In 1986 when I took my first photography class in school,
it was all about film, darkrooms, processing and printing.
My mother bought me my first camera,
a Pentax K1000 that most schools required students to use;
I took it with me everywhere.
It was so carefree shooting then -
I had a lot of free time to look at the world through a photographer's eyes.
I lived on rural road where most neighbors owned horses,
so a friend and I would walk down the road,
past the fields to the golf course.
Even at 14-years-old I would have my friend model,
telling her to walk back and forth in certain lighting situations
until I got the photo that I wanted.
Years later my photography teacher told me that he still had
one of my photos hanging in his lab,
that it was the best photo he had from a student in that genre.
And I'm lucky enough to have that photo teacher on my Facebook now.
Every now and then he "Likes" one of my images
and it gives me that happy little rush that I used to get as his student.
In college, I was the editor in chief of the student newspaper,
but most students would see me on campus photographing events.
It was almost a gift to be on the newspaper
because we had a budget for film and processing,
and many of my images were published in the paper.
It was after college that I fell out of photography for a few years.
I had loaned my camera to a friend who had it for a suspiciously long time.
When I had loaned her the camera there was
3/4 of a roll of film that I had told her to finish.
She later told me that she entered one of the photos from my
camera into a contest and won,
saying it was her photo.
My heart sank at that point.
When she showed me the image that she entered,
I was horrified –it was definitely an
image I took because I not only remember taking it,
I remembered the aperture and shutter speed as well.
The final straw was when she finally returned my camera –to me,
there were light leaks;
it was impossible to use and I didn't have the money to have it fixed.
I was heartbroken.
Years had passed by the time I finally pulled myself back into photography.
I knew I would talk myself out of going shooting because
I was too intimidated to go by myself.
I also knew that if I was in charge of a group of photographers,
I would go because I had to be there!
So I started the Long Island Photography Meetup.
Within five years our group grew from 5 to 350 active members,
and we were featured in one of New York's premiere newspapers.
It was a thrill!
But after five years, I realized that giving away my time and efforts
wasn't the best choice for my son and me,
so I handed over the group
and started to concentrate on my own business,
Adrienne Brand Photography.
Sometimes it feels like I jumped off a yacht into icy waters without even a life vest.
But I figured I needed to do this!
I'm getting work,
and my images are so much better than when I was shooting
as the head of the Meetup group.
My only challenge at this point is finding the time to shoot and process.
With a four-hour-a-day commute to work
as well as a five-year-old, time is extremely limited.
But I think I'm better off moving ahead slowly
than not moving at all.
The biggest thrill now is getting feedback from clients, –
it's like those first days of photography when my photo teacher would say,
"Yes, that's it;– it looks great!"
Except this time I'm getting paid!
I met Adrienne through a Philadelphia Meet-Up Group.
If you haven't checked out Meet Up
go and enter your zip code and interests.
You'll be able to connect with others easily! - Becky
Stop back next week for Adrienne's tutorial.
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