I Owe Photography More Than Just Image Making


I am about to reveal to you something that I am somewhat ashamed and embarrassed to tell you, but had it not been for photography, I would not be able to tell you about it at all. 

Writing a blog is not my forte, as you have probably work out by now if you have been visiting and read previous posts.

Thinking about what to write, and in a way that will make sense to you, is a constant struggle for me. Even the first few sentences I have anguish over. In fact, it took me almost fifteen minutes just to get those ever few sentences out believe it or not.

God knows how long it will take me to finish this entry.

I have had trouble all my life putting what I am thinking into words. And as for writing it down,– wow that’s something that is tormenting, painful and distressing for me to this day. The reason being, and this is the embarrassing bit, I went through and left college illiterate. Hence, I was never a high achiever and strangled immensely academically. They were painful days. All these years on and even though I have come a long way, I am still haunted by my lack of writing ability and how to put my thoughts down on paper.

I can recall at the age of eight one of my teachers at a teachers parent meeting telling me and my parents that I was uninterested in learning to read or write. It was put in a way that insinuated that I was retarded. LOL now, but at the time it wasn’t a laughing matter. That knock whatever little confidence I had right out of me and I resided in the fact that I would never read nor write. At the time I had no idea as to why I struggled in this area of learning, but looking back the teacher was right about the uninterested part. 

That was till I was given my first 35mm camera on my thirteen birthday. I was blown away by how this small black box with a lens and roll of film could freeze and capture an image that was just a millisecond in time. I knew a split second in time, once it had gone, it had gone forever. You can’t get it back. Yet with this magic black box I could record it, print it and recall it at will. I was hook. I wanted to learn as much as I could about how it all worked. I wanted to make images that would not only give me pleasure, but more importantly restore some form of confidence in myself as a person and for my parents who I felt I had let down.

I started by purchasing photography magazines and browsing the pictures. But I wanted to know more. I wanted to know about the technical side of image making. I wanted to know about setting shutter speed, aperture, film speed and what they all did in relation to one another.

So even thought I couldn’t read a complete sentence, I could pick up on some of the smaller words or parts of a word. I attempted to read the articles as much, or as little as it was at that time, as I could. My parents who had given me the camera could see a change in me and would help me whenever they could. This is something they had tried to do in the past but failed to achieve. It wasn’t until I had found a purpose to read, that I had the desire to learn to read.

Now I hope this blog will do for me what photography did for me. Who knows, I might even wright a half decent post some day? And without having to continuously rework and rephrase what I have written and in good time.

I suppose the underlying message I would like to extend from this entry (apart from me personally knowing that if I keep on writing these posts things will improve for me as a writer) is, if you have a child that is struggling to read and write. Find material that interests and inspires them. It maybe just the thing that sparks them up and helps them erase the hurt of felling different from everyone else and the feeling of been push aside, as I know I did.

Photography could be just the thing?