I bought my first camera with my own money when I was 18.
But let’s be honest, I’d been in love with photography for quite awhile before that. Point and shoot cameras, my father’s old film camera, I loved it all. I was the one who always brought a camera to social outings. I was the one who took “artsy” pictures of my friends for our senior year scrapbooks. I was even the one questioned by a police detective for taking pictures in a cemetery when I was nineteen, but that’s another story for another day.
When I was 18, I got a job to buy my first camera. It was a Canon film Rebel, and I wanted it so badly that I worked at McDonald’s to get the money to own it. I’d visit it in the mall camera shop, admiring it and imagining what I could create with it. When I finally had enough money to go buy it, I went straight to the mall to pick it up.
(I still have that camera.)
I went to college, camera in hand. I majored in theatre. I took pictures of everything. From theatrical productions to pictures of my friends playing guitar in the quad, I shot everyone and everything. I took a darkroom class, fighting against my fears of the dark while fumbling with film canisters late into the night. Every day my love for photography grew, married entirely with my love of theatre and the arts.
In 2002, I started my photography business. I was a college graduate, having dabbled briefly in a theatre career before deciding (quite rightly so) that wasn’t the path I was meant to take. I was married, with a new baby. I picked back up that Rebel and turned my eye towards wedding photography.
My first camera was a Canon. I nurtured my love for theatre and art with a Canon in hand. I started my business with my Canon film Rebel, then a digital Rebel, then the D60, then eventually my first beloved 5D. I built an entire career with my Canons at my side.
Over the years I grew my skills, my ability to see light, my understanding of photojournalism, and my sense of style on Canon cameras. While time did lead me to shoot other systems, I’m overjoyed that my path has brought me back to where I started. I am so thrilled to enter into 2018 with a Canon at my side once again.
I am also beyond humbled to now be a part of Canon’s Explorer of Light program. It is simply impossible to describe what this honor means to me. From the eighteen year old with her nose pressed against the window of a mall camera shop admiring her first Canon film camera to the photographer that I am now, I have come full circle.
What does it feel like? It feels like coming home.