Journey of an 8 Year Old Photographer

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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Happy December 4 everyone! Today is my Dad's birthday and I wanted to write a special blog post dedicated to him.

When people ask me the story about how I got into photography, it's quite a long story. The truth is, I honestly don't know where the obsession with cameras and taking pictures began. All I know is that I used to make pretend cameras made from Legos and would walk around pretending to take pictures. I don't think anyone in my family knew what I was doing. That's why when my 3rd grade art teacher started an after school "photo club", I knew I had to join.

At the age of 8 years old, my parents bought me my very own camera. I still have it today. It was a Kodak "Star". It took 35mm film, auto-focus (a big deal at the time), a manual wind and rewind, and no zoom. It was as basic as cameras could get back in the 90's, and I was in love. In order to complete my many "photo assignments" my dad quickly became my travel guide. He would take me on walks and drives around the neighborhood to introduce me to new sights. We would explore these places together, and he would let me take all the pictures I needed.

As I got older and continued taking photography classes in high school, we kept up this tradition. On several occasions, I begged him to take me to downtown Chicago. I was in love with the city. His rule was that he would only take me on early Sunday mornings. Let me tell you, you couldn't get me out of bed early for anything on the weekends, but I would be up as early as I needed to be for our father-daughter trips to the city. While downtown, I would be equipped with my black and white film and camera. We would walk around the streets, go up to the top of the John Hancock, visit historic cathedrals, and my favorite: go to the city parks where I'd make him chase after pigeons just because I desperately wanted a photo of the birds flying in midair. I can't tell you how many times he did this for me. Anytime I needed a model, he would listen to all of my directions and sit or stand exactly how I told him. He was the best. In fact, when I looked through my old photography portfolio, just about every picture was from one of these father-daughter adventures.

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My dad truly helped nurture my love for photography. Beyond that, he raised me to be hardworking and independent; qualities that I am very thankful for today. Happy Birthday, Dad! I look forward to celebrating with you soon.