I remember my first camera. It was a pocket-sized Minolta my dad (he was an airline pilot) picked up in Japan, so the directions were in Japanese and it was impossible to find the film it used. A few other cameras, straight from Japan, followed. I enjoyed taking photos and hated the wait of sending them away for developing.
I was 15 when I knew I wanted to be a journalist. When I was graduated from college, I took a job at my hometown weekly, where I wrote, edited, did layout and I took photos. The first few years, those photos were horrible; taken from what seemed a mile or more away; exposures all over the place; composition that was a waste of the 1,000 words it was to have represented.
Fast forward to the Digital Age. No need to roll film and ration shots. Those little cards measured in megabytes and gigabytes were instant gratification … and the way I learned to take great photos for newspapers.
My newspaper career is in the past now. I’ve gotten over living by deadlines, wondering if I was missing a story or a photo, of keeping handfuls of pens and pencils and SD cards, extra batteries and notepads in my bag.
But I haven’t gotten over the thrill of a photo, of being in the right place at the right time, of telling another story.