My Photography Journey

Growing up, I was always “that friend” with a camera in hand, never shy about snapping pictures in my friends faces. I started with disposable cameras, I was always excited to go to CVS to pick up a brand new Kodak camera and drop off my old one to get my pictures developed. I fell immensely in love with capturing moments, because even at a young age I somehow understood how fleeting they were, and how much I’d want to remember them.

My first digital camera was a big chunky silver thing, I honestly don’t even remember what brand it was. But I was excited to finally have my own camera. I brought it to school, to camp, to sports, just about anywhere where anything picture worthy could happen.

Then around 7th grade I got the camera of my twelve-year-old dreams: the Fuji Film hot pink WATER PROOF camera. You guys, I was obsessed with this thing. My dream was to take breathtaking pictures underwater, when in reality all I ever really captured was bubbles blowing out of peoples noses and minor flashing incidents while trying to capture flips and tricks. That aside, this camera saw a lot. It documented endless junior high dances, spirit weeks, and field trips. I was always taking pictures of me and my friends, even before I had anywhere to put them (I didn’t get Facebook until I was in high school) I just loved collecting moments.

The Christmas of my sophomore year of high school my dad surprised me with my very own Canon Rebel. I hadn’t asked for it and was so stunned and grateful for this real deal camera. My family had a trip to Italy planned that summer and my dad thought it would be a good way for me to document the trip. I did indeed document my Italian adventures, but also a million things in between. This is when I began to see photography as something tangible, as something that was more than just an annoying quality, but as a way of creating art. I’d never been good at drawing or painting, but as I began to adventure with my camera I realized that photographs were art too, and that I loved creating them.

I still have my trusty Canon Rebel now, and we’ve seen a lot together. We’ve seen countless sunsets, family portraits, senior pictures, Roman ruins, yoga shoots, wedding pictures, headshots, blizzards, and SO much more. There’s specs of sand scattered in the crevices from our numerous trips to the beach, there’s a little spot where I spilled my Gelato in Italy, there are a million memories wrapped up in that camera strap.

I dove into the freelance world when I started college, I wanted to reach more people and get my photos out there. I absolutely love it. I love making something that matters to people. I love seeing my images in their homes, social media, and holiday cards. I love that something I love so much can be considered work.

My Nana always tells me that I have “the eye” and not to sound pompous, but I agree with her. Anyone can take a picture. We’ve all asked our moms or partners to take a picture of us and have it come out horribly wrong. But it takes an artist, someone with “the eye”, a photographer, to truly create and capture an image. I find this world so incredibly intricate and intoxicating and I can’t help but want to see it all through my lens. I want to see different faces and colors and scenery. I love making even a millisecond of this life forever stationary, frozen in time. Whatever someone’s art is, painting, writing, ceramics, photography, drawing, etc. it takes talent, it takes passion, it takes commitment, that’s what sets it apart.

Love Always,

Olivia Jane