These are all from 2004 shot on a Nikon D70.
I don’t have any of my first photos with me, I left all my photo albums and scrapbooks with my folks and that was back in the film days. But, embarrassingly enough, 2 years won’t make much of a difference. 3 or 4 years probably wouldn’t make a difference, I was slooooowwww. Despite taking classes I still had some fatal flaws. I shot everything wide open, I loved to tilt that camera something fierce, I got super close up IN YO FACE for photos, and my exposure what a nightmare. But I found a few that still had some of the bare bones that you can see in my work today. I included my favorite photo from back then, one of my first shot with my digital SLR, and then a few that I thought had some parallels to today’s work.
Dear Younger Courtney,
Courtney, Courtney, Courtney… so. You will make every mistake there is to make. And possibly on repeat. You will look through the world with rose colored glasses and when they finally come off you will feel like the world has deceived you. Then, you will pick yourself up by the bootstraps, grow up, and move on. And every bit of that will show in your life, happiness, face, wrinkles, and photos. I would say gray hair, but since we are all about the hair dye, we just won’t know. Moving on… Slow down. Breathe. Don’t look around, look within. Be selective. Don’t settle on love or friendships. Read. Learn. Practice. Grow. Get to know yourself, and most most most most of all, love yourself.
Pick up the camera, not for anyone else, just for yourself. Document. Be authentic. Be vulnerable. And shoot daily, gosh the years you could save yourself just by shooting more, trying, experimenting… I know this will come as a huge ego boost, but you are soooo not as good as you think you are, but it will come. Read, shoot, learn. And when you think you know it all, rinse and repeat.
Oh, and BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS! Back them up, back up the back up. Especially during the year 2009. Just saying…
*I kept this pretty honest. I didn’t hunt for favorites, but rather just opened up the recent folder and grabbed some. Lately I just shoot as soon as I see something happening. I keep my camera close and just document the days. Going back through past photo recently has shown me even more the importance of having authentic documentary images. I have folders upon folders of “headshot” portraits of my two oldest kids, but that tells me nothing about who they are, what they loved, what they were doing, or what their lives looked like.
About the photographer:
Courtney married her physicist version of Good Will Hunting. She ate after midnight and woke up with six children. She earned a BS in mechanical engineering at the University of Alaska and worked oil rigs in the Cook Inlet. She picked up her first camera at 9 and has never stopped shooting. She shoots multi-genre and has a “take it as it is” approach.