In this box were prints and negatives from 15 or 16 years ago as well as notes, invoices and miscellaneous artifacts from that time.
One of the first things I found was this image taken in San Diego back in 1993 or 1994.
This image is special because it won “Best of Show” at one of the first competitions I entered. This was a competition put on by the local camera club I had just joined. Nobody told me I would have to sit there and listen while the judging took place. I was terrified and thought my beating heart could be heard by everyone! Needless to say, I was thrilled about this honor and look back at it as a beginning of sorts.
With my new found confidence I started to dabble in children’s portraits, setting up backdrops and lights in my garage and experimenting first with my children and then with the children of friends. Pretty soon friends of friends were calling to see if I could take pictures of their children. I was in business! Among the souvenirs I found in the box were copies of invoices I made for these “jobs”. “Sitting fee, including 2 5 x 7 prints…………………$20”! All of my portraits were black and white images that I printed in my “bathroom darkroom”. The enlarger fit over the toilet and the trays were set up in the shower. It would be a year or two before I started hand-coloring these portraits.
Next post I will share some examples I found in the box of alternative processes I experimented with when my house was on the market and the darkroom was out of commission.