"I didn't choose photography. Photography chose me."
~ Gerardo Suter
I was a curious one.
Growing up, Mom used to tease me about being nosey and snooping around the house. One time, I found her not so secret hiding place...under the bed. Come on Mom, this isn't amateur hour.... Yeah, I ruined THAT birthday surprise.
Not exactly what our camera stash, but y'all get the idea.
Enter the Camera
On one of my many adventures, I remember coming a across a 110 Camera. I was curious about how it worked. I pondered over its rolls of film and disposable flashes. I wondered in awe of how we could take pictures with this, drop the film off at a drive up photo lab, and in a few days have our prints back!
Of course, some of those photographs were terrible! Ha ha, heads chopped off, not enough lighting, blurry, etc. It was kind of like a prize in a box of Cracker Jacks - you just never knew what you were gonna get.
From there I remember our family having a variety of cameras. Each one was a little different in the way their film was loaded and sported different functions. There was the Polaroid Instant Camera with its instant gratification - no need to visit the photo lab or waiting days for our image. There was a disk camera with its rapid fire and focus. I know we had a 35mm of some sort.
Picture It. New Braunfels, Texas. Field Day at Carl Schurz Intermediate School.
Ok kids, so in 1980-something, Field Day was NOT what schools have today. We didn't have inflatable water slides and snocone trucks. Nope, instead classes were pitted against each other like some type Roman Gladiator Day! The battle field included events such as the Three Legged Race, Potato Sack Race, 1 Mile Run, and the ultimate test of strength - The Tug o' War!
I begged my mother to let me take our camera to school. I don't know if she was being supportive of me or if I was just annoying enough to convince her, but she let me take it. That day I walked the playgrounds and courtyards as "The Guy With A Camera" and I liked it!
People were excited to pose for me. I gathered friends together to take photos. It was just fun...for all of us. Some of the photos even turned out alright.
I wouldn't say that sparked my fire for photography, but it certainly got the ball rolling.
Moral of the Story: If your kids express an interest or curiosity in photography (or any creative) make things available to them. Create an environment where they can explore. You never know where it might lead.
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