Who would have ever thought that a “drink on a stick” would initiate my never-ending love for photography at the young age of nine, and would take the lead in my life’s journey? Yes, it started in the summer of 71’ on a typical hot Texas day in early June as I enjoyed my cherry Popsicle, satisfying my sweet tooth plus cooling my body down at the same time.
The wrapper used to house my cold confection had a marketing message that required you to send in so many empty wrappers plus one dollar for shipping costs, so you could get a free Kodak 126 Instamatic camera. The kind of camera that used “magic cubes.”
The words free, insta, and magic must have hooked me because on June 10, 1971, I convinced my dad to write a check and put it in the mail so I could get my free camera. It arrived a couple of weeks later and off to the Kodak Kiosk we went. Once back home, I loaded the film cartridge, grabbed my cat Ashes, then walked over to the large tree in our front yard and placed her in the Y formed about three-feet up from the two-foot round trunk. The feline sat there with her front feet standing straight up, like a statue, a true diva, posing perfectly.
A week later after dropping off the film for processing and printing, I got my first photos I’d ever taken in my life—I immediately fell in love with photography and over four decades later, there hasn’t been a year I haven’t taken photos. My love for photography is time-tested, so no one can argue any infidelity in my relationship with this genre of art.
So what’s your story? What makes you have a love for photography? At what age did you start? Was your first camera a point-and-shoot, an Instamatic, an SLR, a DSLR, an iPhone, etc.? Once you’ve answered those questions, think back and truly ask yourself why you have a love for photography—if you understand this love it just might take your creativity up a notch. That said let me share my thoughts on why people have a love for photography.
Our Love For Photography Comes From Fascination
That’s right, in the old film days it was amazing to watch a photo develop in that darkroom lit with amber lights. No darkroom, no problem, there’s a great chance fascination came quicker with a Polaroid, and guess what, they’re back! Seeing something develop right before your eyes, especially if it’s a photo of yourself, causes your brain to release dopamine—it becomes an addiction. Now with LED screens on cameras and phones it’s an instant bombardment of dopamine release.
Our Love For Photography Captures The Love for Family
In some schools kids receive iPads as early as kindergarten, and after watching mommy take selfies with her smartphone, the children figured out how to shoot their own. That’s right, we learn to love ourselves first and mobile cameras reinforce that love affair. We also love our families and friends, and mobile devices provide us the camera and apps to showcase those relationships. Then comes social media, well you get the picture, no explanation needed.
Our Love For Photography Captures The Moments Of Love
We’ve all heard the story about the sheriff and his wife living in a small farm town of Kansas that recorded their most intimate sexual moments and left the tape in the recorder that was subsequently rented out again. Well, without adding more embarrassment for that couple, taking sexy photos, or videos for that matter, are more common today than ever and a great example, watch the 2014 movie Sex Tape.
In fact, it’s considered another form of intimacy for a relationship that needs a spark. Digital devices with cameras give us the private opportunity to capture intimate and exciting moments with our life partners. Not to mention sexting, well you get the picture, no explanation needed.
Our Love For Photography Makes Others Feel Good
Cameras make people feel good, on both sides of the camera. You see it all the time; take a great photo of another individual and when you show it to them, you normally get a smile with a positive reaction. If you get a negative reaction, you hit the delete button and do it over again until you get it right in the camera.
Our Love For Photography Captures Memories
Since 1790 when photography was invented, photographs are captured memories to cherish now and for future generations. People with cameras capture photos of places they’ve visited, events they’ve attended, and people they come in contact with. Cameras are capture devices and without them we’d have to create visual images in our minds with only words.
Our Love For Photography Has Increased Exponentially
Over the past decade the love of photography has increased exponentially because cameras are smaller, from smart phones, point-and-shoots, and mirrorless cameras their size makes them more portable. Sure, the bulky DSLR systems professional photographers use still exists, but that’s because pros are used to carrying a bulging photographic gear bag. It’s like a scuba diver; they’ve got to have their scuba tanks to dive.
Camera systems are also more technologically advanced; they do more things than we ever could with film. Not to mention we can change our sensors sensitivity on the fly with every photo we take, no time is lost stopping to change film because you need a higher speed. Add to that, we’re no longer limited to 100, 200, 400, 1600, and 3200 ISO film as with digital cameras, we can choose our ISO on some models to go up to 25,000 or more. Canon recently introduced the ME20F-SH, a multi-purpose camera that has a maximum ISO of over 4,000,000. That’s right, it can basically see in the dark!
Our Love For Photography Is Documentary
In summary, photography can document everything we do and see. I like to think of photography as a documentary method more than a capture workflow. In essence, if photography, and video for that matter, didn’t exist we’d rely solely on the written word. That wouldn’t necessarily be bad if you can write at least 1,001 words to illustrate your story if you’re a firm believer of the English idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
My sweet tooth is kicking in. Time for a Popsicle, I’ve been eating them longer than I’ve been taking photos. With that I close and remind you not to forget the men and women who serve so proudly to protect our freedoms. God bless them, their families and friends!