Call for Models

Needed: models of all shapes, sizes, ages, colours, and quantities for special project.  Serious inquiries only to h dot walls at shaw dot ca with "The White Underwear Project" in the subject line.

pictureLOVE: my inner magpie

I'm taking my passion for photography in a whole new direction.

I remember the day I got my first camera. I was 8, and it was under the Christmas tree. I actually cried happy tears when I opened the box containing a used Kodak Instamatic, and I took to it like a fish to water, squirming with delight at all the pictures I could take... my family, the things I love, the places I visited... I longed for an SLR before I even knew what one was - my ultimate dream was to own one of those scary-looking cameras that would let me make things blurry in the background. I shot anything and everything that caught my eye - I was a magpie with a recording instrument.

I remember the day I got my got my first SLR. It was a Pentax K1000 I bought off an old guy at the flea market who gave me the best advice I ever got about operating a camera: learn to understand light. I lived with that thing, and learned every possible thing I could, mostly by trial and error, and within months had amassed a collection of lenses, filters, and other peripherals that put a serious dent in my pocketbook. But, I got pretty good - good enough to get asked to take pictures of other people - and so I started taking a few pictures here and there for other people, charging just enough to cover my expenses. It became the hobby that paid for itself.

I remember the day I got my first DSLR. It was a Pentax D*ist, and I took a picture of my Dad with it at sunset, a picture that would be used later that same year for his funeral. I was reluctant to make the shift from film - I was pretty hardcore about film being superior, which it still was back then. Within a year, though, the first DSLR cameras started appearing on the market that exceeded anything even a large format film camera would be capable of, surpassing in leaps and bounds the picture quality of scanned negatives, and sounding off the official end of the film industry. I had to take pictures for more and more people to support my habit and before I knew it, I was over my head.

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Fast forward a few more years and I can tell you all about the beautiful bokeh my 200mm f2.8 makes and how it sucks they don't make a tilt-shift for the Pentax and there was a glitch that made the Nikon 50mm f1.8 not work on the D60, but I can't quite seem to remember what it was like to walk around with a camera and be a magpie with a recording instrument.

In the past 3 years I've hung up my camera twice, swearing it was becoming too much of a beast, and failing miserably both times - meeting new people plus reconnecting with families a few times a year as their families grew plus the earning potential plus the circle of fellow camera geeks plus the desire to complete my collection of lenses... far too enticing. And yet I always felt like there was something tugging me in another direction, because there are so many things about this industry that just don't sit right. I became more and more angry about the cattiness, the competitiveness, the greed, the inconsistencies... People complaining about the market being saturated, people charging obscene amounts of money, people trying to justify price fixing, people trying to scare people into thinking that social services was going to take their child away from them and their kids would get beat up in school if they didn't get "real" professional pictures done (read: not a department store, a peer, a colleague, or any other competitor who might actually be able to do the same job: take a picture. News Flash - I started taking pictures when I was 8, which is nothing compared to my daughter who's been shooting since she was 3 - who are YOU to say she's a bad risk?) I won't get deep into the administrative headaches - business licenses, taxes, external hard-drives, regularly upgraded software and hardware... it's all very time consuming.

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On April 14th, 2011, a beautiful 16 year old young woman was killed in a car accident. This young woman was someone I had been very close to - her Mom and I went through our first pregnancies together and our children practically grew up as siblings until junior high hit. Now, I could blame the onset of adolescence for our families growing apart, but frankly, that isn't true. Around the same time our first-borns hit puberty, I dove into the photography thing, her Mom dove into her own business, and we just plain got ourselves too busy to have time together, usually relying on illness or tragedy as our only excuse to get together.

At her funeral there were stacks and stacks of pictures. We flipped through them and reminisced about all the times we had gotten together, which usually wasn't a good time until someone was injured - stitches, broken bones, bee stings, sunburns, rugburns, sprained backs, frostbite, and even a trip to emerg with a monkey bite... never a dull moment. And I wanted to ask, "What happened to us?" But the answer was pretty obvious - we got all busy being grown up and buying cars and running businesses and not remembering what it was like feeling connected to one another because we were too occupied...

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It's no secret that I've been disenchanted for quite some time now. The lies I've told myself about this - they're all as plain to me now as the nose on my face. I have no regrets, but officially, as of today, I'm "retiring" so I can take my passion for photography in a whole new direction: backwards. To the time when my camera was an extension of my body and all I needed to do was wait for juicy moments to shoot one the many facets of my amazingly boring, completely perfect little life - my family, my friends, my dogs, my feet, my garden... Back to being a magpie. Back to being me: mom, wife, gardener, shoe fetishist, and sometimes photographer. I understand light: Light shone through those many amazingly boring, completely perfect facets makes my life sparkle. I. Am. Magpie. So, without further ado

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I QUIT.

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Join me right here over the coming months as I explore several different visual themes, as well as reclaim my love for writing, and indulge a few long-forgotten past-times. I have several commitments to fulfill, but even more fun and entertaining projects coming up that feed my soul and appease my magpie-ness. Thanks for the good times. See you on the flip side!