Mikaylah asked last week how I got into photography, and I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned it!My introduction to photography started around horses (you’re shocked, I know), helping my mother take conformation photos for sales ads- back in the day when everything was film and posting an ad meant paperclipping a printed photo to a piece of paper with the hand-written text on it, and mailing it off to Stablemates. My parents got me my first camera when I was around 10 years old, one of those cheap wind-up film cameras that only operated in Auto mode- perfect for my bounding around the farm and clicking shots off of every creature in sight. When I got to college, and transferred from an Animal Science degree to the College of Design, of course I signed up for a photography studio (a studio being a 4.5 credit hour course – and basically the thing that ruled your life as a design student). I had this wonderfully snarky older gentleman as our professor, who’s favorite thing to ask us was “And what were you thinking when you took that?” in regards to each one of our [admittedly mostly] terrible photos. My parents kindly bought me a Nikon D40 so I could take the course- an entry/beginner level DSR camera that came with a couple cheap kit lenses. Between this and my dad’s borrowed film camera, I started learning how to shoot in manual mode, learned how to process and dodge/burn photos in the dank, musty, hot dark room on campus, and in general become obsessed with the instant joy of photography. In the beginning, my work was basically awful. I lacked inspiration, what I thought was classy and on-trend was cheesy or tacky. But the more comfortable I felt with the camera as a tool, the more I felt I could compose my shot and create an attractive image. So I took another photography studio, cementing myself as an Art + Design major with a concentration in Photography. Charles started expecting me to lead critiques of other students, and from his snarky feedback I started to improve. My eye developed, I could own my own weaknesses and seek to improve them. I was good enough (emphasis on the ‘enough’) to be recommended as a student photographer for a wedding, which is decidedly my first and last wedding- while the couple was happy, the stress of capturing that moment is more than I wanted to get into. In 2010 I made my first real investment into my gear with the purchase of a 50mm f1.8 prime lens. My old learner-D40 was still the only camera I owned, but I was excited to see how this $150 addition would change my abilities. It is this lens that now leads me to believe that the lens is where your investment should be if you are going to spend money on kit. From there it’s been learning by doing. Each shoot I feel like I learn a little bit more, get a little bit better. I upgraded my camera 2 years ago from that workhorse D40 to a D7000, and this year made the jump to full frame so I could eek more out of my golden-hour portrait sessions. I also invested in a few more lenses, including an 85mm prime that is now my main lens, though my trusty nifty-fifty still comes with me to every single shoot. And so here we are, almost 10 years after I first started applying myself to Photography. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost comparing yourself to others, but the journey has been oh so fun and I am as much in love with the hobby now as I was as a kid.
I just don’t have the eye for photography — I really appreciate the great shots but I can never seem to get them myself. Horse show action shots I can get! Haha
And horse show action shots are ALWAYS appreciated!!!
I know nothing about photography, but your pictures are freaking gorgeous!
Aw thanks, that’s so nice!
Your photos are stunning, love looking behind the lens at your journey. Thanks for sharing
It’s always a learning process 🙂
I’ve only taken a couple of non-credit classes (and admittedly haven’t shot out of auto in a couple years…) but I enjoy photography, especially with Joey growing up. I agree completely about weddings…one and DONE. hahaha So stressful!
Comparing your photos to each other in 1 post really shows the difference!!! Did the D750 really make the subject more focused and clearer? Or is that the lense? Bc the last photos are so crisp… so vivid… so much more amazing and I love your previous pictures too!!!!
Very cool how your talents and skills developed with the right “exposure” (har har) in school! I love the shot of your dog in the snow…and the horse shots with the dark bg are pretty incredible.
I love photography, but am and will likely always be a total amateur. I was very spoiled at an old job where I worked closely with CSI experts. They had all of the latest and greatest lenses and camera “bodies” (har har – bodies…CSI…) and would let me take equipment home over the weekend. I don’t have the most creative eye and the manual settings stuff just won’t sink into my brain.
Thank you for sharing! I really want to develop an eye for photography and start creating a hobby out of it.