When I was a little girl, I was awestruck by my Great Aunts Polaroid camera. It was so fascinating to watch a photo come to life just from a piece of instant film that came out of what looked like a box that had a flash and a lens to look through.
I was gifted my first camera in middle school, it was a red Kodak and I thought it was the best! Until I brought it on a trip and ended up breaking the screen that allowed me to see what I was taking photos of. Never in my life have I been so upset and heartbroken. Luckily the camera still worked and I was able to take pictures throughout the rest of my trip, but I would never have guessed how important having that broken screen would mean to me.
I started to learn how to take photos with my eyes and not the back of the camera, I would look for what was aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and what I enjoyed looking at most. I lived pretty far away from friends and so all of my free time at home (when it wasn't spent doing theater and sports) was spent in the yard taking pictures of bees on flowers, my cats in the yard, myself, and the nature around me. Occasionally I would go for walks up and down the dirt road taking pictures of the scenery around me until sunset.
It wasn't until my freshman or sophomore year of high school that I bought my first DSLR camera. It was my lovely Nikon D3000 and I LOVED it! I learned so much from not being able to see the back of my camera that I was able to continue taking photos with what appealed to my eyes rather than what looked good on the back of my camera. I practiced more and more and my photos started appearing in newspapers and local calendars. I even did my first wedding with this camera!
Once I went to college I was able to upgrade to a newer DSLR, a Nikon D3300. It was with this camera that I did another two weddings (one was casual since it was family), I traveled to Europe twice, and captured the wonderful nature around me throughout the US. This camera helped me grow as a photographer, more than I ever expected.
And now, with an ever growing collection of old and new cameras, I enjoy sharing my work with those I take photos of, as well as those who enjoy them as decorations in their homes. It's been a pleasure being a part of so many special occasions and events, I have treasured capturing the moments shared with friends and family - even those with little webbed feet!
Thanks for being a part of my journey and here's to many more!
~ Carina Alden