There's something magical that happens when I hold a camera: the world slows; the fine details come to life; and I find myself almost in a meditative state. I love traveling the world with my camera in hand, capturing what I see.
My grandmother was a photographer and I remember sitting in her kitchen as a child with the lights off watching slide shows of her latest photographs. When I was a teenager my brother gave me my first SLR and though I tried to learn on my own how to take photos with the camera, I couldn't seem to understand the concept. As I became older and traveled the world, I knew that I had a natural eye for taking pictures, but I never got the hang of taking the camera off automatic. As I bought a better camera, people raved about my photos, but I felt like an imposter. I had no idea what I was actually doing.
Then I met James Tennery at a private party in the Napa Valley. (Once again, one dream leads to another dream coming true.) James agreed to teach me photography if I was willing to model for him. I have a horrible fear of being in front of the camera. I hate doing it and feel like a deer in headlights, but I was willing to do just about anything to learn this art form. It took just a few lessons with James and I was off auto mode. He was able to teach me that ISO was film speed, aperture was depth of field, and shutter how long the camera allowed light to come through to the sensor. Suddenly, my photos were taking on new form.
James and I would go out and shoot together. Watching how he took photos taught me to see the light in things, literally. I realized that photography was more about how the light affects a subject. He taught me to shoot dirty - that sometimes the greatest photos come from playing, making mistakes, and just shooting everything you see. I'm forever grateful to Jame's teachings. As with any art form, I will continue to grow and learn for the rest of my life. I will find other photographers to shoot with so I can learn from them as well. And more than that, I will continue to seek out the beauty this world offers so that somehow I can find a way to capture it through my lens.