The above image was one of the images I submitted for my portfolio for entry into UCOL. It's nothing to write home about by any means, but it's in image that brought me pride at one point in my life. I went to Massey University in 2008, and it wasn't until late 2009 that I happened to be in UCOL and discovered a pamphlet for the Bachelor or Applied Visual Imaging. I fell in love. I wanted to get back into Graphic Design and Photography. Graphic Design was originally what I wanted to do, but I ended up in an English Degree instead. So I decided to dip my toe in the water, and take their photography paper whilst I finished my first degree.
I was hooked.
I enrolled full time the following year, and dove head first. Originally my plan was to focus on design and study photography as a minor, but the more I learnt, the more I fell in love with what I could do with my camera. It wasn't until I took this image that I discovered that I really enjoyed making people look and feel good. This was the first image that ever bought me pride as a photographer, rather than just someone with a camera. After that, I was absolutely clear with the direction I wanted to take. I entered my first NZIPP Iris awards, and walked away with a High Pro standard. Someone told me my work was good enough.
Fast forward a few years, and now I'm here.
Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.