Started From the Bottom Now We’re Here

Started From the Bottom Now We’re Here

Who is ready to see some awful photography, by yours truly?

Sometimes you have to look back in order to look forward.

Happy New Year! I’m not much for resolutions, but kudos to all of you out there who made them and are sticking to them!

Now that it’s 2017, I’ve been thinking a lot about what this new year will bring. The biggest thing on my mind is the fact I graduate in FIVE MONTHS. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified, but I also would be lying if I said I didn’t have a little sense of peace about everything, a sort of casual acceptance of what is to come.

But, why? Shouldn’t I be hyperventilating and applying for jobs and all of the other things students about to graduate do? Well, I’m doing all of those things, but I also did a little reminiscing.

I went through some old hard drives recently and found old photography. Like, really old photography, some of the first “art” photographs I ever made.

And, let me tell you, I feel so relieved. I figured out I enjoyed photography in Fall 2008, and at the time, it was just a hobby. I wasn’t going to be a photographer, I was going to be an aerospace engineer (seriously– I wanted to build rockets.) That was only 8 years ago. Not even a decade ago, I was making pictures like this:

When my Digital Photography teacher asked me: “Why is this your favorite picture, Danielle?” I responded, “Because I like seeing the beauty in small things!” Yeah… Okay, real sage-y, 15 year old Danielle. Bravo.

My first attempt at making a surrealist picture on Photoshop… What a nice idea, at least?

High contrast and over saturation were all of the rage in 2008.

Granted, I’m kind of horrified by these really old photographs. But, I’m also thankful. I’m thankful I had a teacher who was encouraging, who saw my potential and urged me to push it further. When I graduated high school, I remember my teacher was a little surprised I had dismissed photography as a mere hobby. But at 17 years old, I didn’t know what I was doing.

8 years later, I can say I know a little better now. I’m so glad I found these old atrocious photos from my first artistic forays into the field that I am now dedicating my life to. What is so great about seeing bad work? It shows me how far I’ve come. Goodness, just seeing my work from my first year of graduate study is inspiring to me! It proves that even though I’m tired, even though sometimes I don’t even want to look at a camera, I’m still growing.

So, I don’t really have any resolutions for 2017. I’m just going to keep growing.

But first, I’ll leave you with this laugh worthy PSA from my senior year of high school:

What a time.