When I was nine years old my parents gave me my first disposable camera to use. I received the camera because we were moving from one house to another, and they knew I was worried about moving. My parents gave me the camera in hopes that if I took pictures of the house we were leaving, I would feel more comfortable moving to the new one. This was the start of my photography journey.
Throughout the years I would take many photographs using disposable cameras. Eventually my mother got a digital camera that seemed revolutionary to me. People always comment that my photographs looked good, and I seem to have a talent for it, but I would just kind of brush it off.
I was always heavily involved in music, playing over 10 instruments, and thought that was going to be my career and main focus in life. While in high school I developed physical health problems with my hands. They slowly got worse over the time, to the point I wasn’t able to play any of the instruments I had learned. Not knowing what to do with my life, I found the camera again, and started taking more photographs.
This sparked the idea, why not go to school for photography? I had been taking classes at my local community college for a liberal arts degree, focusing on music. Having photography as my new love, I started taking every photographic class they offered and switched majors. I was fascinated and wanted to learn everything I could about photography. I’d spend hours at home watching videos, reading, and learning everything I could about photography. The passion was ignited, and I couldn’t stop taking photographs and learning.
Once I completed the photography classes that my local community college had to offer, all I had left was the general core classes. I wanted more photography! That is when I discovered the Art Institute. I transferred and with all the credits that I had, I was able just to focus on photography classes. After around a year, I completed my associates degree in photography. Throughout the degree I would lose interest and then gain it back while taking classes.
At one point I thought about giving up photography altogether, as all the images I was taking were of portraits, or subjects I wasn’t interested in. It always just felt like I was having to take someone else’s ideas, and turn them into an image for an assignment. I had to take classes like that in order to get the degree.
During my last class, I had the best professor out of all my photographic classes. It was a portfolio class designed to help one build a portfolio, just as the name describes. She pushed me to create new images and focus on a personality that I wanted my images to represent. The passion and love was reunited. I now take the images that I like, for the simple reason that I like them. Whether or not anyone else likes them, I enjoy what I photograph, and now have fun again doing it.
I have been able to use a variety of equipment, that allows me to take the photographs I want, even with the difficulties of my hands. I call myself a roadside photographer because I don’t hike to the tops of mountains or travel miles by foot with a heavy backpack.
Colorado photography experience blog is about photographing subjects in every day life. I use my immediate surroundings to photograph, and find the interesting aspects in my surroundings without having to travel far. The goal is to share my experiences, maybe inspire, or help others find their photographic passion.
Colorado Photography Experience | Turner Smith Photography