“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift
When did you find a love for photography?
My father left me his Pentax. I had a lot of fun with it for a while – then kids and family life took most of my time. After my youngest graduated from high school I started taking classes at the Junior College in my area. The second semester I took black and white photography. I loved everything about it – including the darkroom experience. The next semester, they started a new class – digital photography. I loved everything about it too – including learning Photoshop and all the possibilities that it opened up as far as being able to take photography to new places.
I had used my daughter and some of her friends for models. When one of them, Holly, got engaged her mom asked me to shoot the wedding! I said no, of course not!!! Long story short, she insisted – so I said ok, I would do it as a gift. What happened for me was magical. I was like a fish who was in a tiny bowl being set free into the open sea. I had done a lot of research to learn as much as I could and then I went for it. It was like something I was meant to do – and it never would have happened if it wasn’t for my friends!
I entered a print into the student art show and was accepted into it out of hundreds of entries. Since then I have been entering local contests at the Mid-State Fair and the New Times Winning Images contest and have won many awards. The most exciting was in 2009 when my image was used for the cover of the New Times announcing all the winners.
How does social media allow you to get your work into the world?
I’m still trying to learn how to take advantage of the possibilities. I think as I’ve matured, my right brain has blossomed and my left brain Not! I have a facebook page, a photoblog, and a website and have them linked. I’ve used facebook to bring awareness to what I’m doing currently and also to announce upcoming art shows. I’m currently showing at Veris Cellars in Templeton and participating in a charity event there coming up soon.
In what ways do you believe the internet will change this year?
Have you seen Arthur C. Clarke speaking in 1964 about what he foresaw coming in the next 50 years? It’s mind boggling how right on he was – and I’m sure there are progressions coming that I can’t fathom.
If you had an hour of free-time, what would you do?
Walk around Atascadero Lake with my 2 Boston terriers with my daughter or a friend (it’s about a mile around.) I’ve also taken many photos there through the years.
How do you want to be remembered when you leave this life?
As someone who always had time to spend as a friend, and who helped inspire others to reach for their dreams.
As well as photography, I also have a facebook page called Life With Bella. She is a Boston terrier who is a certified therapy dog. We go every Tuesday afternoon to visit residents (who are now our friends) of a residential care facility for developmentally disabled adults. I come away from our visits just as happy as we have made our friends in our short time there. Her page includes photos of her and her friends, and a lot of videos – some informative, some funny, some amazing.
What advice would you give to the beginning photographer?
Try to take classes in your area. In addition, learn in other ways – online classes, books, join a local photographer’s group and participate on field trips with them, enter competitions – maybe get to know a more experienced photographer and see if they can “mentor” you.
Take your camera with you everywhere (when you can). Give yourself assignments (good ones to be found here).
Practice with all the settings on your camera.
But most of all, if you feel alive when you take and work with your photos – go for it and opportunities will open up for you along the way! I’m not discounting the Brooks’ of this world, but we all don’t have the opportunity to go there, for whatever reason.
Why do you enjoy blogging?
Right now I enjoy the “idea” of blogging. That’s because I’m still trying to learn the mechanics. I can’t wait to have a much more fluid blog where I not only share more frequently, my photos, but share useful information such as, questions to ask a potential photographer, makeup tips for being photographed, links to other blogs and websites that I find useful/entertaining, etc.
My favorite subject is people. Everyone is a canvas and every moment passes and is gone forever. My euphoria comes when I click and capture the essence of the person in that one and only space in time.
I not only love taking pictures – I love restoring old family photos; helping to preserve them for future generations. Creating slideshows set to music is one of my favorite things to do. I make them from photos I’ve taken or from your photo albums, including old restored photos. Show them at anniversary parties, wedding receptions, or at home any time you want to watch them. How about a child’s lifetime of memories in sequence, or sharing photos of a life well lived at a memorial service.
Come visit me online at photoart by donna.
Photo descriptions: My artist statement which is on the wall where my photography is hanging at Veris Cellars in Templeton, Ca. - including the cover image on the New Times. The other is our little lake - a great spot for walking, talking, breathing, enjoying nature...