It's cliché for anyone to say that photography has been in their family for generations.
So, I'll merely say that I caught the bug from my family.
Looking back, I smile when I think of my mother and her camera. As a child, my mom took a photography course and captured beautiful images of our Midwestern lives. Of course, I say this in retrospect because at the time, my younger sister and I actually hated the mere presence of that piece of machinery. Today, we fight over these beautiful self-developed black and white memories of our youth.
In junior high, Mr. Phife's woodworking course was the worst possible class. Coming from a home where my dad was not as masterful with power tools as he was with more academic endeavors, the only section which allowed me to earn an A was the photography unit. This two-week project gave our class the chance to take pictures, with a rudimentary pinhole camera, then develop the film. I was fascinated by the darkroom and the mystery of a how small room could produce so much life. (Even as some of my classmates used the lightless closet environment to work on their “biology”.)
Selecting a profession that is less than creative, I've always marveled at those with an artistic side. I have often viewed writers, artists, songwriters, amongst others, with a sense of jealousy. They were able to create, while I felt my role was solely to interpret. After viewing my sister's phenomenal photographs one Thanksgiving, and my mother's resurgence in the hobby, I wanted to see if I could follow in their footsteps. Add this to how someone close to me began producing phenomenal jewelry, and it was obvious that I had to take my chance.
Purchasing a Canon PowerShot SD 780 in January 2010, I began my journey as a New Year’s Resolution.
As much as photography is a hobby, it is also my chance to shine light on the beauty that represents New Jersey’s “forgotten” communities. Paterson. Jersey City. Union City. And Newark all represent the plight of the New Jersey that is molded by those who live beyond its borders. With the use of my camera, I hope to shine a light on those who are on the inside looking out. More often sunshine than darkness, more joy than tears. For me, street photography can show that these marginalized communities are just as important as their “bedroom community” neighbors.
I aim to show beauty in the every day struggle that is life. And to capture that beauty…unscripted.
Three years later, with the help of a FujiFilm X100, Canon P and Olympus XA rangefinders, and my trusty HTC Evo 4G, I've been interviewed on a variety of websites, won the 2010 "UrbanPaterson" photo contest, and part of two local photo exhibits.
So much for making resolutions that are doomed to fail.
- BCL, January 14, 2013