My first passion in photography is still plain-old-ordinary, black-and-white film. I like opening my refrigerator and seeing boxes of film tucked-in along with the olives and fresh parsley on the door. Taking a small spool of film and turning it into negatives thrills me. I’m still amazed at putting a solid white piece of paper into a tray of clear liquid and watching an image appear from seemingly nothing.
I love that the image is my vision, a little bit of my heart and a little bit of my soul.
The first time I used a darkroom was in Mr. Fecik’s Photo I class during my sophomore year at Boardman High School. That was in 1989. It was magic then and it’s still magic now.
I took photo classes throughout high school and college, as well as shooting for the high school yearbook and doing two years as the photo editor of NC State University’s newspaper. Upon graduation, I worked for Eastman Kodak, first in technical support, then in field sales and marketing. Photography was a hobby I loved. I’d set-up my darkroom in the bathroom of my small apartment, placing the enlarger on the vanity top and the chemical trays in the tub. My job at Eastman Kodak eventually led to a job with another corporation, which sadly led to even less time for photography. Eventually, photography had dwindled to daydreams during boring conference calls.
It took a few years to build the courage and put a plan in place. But in 2008 I offered my resignation at my corporate job and put myself back on the path to creativity. I was thrilled to discover excitement and anticipation were still waiting for me in the darkroom.