I remember the day I got my first camera. It was Christmas morning 1998. I was in Junior High. I had woken up before everyone to sneak downstairs and see what Santa had brought us. I loved seeing the individual stacks of gifts and stockings, the piles of presents under the tree, the twinkling Christmas lights in the early morning darkness. I loved the tangible quiet of the morning before the impending parade of feet and the ensuing chaos of unwrapping presents and shouting for joy. It was pure magic. I snuck over to my stocking and barely stopped the shriek that wanted to leap out of my throat. There it was. I hadn't dared hope that I would actually get it. But there it was! It was all I could to to not jump up and down. I felt a little guilty that my reaction would have to be reenacted for my mom, but I could not have been happier.

My very first camera. It was all mine! It was a little point and shoot, film of course. No ability to zoom or focus or change any kind of setting. It did have a little flash that opened to reveal the lens. But it was so beautiful and exciting. I had the power to capture time. To create beautiful pieces of art with the click of a button that would last forever. I learned so much about photography with that little plastic camera. I learned about composition and angles and how to destroy film. I learned how to get people to smile and to wait for that right moment to capture a candid face. I learned that the moon was about as big as the dot at the end of this sentence and I couldn't get any closer to it.

Many years later I while I have come so far, I am still learning and always will be. I love this thing called photography. In all of my wanderings and dabblings, I've always come back to it. I love people. I love telling stories with my photographs. I get so excited about the fact that I can take what is in my head and make it tangible.