When I was growing up, my parents always had a camera of some sort. The very first camera I can remember playing with was something that looked like this gem:
I got it for christmas one year and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I remember it being bright blue and having the two eyepieces. My parents also had a polaroid camera that was pretty fun to play with. Not to mention the over the shoulder video camera that was used to record school performances, and many home videos around the house. It was equivalent to the size of a boombox. Andd my mom’s film camera. Annnddddd the old broken 35 mm camera that I loved to play with and pretend I was a photographer.
Ah, the memories.
When I was a little bit older, my parents got one of these cameras, from a friend I believe. I was right around 14 or 15 years old.
Notice the floppy disks?? I cannot even tell you how much my siblings and I used up floppy disks taking photos. One year for Christmas my parents surprised us with a trip to Disney World for the first time, and New Year’s in New York City. That was such a special time for all of us! And a TON of fun. My parents brought along their camera, and cases of floppy disks and we used the heck out of those floppy disks!
Then something pretty magical happened. I was able to go to Australia on a People to People Student Ambassador trip. By this point, I was pretty obsessed with taking photos (who can blame me, my parents were more obsessed than I was! My mom was even a film photographer back in the day) and was trying to figure out how I would take photos while I was there. I didn’t really want to take my parents camera with all of the floppy disks along with me.
My parents got a new camera, and it was quite the upgrade, before my 17th birthday. I was pretty jealous.
Look at it, how could I NOT be jealous? It had so many cool features, and I was just super excited to be in its presence. My parents loved it! As it turns out, my parents also bought ME a camera around the same time and gave it to me as an early birthday gift so that I could use it while in Australia. I was OVER THE MOON. I immediately used it everywhere I went. It was nuts! I loved this little camera. I was a little self conscious of it sometimes because it was so much bigger than all of the point and shoots that people at school had that fit so nicely in their pockets and their purses.
I didn’t care. Mine gave me so much freedom. This is when it all changed for me. I brought it with me to Australia and took over three thousand photos with it. I will never forget the morning where we were sitting waiting in the lobby for our bus to arrive for the day, and I was sitting on the steps looking through photos from the previous day. A couple of other girls came over to look at the photos too. “Oh my gosh those are so awesome!” “Have you ever taken any photography classes?! These are great!”
“No, no, I haven’t taken any classes. I wish I could’ve fit it in my schedule but I could never make it work.”
“Well, you could be a professional photographer!”
I sort of laughed at this, and thanked them for their compliments. Never did I dream that seven years later I’d be doing just that. I still have that camera to this day. I don’t really have the heart to get rid of it.
I finished high school and went off to college to become a high school science teacher. Taking photos was still just something that I loved to do.
(My selfies were SO much better back then!)
My second year of college while I was at work I was talking with a fabulous co worker who had a camera and I really loved her work. Not long after that I bought my Nikon d5000 and took pictures of just about everything – except people. People terrified me. It was not uncommon to find me walking around campus with my baseball hat on, earbuds in, taking photos of random things I saw.
One day, a friend of a friend shyly asked me to take photos of her, and I agreed. I figured there was nothing to lose! After that, it just sort of snowballed and more people wanted their photos done. I actually grew to LOVE taking photos of people!! So, I started “Life As I Know It Photography,” which turned into “Linda Barry Photography” at the start of 2013. I absolutely adore being a photographer, and I work so hard to make it all work. I will continue to work hard to make my business grow and to continue to learn. I, to this day, have still not taken a photography course. And I’m okay with that.
I like to think that everything I know stemmed from the talent my parents have. Deep down inside, I know they passed something on in the genes 😉