This is a short piece of my story to tell you where I am coming from and what I am trying to become.
To whom it may concern:
When my father was younger he had a darkroom in his closet. He took pictures, developed them, and printed them on an enlarger in his room. He grew up to become a successful dentist with a lovely family, and he seemed to have left this piece of his childhood in his past. Photographs basically played a purely functional role in his life for the next thirty years or so. One day his daughter, after having browsed Flickr for days on end, asked for a DSLR camera so she could play with depth of field like a big girl.
I basically knew absolutely nothing about the principles of art or the rules of photography, and I really had no idea how to use a camera. After several years of using this pretty cheap and mostly plastic DSLR camera as a point-and-shoot, I decided to take a film photography class at school. Everyone really believed I had some special gift or something with photography, but looking back I realized that they were all just being supportive of my over-edited-in-iPhoto pictures of flowers and cups (Hey, we've all got to start somewhere). Although my photos looked slightly better than some of the other kids in the class, it was not because I had some great skill, it was because I had spent most of my weekends in middle school staring at great photographers' work while all of the other students had normal lives. As I took these photography classes, my teacher brought my over-inflated head back down to earth, emptied it, and filled it with elements of design and such. It was a painful process, but honestly I wish I had more critics like Mr. Rupe to help me grasp what truly makes a good photo.
In that class, I realized that I really am not a photographer at all. I am just some girl who showed a bit of interest in visual art, and kept trying to replicate the greatness I saw in real photographers online. I've spent so many hours trying to do this, that I feel that in the process I might have actually become a photographer in some sense of the word. I say this, because I feel I may have a good understanding of structure and self, but there are so many things I have yet to conquer or even explore at all.
So now, here I am. A maybe-photographer trying to become a real photographer, and perhaps one day I will be one such photographer who a thirteen-year-old girl somewhere will stumble upon on the internet and aspire to be.