Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why I love Photography

Well first thing I should say is "what's not to love". Seriously I love, love, love it all. Photography has been such a big love in my life for as long as I can remember. I always loved looking at art books, magazines, family photos. Growing up poor, I loved going to the library and looking at the images in books and it would take me far away.

My grandma gave me a disk camera when I was about 9 years old. Wow. I just remember thinking "wow" my own camera. Ohhh I can't wait to take a picture of everything.... My friends, my family. all the things I love.... won't that be so cool.
From Elementary school until high school I carried that thing with me, Then, when I got into high school I joined the yearbook staff and the school newspaper. I was assigned a camera, with a big lens which to me equalled big stuff. I took photography class and loved the assignments and going into the darkroom was awesome! I would set up photo shoots in my front yard with my little sister and uncle and we'd get dressed up and goof around... I had hundreds of picture taped to my wall in my bedroom and framed all over my dresser. Stacks of photo albums.
After high school I worked in Solvang at a photo studio where you dressed in old western outfits. I would take the photo and tell the customers to come back in a half hour and I would go into the darkroom and develop the prints. It was great meeting the people who would come into the shop from all over the place. It's funny how when you are behind the camera you can capture a story. It's amazing, and enthralling.
That's where the story ended for a while. I always thought photography was a fun hobby and nobody would want me to take their own family pics or images. In the years after I stopped taking pictures I was an artist. I painted and crafted. My sister had gone on to college and got a degree in photography. Then, my son was born and it was amazing. I didn't want to miss a second of anything he did. I had no time for art via painting or anything really crafty but my camera was my new canvas. She sold me her old digital camera and some lenses because she wanted to be a 100% film shooter. My son was my muse.
So after I bought her old camera , it became my new passion. I took pictures of my son every week, heck almost everyday. I just loved it. I started a blog. Then, on his first birthday I took him to the park and wanted to make a custom birthday card for his invitation. I got him dressed up like a cowboy and took a whole bunch of images. I showed them to my sister, she said I had something special. Keep it up. Well, the more excited I got the more she would say don't call me during the week about photography, or in the evenings. Maybe the weekends. Basically, I was on my own to learn.
It's an expensive hobby. So, I think about every purchase I make. I only get what will really help me grow. I took a photoshop class at Adult school, which was somewhat helpful. But, everything I know I basically taught myself. I can definetly say my style is my own. I cannot be bothered with trying to duplicate someone else's style. I am always looking at it as art, and making a connection with the soul of my subject. Trying to pull out their inner beauty. Saying a million words with the heartfelt smile. I am constantly learning and growing. People started noticing, started to contact me for advice. I am starting to make so many new friends because of this passion of mine. I have a few friends and family members who constantly encourage me. My husband is the best. He always believes in me even when I doubt myself. Here are some pictures of True for his first birthday and him last week at the pumpkin patch at around two and a half.... This will show how much I have grown as well as he in the last year and a half :)
You can see more of his 1st birthday images here True's Buckaroo Party ***Scroll down to the bottom of the page***

The Invitation looked like this.


  1. Your work was great then and it's AWESOME now!! You are a fabulous photog and an even better friend - I am so blessed to have you in my life :)

  2. Thanks Kristen. You are one of the few friends I was talking about... Ha Ha.

  3. Erica, you are an amazing photographer! I find similarities in your story. I was always the one to bug people "take a picture". I too am pretty much self taught and on that note, I thank you for your advise. It is appreciated! You are an inspiration ;) Keep it up doll!! - Hilda