What's in a name?

Why the "Accidental Photographer" subtitle you ask. Well, I haven't loved photography since "I was given my first camera by my favorite uncle for my 10th birthday",  I didn't have an art or photography-filled childhood that inspired me to create, and I didn't study anything remotely artsy in college (I was an Anthropology major--I studied bones and the stuff long-dead people leave behind).  In fact the only experience I had with photography as a child was a polaroid land camera my brother gave me when I was about 5.  We had little money so the one film packet I was given was IT...I never got another one.  I loved that camera.  My mom got rid of it when I was a teenager.  One day I had it then the next day it was gone. I still haven't gotten over it.

Skip forward a few years to when my then boyfriend (now my husband) gave me a point and shoot camera (he's always been interested in photography but I wouldn't realize how much until many years later).  That little camera lasted me a good 8 years.  I took all the early year photos of our son with that camera...until he grabbed it and chucked it out the car door.  It didn't fare well. Unfortunately, I have no idea what make or model it was but I loved that camera, too.  My very patient and generous husband replaced that point and shoot with another...just in time for baby #2 to become my muse.  I have no idea what happened to that camera and no idea what kind it was either.  I do know it lasted until about baby #4.

Then we went digital.

A couple more point and shoots later (those were Nikon coolpix models--see, I'm getting better at remembering the important details) and one day I decided I wanted my family snapshots to look less like deer-in-the-headlight snapshots and more like REAL photos. Like the kind of photos my husband was taking.  What I didn't know was that it was not terribly possible to get the "look" I wanted from my fully automatic p&s camera.  I needed something more serious.  I needed something bigger and heavier.  I needed  my husband's Nikon D70 which he was happy to hand over since that meant HE could upgrade to the D200.  A little side note here: I did not ask for his camera...it was his idea. He is a fine art nature photographer and any excuse to get new gear is ok by him! Well, after I got over the initial shock of how heavy a DSLR is and that there are BUTTONS that do things on the top of it I started to really like photography.  To encourage me in my new-found interest, my husband bought me Tracey Clark's book Expressive Photography and enrolled me in an on-line photography class taught by Irene Nam. It wasn't a technical class but one that would inspire and help me see that I could shoot the subjects closest to my heart in a way uniquely mine. The book and the class together sealed the deal. I REALLY liked photography.

Since that wonderful online class I've gone on two photography retreats with Shutter Sisters, become part of a wonderful group of women photographers who try to get together for photo walks a few times a year,  taken MORE online photography classes (I  HIGHLY recommend any Kim Klassen class if you are interested in post processing or adding a creative touch through textures to your images),  I am part of a monthly collaborative (10 on 10) with some very talented women photographers, and went from liking photography to LOVING photography.

I came by this love accidentally.  I didn't look for it.  I wasn't seeking a new creative path for my life.  I just wanted to have nice photos of my kids. I got that and so much more.