Dec 25

Prologue

Everything I had always done was for him. My grandfather. He was the man who always looked at me like he cared. I mean, he also looked at me like I was a complete idiot. But it was with love that the look bore into my skull. I could imagine it right now. His eyes would stare into your soul almost, his head turned at a 45 degree angle to look at you, naturally of course. But the best part was the laugh that would rise out of me when he looked at me like that. It was the look that let me know my grandfather was okay. That he was good.

When I was younger I was one of the most creative kids you could find. I would sit and write satires galore, you almost always found me with a pen in hand. A pen or my grandfathers camera. My parents used to kill him when he gave it to me, the little hands of a toddler holding an old film camera with extensions. The camera, a Canon EOS 5 with vertical grip. It was heavy in the hands of a toddler, even now its awkward in my hands yet it finds home with me. Or more honestly, I find home when I work with it. But back to the story, they would almost kill him, their eyes trailing me when I walked or sat with it in my hands. God only knows the amount of film I wasted messing around. My grandfather though, he would laugh and show me how to look properly. He taught me everything I know about photography, everything he knew he shared with his eldest grand-daughter.

He would laugh my parents off and tell them I was fine, it was just a camera. I mean, it was just a camera, it could be replaced by another one that would have been the same or have even better specs. Thing is though, it never broke. I knew even then that the thing in my hands was important. My grandfather always instilled just how much importance there could be in a photograph.

I followed my grandfather around like an eejit most of the time. Everything he done I was there, he has always been there for me. He always understood why I wanted to be a photographer. He is the only person who never questioned me. I was always told that it is not a stable career, or that I would have to travel a lot. Quite frankly, the fact that I have to travel is what concreted my aspiration. It is part of why I love photography, that it cannot be bound by borders, or race, or sexuality, or political stances. It is the one thing that will speak to everyone and show what goes on behind the way a country or person presents themselves to the world.

On my eight birthday my grandfather gave me my own camera, it was one of his. A Canon 40D. If you can’t sense the pattern occurring, my grandfather and I are both especially fond of Canon cameras. I was told once by a ski instructor that your first camera, paves the way for every one you will buy for the rest of your life. He was onto something, for to this day I will not look at anything other than a Canon. I have familiarised myself with the inner workings of a Canon camera and I cannot imagine what I would do if I had to use anything else.

I still have that camera my grandfather gave me all those years ago. It is broken now, the chips inside wore down by the time I was 16. I got 8 good years with an old camera, a camera that I will never get rid of. It is always with me no matter where I live. It has a special place, it is a reminder of the hope and trust my grandfather had in me when I was such a little girl. The way I treat my cameras now, I have absolutely no clue how he trusted me with my own, and one of such high quality when I was so young.

I guess it is part of that understanding he had for me. Photography for me is amazingly important. I can go stir crazy if I don’t work with my camera for a long period of time. Something that my Grandfather knew and something that I have come to know is that photography for me is something that allows me to be my creative self that I was when I was a child. It allows me to capture those moments that slip by and go unnoticed. A smile that comes from pure joy, or pure hatred. They both tell a story. They tell a story that I want to share. A story that speaks to me in a way that I know I have to share it with other people. You can tell so much about a person, or a situation from that one second that was caught on camera.

What I truly love about photography is that an image is there for someone when they need it. People will always subconsciously look for what they need at that moment in time, it may be different from someone else and it may be different then how they could view it in 10 minutes but what they see will answer something inside them wether that be another question reaching for a deeper answer or not.

It is the thrill of not knowing what you are going to capture nor knowing how many people it could help in a number of ways that cannot be counted.