When I Fell In Love With Photography

I was visiting my mom last weekend and found this photo hanging upstairs in my sister’s room.  My sister is the little girl in this photo…she is 20 years old now, so this photo was taken quite some time ago.  Not to date myself, but I took this photo when I was a junior in high school taking my first photography class.  This is the photo that made me fall in love with photography….

“Rachel & Mo”

I processed the film by myself and developed this photo in the dark room of my high school.  Quite a bit of a different process than photography today in this digital age.  I remember that it was so exciting to glance at your film strip after developing the roll and anticipate what the image might develop onto paper.  The dark room was so magical.  I miss that about photography sometimes.  Of course, it is so awesome now to see the shot as soon as you take it and know if you “got it” right.  Not to mention, that you can shoot a thousand frames if you want and never have to worry about the cost of film and developing.

Now, I must also give props to my photography teacher from high school for helping me fall in love with photography.  Some of you from Charlotte might recognize his name – Byron Baldwin. He was a founding member of The Light Factory and taught photography at Myers Park High School for like 30 something years.  In his class room there was a giant print of each senior photography class, going back to the 70s.  It was pretty neat as a teenager to go back 20 something years through the photos and see the fashion changes. There was so much history in that room and I always felt like I was a part of something really cool.

Now, back to the photo above….this was off of my first roll of film I ever took for that class.  The process each week in class was to produce one print and on Fridays we had the critique.  Sometimes we has an assignment to shoot different subjects, but this time there was no criteria.  In the critique, your photo either made it above or below the line, that simple.  This image was one of the first ones to make it above the line that week.

There were like 4 or 5 junior photography classes, but only one senior photography class.  I had to submit a portfolio at the end of my junior year to make into the senior photography class, and waiting to hear back from that was so incredibly hard.  I wanted that class so bad, so thank goodness that I made it!  The senior class counted for 2 classes, so we had many hours a week in the photo lab.  It was by far my favorite class in high school.  Mr. Baldwin always focused on the art of photography, and was never too technical about everything.  He even taught us Photoshop when it first came out.  Wow, we have come a long way, huh?

Mr. Baldwin mentioned once during class that he wanted to go to Prague, and all of our ears perked up.  I had never even heard of Prague, but it sure sounded amazing.  We begged and begged him to plan the trip, and sure enough a day after our high school graduation about 15 of us from the class took a 10 day trip to Prague with Mr. Baldwin.  It was an amazing experience.  I need to dig those old photos up too.  Here is the group shot of us all on the Charles Bridge

The photo of  “Rachel and Mo” is photo is stuck to the glass, so I wasn’t able to take it out to scan in.  This print of it in the frame will have to do for now.  Maybe I have the negative stored away in the attic somewhere.  I sure hope so, because I would love to make another print of this.

A big thank you to Mr. Baldwin for helping me fall in love with photography.

You can check out my photography portfolio on my website here:  http://www.thecreativestack.com/

3 Responses to “When I Fell In Love With Photography”
  1. Michelle says:

    Great post, Heather!

  2. Boy, does that bring back memories…that Mo was one of a kind!

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