|Angel Daughter Number Four with a smile almost as large as her own.|
When I was in High School, my father set up a darkroom for me in the recesses of our haunted basement, handed me a Nikon camera(always our family camera of choice), and told me "Go to it, Kid." Equipped with my telephoto lens, I set out to photograph one of my favorite species at the time. High School football players. Having dated several of them, they didn't think anything of having me hang around the perimeter of the field while shooting random photos. When I realized that there was a premium amongst players and their families for action photos of football players doing what they do, I began charging sixty cents a print and developing the photos in our basement. I was always torn between doing what I loved and spending time in that dark, dank basement that I swear was built upon some ancient burial plot, but that is a different story for a different day. I would run down the stairs and straight into my darkroom where I would promptly slam the door behind me.(as if doors keep creepy things from going through walls) I can still smell the pungent odor of developer that permeated the air in my little, dimly-lit space. I used to get lost in the creative work of darkness and negatives and paper dipped in liquids. It was almost other-worldly for me as I waited for seemingly nothing to appear into something.
I suppose that my father instilled the love of photography in me and then, into Angel Daughter Number Two. When I was a child, he was always chasing me around to pose for one picture or another. It seemed kind of annoying at the time. Not too many children like to stand still for as long as it takes to snap a few photos(especially my own, STILL!), but it did not take long for me to realize the benefit of having many childhood/family photos and I quickly learned to appreciate the keepsaking of a memory.
Here are some photos that I took with my camera which also happens to also be a communication device. Small details...
This is the main drag through our little town and I never really looked at it until the day that I took this picture. This sort of epitomizes the feel of what it is like to live in San Clemente. Palm trees, sunshine and ocean on the horizon no matter where you look. Heaven.
Our front yard. That is the city of Dana Point is in the distance, another wonderful costal town down here in Southern California.
Sunsplash on our faces. Angel Daughter Number Four, my sunshine, and her momma.
Interestingly enough, I have been thinking about purchasing a film camera to play around with aside from my digital cameras and my iPhone. AD2 has been encouraging me to do this. There is something about the process of shooting with film. Although we do not have the room for a darkroom right now, there might be room for one in the future.(Hopefully, the next one won't come with any uninvited guests.) Something about feeling like my girls are now grown-ups is also causing me to feel more generous with not only my words, but also my photo-taking moments. It is like I am looking for something to nurture that begins within and then metamorphoses its way out into the world for others to share. A standalone body of work that is not breathing, per say. I am starting to believe, really believe, that indulging ourselves with the things which make us feel good and useful and like we are utilizing the gifts that we were given is not only important, but necessary. Very, very necessary. And maybe not so indulgent after all.