*Walks up to the mic* — *tap*tap* — is this thing on? Hi! My name is Blonnie Brooks, and I’m an addict. I’m addicted to taking pictures. I’m addicted to editing pictures. I’m addicted to looking at photographs. I’m addicted to learning about photography. I am so thankful for this addiction, because it helped me realize my dreams and discover what I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing.
I bought my first camera from a gypsy peddler on the side of the road. First, she told my fortune — My fate is to be an extremely talented, unique, world-renowned photographer. Next, she brought out an ornately carved silver box and told me that within it lay the key to my destiny. She opened the box slowly and a smokey glow began to envelop her caravan. Heavenly music filled the air as she carefully removed a turquoise Kodak Pazzazz 110 film camera. From that moment on, I knew my future as a photographer had been set. It was destiny.
Ok? Ok. Actually, I just wanted a fabulous story to share about how I knew I was going to be a photographer.
To be truthful, I don’t have a wonderful story about how I “always knew” that photography would play such a large role in my life. I wish I had realized it earlier — because maybe I’d have actually gone to college with the sole purpose of being a photographer. I would have been on the fringe of still being able to learn about film and dark room development methods, while still being young enough to enter into the digital age with ease.
So the real truth: My first camera was, in fact, a 110 film Turquoise Kodak Pazzazz. I took pictures of my friends at school – that was about it. Film was expensive and my parents paid. The transition I had into photography was very gradual. I wish I had realized where my interests were leading me sooner, so I could have begun my “love affair” a little earlier. I actually started by using Photoshop — without photos. I made my first webpage in 1994 with my own graphics that I’d designed in Photoshop. I have played with Photoshop from that point on (and had a webpage from that point on as well).
I bought my first digital camera in 2000 – another Kodak – a DC210. A 1MP camera. Seriously. But I loved it.
Around 2002, I started to get very involved in restoring old photographs. I would beg for people at work to give me their old torn and stained photos just so I could have fun seeing how well I could fix them. I would even find antique photos online and restore them just for fun! I had no one to give them to; I just wanted more to play with. I also did a little bit of digital painting in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet (I wasn’t all that great, but it was fun :) My favorite digital painting was of my doggy, Izzy!
We eventually got a better camera – this time it was a Canon PowerShot S400 (I still think that is a great camera!) I began taking it with us on motorcycle rides and would photograph pretty scenery from the back of the motorcycle. I never knew if the picture would turn out — but I took many and hoped that one or two wouldn’t be blurry! This was my ‘shoot and pray’ era.
The big epiphany for me came (like many other photographers of my generation) when my daughter was born in 2006. There were not many pictures of me as a baby. Actually, just a few (about 4?) and I had resolved that this would not be the case for her. I upgraded to a Canon G7, learned how to use it in manual mode and eventually outgrew the camera’s capabilities (I still use it as a casual/walk around camera – it is great!) I upgraded to a Canon Rebel XTi which gave me the opportunity to learn about RAW files and finally gave me the capability “develop” my photos in my own “digital Lightroom” (literally!)
I have since upgraded to my current camera, a Canon 5d Mark II. My DREAM camera. I am in love with it… seriously. If I weren’t already Mrs. Brooks, I would gladly be Mrs 5d Mark II, if it would have me. My “love affair” has reached an entirely new level.
During this time, I believe I have taken more pictures of my daughter than she will probably ever even get to see! In fact, my goal this year is to take -fewer- photos of her, but make the ones I do take, very meaningful. I want to capture the true emotion and detail in the moment and show exactly why I took my camera out to photograph her, in as few pictures as possible.
My journey into the depths of photography has only just begun…. I would love for you to follow along with me by keeping up with my blog. I hope to fill these pages with tidbits about my life, notes about my favorite things (sometimes photography related and sometimes not) and most of all, beautiful pictures.