Thursday, August 14, 2008

How I Got Started in Photography

My grandmother was a photographer. Not by trade, but she had her Kodak and she loved to take pictures. Her Kodak had her named engraved - - in 18 karat gold - - on the front: "Eliza Mae Patten."

My Mom and Her Camera
My mother was a photographer too. Like me, she carried her camera everywhere. I found this picture of Thelma with one of her cameras from her days as a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s. I was lucky. My parents took me to spend a lot of time with my grandparents on both side. At my grandmother's house in Houston, Texas, I learned my family history while looking through the old photographs of various people long gone. That is one good thing about people who love cameras. A camera makes photographs. By default, a love of cameras creates a love of photographs. Being surrounded by camera people, and their cameras and their photographs, I grew to love it too. Photographs of my family; photographs of my friends; photographs of my friends' families; photographs of people I did not even know and their families; photographs of things around families, like dogs, cats, houses, books, sunsets, etc.

Every Picture Tells a Story
I got my first Kodak Brownie at age 6. Unfortunately, photographs taken by me in my earlier years have not survived. However, my love of cameras and photography did not end. I also developed (pun intended)a yearning for collecting pictures. I wanted my grandmother's pictures. I wanted my grandfather's pictures. I wanted any and all pictures I could get my hands on. The day that I would control my family's pictures, or at least my mother's side of the photographs, has come. I have decided to use this blog as a means to show off my photograph collection and to tell my family history. Since my love of photographs started with my grandmother's pictures, I have decided to start with her and her side of the family first.