I remember being a creative child—coloring, painting, drawing, and even playing with clay. It was fun, but I wasn’t very good at any of it. Then I picked up a camera—a Kodak Brownie to be exact. I’m sure I wasn’t a very good photographer either, but I had found my passion! I loved seeing the world around me through that camera and capturing those memories. THAT is what photography is all about—MEMORIES!
I was lucky enough to travel to Europe in 1972, and I took a Kodak Instamatic camera with me, exposing 36 rolls of film! When Notre Dame burned, I dug out those photos and reminisced about that trip. Vacations, weddings, birthdays, Christmases—we all turn to our photographs to relive those special memories.
In the mid-1970’s, I graduated to a “real” camera, a Canon AE-1, and really started working on my skills. Of course, that was the film days. You had to THINK about your exposure, composition, white balance, et cetera before you even pressed the shutter button. Then you had to wait for two weeks to get the photos back from the lab! I learned to plan my shots and get it right in camera, because there weren’t any “do overs”.
But then “life” drilled the creativity out of me. I heard the voices saying, “Logic—that’s the only thing that will get you through. Be sensible: art is frivolous and you can’t make a living at it.” I got a degree in accounting and entered the business world. As a result, my creative side got pushed back into the darkness, and my camera was put in the closet.
In the early 2000’s, I picked up a camera again as a necessity, when I needed to post photographs of products on my website. I carefully staged and lit the products, knowing that they had to look good in order to sell them. And the passion for photography was rekindled!
I have worked my way up through the digital “point and shoot” cameras to the Nikon Z7 Mirrorless that I use now. I’m continuously trying to hone my skills as a photographer and a photo editor by taking online classes, in person workshops, and attending photography conferences. I have also joined local and statewide photography organizations.
When I started looking for venues in which to exhibit my images, I contacted Alice Lynn at artCentral. I entered the membership show and, later, exhibited some of my images in the satellite galleries. And, I joined the artCentral Board of Directors.
In 2018, I co-curated a photography exhibit called “Colors of Autumn” at artCentral which featured works from several local photographers from the Four State Photography Enthusiasts (FSPE). In 2019, we followed with an exhibit called “All Creatures Great and Small.” In addition to the artCentral exhibits, I have co-curated four exhibits for the FSPE at Spiva Center for the Arts and one at Maple Uncommon.
A few months ago, my husband, Bobby and I moved to Table Rock Lake. Our new home has a beautiful overlook on the lake and I have started a Sunset of the Day album on my Facebook page to showcase that view. I have captured some spectacular images, but I’m still looking for THE sunset shot!
Although my time on the artCentral board of directors is coming to an end, I must say I have enjoyed being involved with the board and the great people with whom I have served! I hope I have brought to light a wider acceptance of photography as art. The purpose of art is to evoke an emotional response and photography does that. And no other art form can capture memories like photography can.
We live two hours away now, but I am still going to be involved with artCentral and Spiva.
2020 didn’t give us the “Perfect Vision” that we had planned. Here’s to much better 2021 memories!
Thank you, Jane Ballard! We appreciate and cherish you. We cherish the memories we have made with you!