this post goes with the previous post...but as you read the previous post, you should jump over and read this one too! does that make sense? well it does in my head...so there you go. you should know my head doesn't really operate in a way that may make sense. moving on! hopefully this will all come together as i try to explain the evolution of "ro fo sho art." to simplify it as much as i can...this journey to "ro fo sho art" has evolved and morphed from idea after idea...but it's all coming together now...i'm gonna make it all make sense...i hope! praying:)
the following was written june 1, 2008
i wrote a letter to myself when i was barely 14 years old. i couldn't open it until i turned 20 and somehow i managed to hold on to it that long. my sophomore year of college i was working in the library as a reference assistant... i did some assisting but i also had a lot of time to think... and something i was struggling with was my current major. it went from biochemistry to journalism and finally to elementary education... and elementary ed wasn't so appealing anymore. i jotted down notes and doodles contemplating, "what should i do!?" on october 9th, 2002, my 20th birthday, i opened this letter to myself... i honestly could not remember anything i had written. the letter asked if i had been kissed yet or had fallen in love all ready... and if not, there's something wrong! my 14 year old self commanded that i be in college and be making as excellent grades as always. my 14 year old self commanded that i be working my way toward becoming a professional photographer. i read this check point over and over and flashed back to some vivid memories. i don't remember the root of this passion. it's like it was always there hiding on the tip of my brain and all over my heart screaming and begging for my logical and practical ways to recognize that my artistic and outrageous ways could lead me in a direction that would not only be soul fulfilling but practical and logical and successful. national geographic took my breath away... took me all over the world. the vivid glossy pages took me up and up and up to this blissful place where the world was all around me just waiting to be captured. as a pre teen and teen i didn't read those magazines about cute boys and cute clothes (unless one of my friends had one) but instead couldn't wait for the next national geographic. it was euphoria. yes i know i'm a nerd. i collected the maps from inside the magazines hoping to one day travel from the anacondas of the orinoco river to the nebula in orion's belt... taking pictures all along the way. i tried to get into photography my junior year... this was the first year it was available to me and so as a sophomore i was sitting with my counselor and insisting that i take this class!!! well it was full... "but you'll definitely get in your senior year. seniors get first pick!" the little twit said! so as a junior i found myself sitting in the same counselor's office and again asking for the photography class for my senior year... "oh dear. it's all ready full." sad face from the idiot. tears were streaming down my face. i told her it wasn't just a blow off class for me... this was what i wanted to do with my future! you would think a high school counselor who is supposed to be preparing students for college would take in to consideration what they will want to pursue in college! but no. there was just no way around it. "sorry!" sad faced bitch. i guess in turn i accepted it as a whimsical idea and a path with no future. photography could just be a hobby. and then i met a certain young man the summer after my senior year who promised he would teach me photography... from taking the pictures to watching them come to life in the darkroom. and i fell in love with this guy. and ultimately my love for photography now included that love for that boy. but our time in the darkroom didn't involve lessons on photography... the darkroom was where he kissed me and said he didn't love me. the darkroom was where he told me he didn't want anything to do with me. i drowned in the red light with the smell of chemicals and his cologne and my tears suffocating me. photography became a reminder of a broken heart. but when i opened that letter on my 20th birthday, i didn't give him a single thought. he was gone from my mind and from my heart. i didn't think about that dumb ass counselor who i felt wrecked everything. damn she was an idiot! instead, when i opened that letter, that begging and screaming inside me jumped up and said, "hey hey hey!!!! now? can we start now???" and so that was my last year at college. the following summer i traveled to some unforgettable places and acquired some unforgettable memories... and in february 2004, i found myself parked outside of the oklahoma school of photography. i was so afraid! i never got the chance to learn anything about photography! i assumed that all of those people inside got to take classes in high school and they probably had mentors and guidance. i had dead ends. i was afraid i was going to look like a fool. but... i had the screaming and the begging inside me. i had the passion that had been a part of me since birth. i had the dream of a 14 year old girl who i just couldn't let down. so i walked through those doors. i made some forever friends. annie and emily (annabelle and dwinks) and i were meant to start that adventure that day together. i met abi. i met ron. and i met mike... i can't think about mike without crying. but this is another story all together. he is gone but he is remembered... i still ask myself what would mike think or say or suggest. here i am today. a supervisor in a photo lab. studio work and freelance on my resume. a certificate from a nationally accredited school that hangs above my desk saying, "This certifies that Amy Rose Conway has successfully completed the course of instruction and has been examined and found duly qualified as a professionally skilled photographer and lab technician and is hereby awarded this Diploma as an acknowledgment of her knowledge and in recommendation of her acquirements. Awarded this Seventeenth day of September, Two Thousand Four." i'm still finding my way and still learning. i'm trying to save money for the dream of a studio gallery i will own someday. i'm considering more schooling. i'm not jumping into anything on a whim but contemplating how to set myself apart and developing the strategy i will need to succeed. and ultimately i'm trying to figure out what it takes to become a master photographer in the eyes of my fellow professionals. ...and i have to rant a little bit. i've been reading so i know i'm not alone. myself and other professional photographers have recognized that we are at war with a new breed. photographers who claim they are professional and charging lower prices and taking clients away. this has spawned an idea of what looks professional... but ultimately the consumer is not getting what they deserve. sure it may be cheaper to hire that photographer who took that really great picture... but that photographer didn't give you what you could have had. a person can not just pick up a camera, take some good shots, and then claim to be a professional. we who are professionals have worked for that credential! we have studied photography and appreciated it and we continue to grow and learn year after year after year. we push ourselves to do better to be better to set ourselves apart and to provide the most beautiful, breathtaking, and truly amazing photos a person could ever have that will ultimately be the most tangible form of a memory one can ever possess. this is my story... it started over a decade ago... but it's nowhere close to being finished. I...AM...A...PHOTOGRAPHER.
well i don't have a photograph that i would really like to share, but i think every good blog post needs a picture...usually anyway;) so! here is "my happiness." it's random and weird, but i'm a random and weird person...and i'm hoping...praying...that my vision for achieving happiness for "ro fo sho art" can make sense of my randomness and weirdness...if that makes sense:)