Monday, June 22, 2009


I recently began going through closets and my basement trying to clean and clear things out. I came upon a box the other day that held a lot of memories and in some ways told the story of how I began to really see myself as a “photographer”.

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.


  1. What fun to look back and reminisce. We so often take for granted the course of natural events. What a great opportunity rummaging through closets and archives can be. A chance to enjoy the journey once again!

  2. the photo of the couple is really wonderful and you certainly deserved to win the competition - I think the backs of people tells us so much and yet we rarely see this view!! I am excited to hear about your alternative processes as this is an area that I really love to play with - can't wait Dianne - thanks and more rummaging please!!!

  3. Hi Dianne,

    It's so interesting to hear how you got started and how your work has progressed over time.

    I can see that you had your eye and sensitivity to mood all the way back then!

  4. Thank you everyone! It has been fun to go through this older work and I know there are more boxes lurking in the depths of my basement. Who knows what I will find!

  5. What a great post. I love seeing the way your art has grown. I hope you will include some more from the early days.

  6. Thanks Beth,
    Stay tuned, there will more next time!

  7. Wonderful story - the thought of memories and looking back instantly got my attention. I spent some time on Father's Day reflecting on some of his treasures from years ago. It is nice to look back and ponder....

    I think this photo of the elderly couple is charming. What love they must have shared!!

  8. Thanks Claire,
    I am glad you got a chance to do some reflecting as well.