The first picture I can remember taking was of my younger sister. I was about seven and she is posed on her bed next to her favorite doll being a total ham. My mom had a few things to say when she developed the film but the picture is still in the family album.
In high school I had a little crappy camera- I don’t even know what it was. I loved taking pictures mostly of nature and animals. I would go on a long walks and take it with me, snapping anything that looked interesting.
As an art major in college I had to have a concentration for my art education degree and chose photography. I learned a lot of technical stuff and bought a totally manual Nikon- God I loved that camera. I took three different classes each one helping me to trust my eye, fix obvious mistakes like everything in the middle of the photo, or never taking a candid shot of people. I remember getting lost in the dark room. I would go in and somewhere between exposing the image and watching it surface in the soup I would lose hours.
I have done a few weddings and several senior picture sessions for friends but my great love is nature. The girl in me still wants to walk slowly and find the small things so easily overlooked. I realized later on that this is an inherent part of my creativity; the thoughtful approach.
There is something about capturing a moment and saving it for the future. Getting the essence of an experience in the light and shape that recalls us many years later. Pictures unlike words are open to interpretation. They give us that chance to project our own experiences and see something different. I look at that picture of my little sister and I feel brave, creative and a little knotty. I look at this picture of a snail and I see perseverance, dedication and a microcosm.
So don’t be afraid to give your seven-year old a disposable camera you might be surprised by what happens and start and life long journey.