Friday Photo Feature: Julie (aka Veritas)
I am not much of a writer, though I aspired to be one from childhood. I am not much of an artist either, though art is my passion. I discovered photography when I was 12. Mr. Cabello, a Chilean political refugee who could no longer work as a photojournalist due to his damaged eye, was my teacher. Most of our work was done indoors – Norway in the wintertime doesn’t provide many opportunities for natural-light photography.
I was more than hooked. I also fell in love with the darkroom in that class – the smell of the chemicals, the repetition, watching the second hand on the time go around – agitate for 5 seconds – wait another 30 seconds, agitate. Making sure the water was just the right temperature, checking the chemicals making sure they were fresh (nothing worse than old fixer). The loved experimentation on the enlarger to get the perfect print– should I go straight for a 4 filter, or try a 2 first? The piles of discarded test strips, the painstakingly cut cardboard to dodge and burn…oh how I loved the darkroom.
My first semester of college almost 6 years later in a drastically different climate, Hawaii, I found myself taking the art to another level. I was learning more about light, about using exposure to manipulate the look and feel of an image; understanding Depth of Field; understanding composition – the rule of thirds, the use of color, leading lines, and perspective. And what inspiration I was surrounded with – photography became my communion with nature, my expression of love and awe for the beauty I saw around me.
I found myself wanting to use photography as I had wanted to use writing – to do something for the betterment of the world. To inspire change, to make people think. I wanted to focus on Photojournalism – to create images of the suffering children in India that would help create awareness of their plight, much like Mary Ellen Mark. I visited India and worked in an Orphanage – I came home with nearly 30 rolls of film (nearly a thousand frames) and even more of a desire to use the camera to record the faces of those many of us have forgotten and ignored.
Now I am trying to start my own business – to fund my photography with my photography – and even as I capture portraits of my clients, I try to put all the love and passion of photography into every shoot.
My passion for using my talents to create change in the world hasn’t died however – in the meantime, between shooting babies first year or a couple’s engagement – I focus that passion on political and social activism. Hopefully soon, I will be able to bring my activism and photography back together.