Years in the making...

My recently unearthed old's time to get reacquainted.

I was bitten by the photography bug when I was about 15 or 16.  My father handed me an old Canon AE-1 that belonged to either my grandfather or uncle and told me to start taking photos.  I loved that camera, it made me feel so professional.  Unfortunately, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing!  Looking back at photos from that time, there are many (many!) that were overexposed, some with the most confounding composition, and lots of motion blur.  There was even an incident at the Alhambra palace in Spain, where I evidently did not load the film in the camera correctly, and therefore had no photos of the beautiful space. I had a lot to learn and admit that I still do.  

One thing, however, stands out every time I take that trip down memory lane: the candid shots of people.  No matter how many technical problems those photos had, they always told a story.  Every time I look at them, something inside me awakens.  I remember things, little details that would be long forgotten without the little spark I feel when viewing each picture.  There is one of a bus driver we had during my high school years - he drove one of the school bus routes, but also took me and my classmates on longer hauls, such as a trip to visit universities in Istanbul.  He was as much a part of these little excursions as we were.  This particular image is of him in Assos (on the West coast of Turkey,) where he had taken a busload of families on a weekend tour.  He isn't doing anything special, just crouching on a stoop in the village, having a glass of tea. But the photo is more than that to me: every time I look at it, I remember him, and all of the places he safely delivered us.  How he used to joke with all of the students.  How he used to pretend he was strict, while his mischievous eyes betrayed his amusement with our antics.  I also remember the trip and how insolent I was (at 17!) because I was forced to go with my family even though I did not want to.  I remember the views of the Aegean from the cafe where we all sat to have lunch.  I remember how it was a crisp day in early spring.  I remember I was wearing a scarf around my neck made of silk.  I remember that I had long hair and bangs that I had just dyed red against school regulations.  I remember I was in the aftermath of a breakup that felt so painful to me, I thought the world was gong to end.  And so much more.....

THIS is why I finally decided to take the leap and turn my love of photographing life into a business.  Posed family photos are truly wonderful - I work with some extremely talented photographers once or twice a year to document my own family, and I love the results and display them in my home.  But it's time to step back from perfection, embrace the unglamorous bedhead and the mismatched socks, put away the makeup.  It's time to remember ourselves as we really are, every day, in real life.  

Join me.  Let's capture LIFE as it happens.

Melissa Bazarian6 Comments