My parents first gave me a camera when I was four or five. Prior to that, I remember running around making a fake viewfinder with my hands and “taking pictures” with it. Dad developed some of my first photos in his amateur basement darkroom. I have never studied photography, but have learned from excellent photographers especially Calvin Kimbrough who documented life at Patchwork for decades.
Over the last fifteen years I have worked in many different community arts programs in which photographs have provided both a record of the learning that takes place and a compelling reason for people to become involved. I also enjoy using the camera as a way to interact with people. It’s an opportunity for me to observe the children and what they’re doing and to get to know them and their unique characters in the process.
So, have I somewhat inadvertently added photographer to my list of artistic endeavors?