Learning from the Master….

“This is a really good way to raise kids,” my three year old mind whispers, as my Dad and I are walking side by side through a National Forest.

And so I ask him, “what is the name of your job?” to which he responds “I’m a photographer”. I counter, insistently “No! What’s the real name of your job? The exact name?” I wanted to store that title away like a sacred acorn so that when I got married, my husband could have that exact job, and our kids could experience what my brother and I were living, in that moment.

Turns out my Dad was a Kodak photographer, a job which sent us cross country in a red station wagon, to Estes or Sequoia National Parks. All summer, our weekends were spent at the top of mountains, Dad rising at the break of dawn for early morning nature walks…leading a gaggle of photographic students from picturesque scene to scene.

I learned two things from this memory. First, kids are listening, so watch what you say. Second, we are all given gifts, which ironically, we take for granted. I used to feel that the things that came naturally to me, and brought me the most joy fell into the category of “hobby”, and a job was something else, something ultimately less joyful.

The ah-ha moment came 26 years after my insistent question, when I realized that I had known all along what career would bring me joy. I just had to rewire my brain that in my family, the mom would have the job with the camera. I started my photographic business on January 5, 2008, and haven’t looked back a single day.

Okay, I did look back once. Last week, at the pumpkin patch, I couldn’t help myself from recreating another little memory…

Me, as photographed by my Dad. Circa 1980, right around the time of my first memory
of how great it would be to be a photographer.

29 years after I was laying on my belly between two pumpkins, I photographed this client.
She was much happier.

more memories to come, or to be made…

3 Comments on “Learning from the Master….

  1. I remember this like it was yesterday Stacey. You were such a great little helper; serving as a cooperative model on my photo walks, carrying extra film, running cables beneath the benches in the outdoor amphitheaters in preparation for my evening slide shows. Little did I know that you were listening intently and learning the lessons so well. Your talent continues to amaze me!

    • I remember all of that like it was yesterday, too! What a gift you (through both your genes and your demonstrations), Mom, and Kodak gave to our family. xoxo

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