Oh no, wait. We’ve got to go back farther than that.
It started in my childhood. My mom kept a long, narrow tupperware box under her bed. This box contained all the photographs we owned. Mom and dad’s childhood pics, aunts and uncles, cousins, weddings, family reunions, hockey parties, childhood milestones, vacations. I would regularly take them out and look through them all. I would ask over and over who the people were in the pictures. I knew who they were but I liked hearing it from her and sometimes she’d share a new story about the long lost relative I wish I got to know. I always wished the most that I could have known my parents when they were younger. I looked at different pictures and thought about actual events and vacations. Did I actually remember these times or was I just remembering it because the pictures told me I was there and I did those things? I didn’t really care. They just made me feel happy and they brought me comfort.
As I got older I would borrow my mom’s camera and get “creative”. I would take close up abstracts of things around our house and in our yard. My friends and I would do our makeup and pick out outrageous outfits and take moody pics of our angst filled teenage selves.
I worked as a cashier at a grocery and when they added a photo lab I made sure to get my butt in there so fast. I wasn’t a voyeur but I loved seeing all of these stranger’s life moments. First birthdays, graduations, weddings. All these lives, all those memories.
Now we can get back to grade 10.
We could take elective classes and because I was a pretty not great student I went for the creative, hands on ones. Wood working, guitar, photography.
Photography class changed my life. We learned a manual camera, how to mix and measure chemicals, develop film, print in the darkroom. I was completely in my element.
This is the very first picture I took with a manual film camera and the first darkroom print I ever developed:
My dad bought me my first manual camera and flash. I still have them. Unfortunately a resident mate in college borrowed my camera and returned it broken and refused to take responsibility for it and it hasn’t worked ever since. I still have it though and this is a good reminder to try and find someone to get it back up and shooting.
I was really into A LOT of abstract stuff back then lol
Fast forward a few years and it was time for post secondary applications. University – nope! College, sure. What the hell was I going to do? I had ZERO plan for my life. When I discovered that there were photography programs offered at a few colleges I was set.
I started the Creative Photography program at Humber College in August of 2011 and the rest was … just beginning.