Under the christmas tree in 1997 was a Pentax K1000 with my name on it. Opening that gift, I literally jumped for joy. I had spent the previous summer at summer camp in the dark room learning the basics of black and white photography. I remember just how the cool damp air smelled with a hint of fixer in the air, the first time I saw an image that I created appeared just beneath the surface of the developer. That was the feeling of pure joy. With my Pentax in hand I spent all four years of high school playing in the dark room. As a freshmen I couldn’t get into a real photography class but due to my unwavering persistence Mr. Strom allowed a friend of mine and myself to pay the lab fee and spend our after school hours in the lab taking an informal photo class, and from then on I never left.
The question every high school kid hears regularly though out their 4 years is “What do you want to study in college”? I personally always hated that question. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had thought about marine biology (like most girls my age the dream of swimming with dolphins was high on the list) but when it came down to it science was interesting but I wasn’t passionate about it. The only thing I could ever say I was truly passionate about was photography. So at some point along the way I started answer that college question with “Art” or “Photography”. Quite often my answer was met with a surprised look that often reminded me of pity. I could see it in their eyes “this poor girl is going to spend a fortune to study art and then end up working in a restaurant”. And truth be told, I never figured that I would truly make a living with art – but I didn’t care.
Years later I am still in shock that I have a successful business using my degree- who would have thought! But today everything is digital. No more darkroom, no more printing my own images by hand or developing my own film. The magic of photography that won my heart all those years ago is no longer a big part of todays photography world. So I have decided to take some time in 2014 and dig back into my photography roots and rediscover shooting and developing film. I’ll still be shooting with my digital cameras for weddings and some portrait sessions but I’m going to branch out into film and also build a darkroom at my home where I can develop my own film and print my own images. No more uploading to a lab, now many of my prints will be hand made with real photographic paper and chemicals!!!
I am BEYOND excited about this change in my business. Of course I’m not making this a 100% switch but I’m excited to work this into my business as well as work on some personal projects. It’s time to rediscover my love for film and my passion for hands on photography. So stay tuned as I plan to document the whole process here on my blog and on my Facebook page, from buying film, building my dark room and of course making prints!
Photo Credit: Behind The Curtain