As long as I can think back I have had a camera in my hands. Dad has always been the main source of inspiration, the idol to watch, learn from and to stretch after.
Daddy’s girl? Me???
As a kid I would borrow mum’s camera, sometimes dad’s – definitely some of his equipment, whether he was aware of it or not – even the grandmas couldn’t escape.
Later in life, though still at a relatively young age, I received my first own camera as a gift. Nothing fancy or big – but for me it was fancy enough. I felt important because I finally could use any kind of slide film. I could have the slides framed and once in a while present a show for friends and family.
Whether they were interested or not.
Since then photography has been a constant in my life. Sometimes more, sometimes less. In younger years rather less, since every film roll, development and paper copy had to be financed through my pocket money. In my 20’s photography would be restricted to vacations, with the odd exception. Priority were to pay the daily bills and make ends meet.
Only in recent years, and thanks to digital photography, I was able to dabble more with the subject.
Especially when life gets tough it has almost become therapy. After a hard and draining week of work I pack in my camera and go on hour long walks. Either surrounded by the serenity of nature or the hustle and bustle of a city’s street life.
Dad can be a person of many words if he wants to. Compliments on the other hand are few and far between. Almost always they do have a stick and carrot approach. In that particular order.
The compliment might get to my head…right?
Again he started a phone conversation with “I am wondering how I can scold you thoroughly, to then give you lots and lots of praise!”
I almost fell of my chair and had no idea what he was talking about. Until he explained that he was referring to the latest photographs I had sent him.
It isn’t the first time that he tried to tell me that the overall quality of my photos are – hmm well his words not mine – above average.
Though he is talking to a perfectionist, who sees how many great photographers are out there and who would never dare to compare own work with any of them.
Dad has never pleaded with me.
“Please, if nothing else, at least put them out there – make a webpage!”
Since my photos all are very personal to me it almost feels like baring my soul. As a sequence they tell how I experienced that day. What my mind was open for and what it potentially missed. More than often I keep even the bad pictures just to let them be part of telling the story. I never dared to venture past a couple of blog posts, knowing that they weren’t searchable through search engines and only would be seen by friends and virtual friends.
Though after my talk to my father I have decided to not react like a petulant teenager:“You can’t tell me what to do!!” (Seriously, no matter how old we get our parents seem to have that effect on us).
And instead take a deep breath and then – jump……