Monochrome Monday #33

Happy Monday, everyone! It’s time for your favorite start of the week pick-me-up. That’s right. I’m talking about Monochrome Monday! Today’s post is different because today, I am going back in time, all the way back to my freshman year of college when I was still just beginning my photographic journey. As I was sifting through my photos trying to find something to post, I dared to venture into the folder marked “Other Photography” (in my grand hierarchy of folders, I have a folder devoted specifically to my photography, a portfolio of sorts, that also has a bunch of other folders in it because I’m just one organized little chica). This folder is where I’ve put all of the images that were once included in my portfolio but no longer meet my high expectations as I increase in skill (if we can even call it that). And because I like/decided to revisit photos past, I found the following image of my favorite Little Guatemalan:

Yes, that is Felicita, veteran model for McClish Photo Studios. The years have been kind to her. She’s just as short and full of life now as she was three years ago when this photo was taken. Only difference is that she has since cut her hair (again)…and she hasn’t scaled a wall for a photo shoot in a while.

I had forgotten how much I loved this photo until I saw it. And I fell in love with the memory of this adventure all over again. This wasn’t too long into the school year. Maybe late October/early November. I had really just started to get to know Felicita. And I was using Heather’s Nikon. This was in the days before I owned my own equipment and was bumming off of someone else who always let me use her camera because she trusted me with her “baby” and she enjoyed participating in my work.

This was the first photo shoot I did away from home. In fact, it was actually only my third portrait shoot in general (talk about beginnings). But I think this was part of the reason I really got into portraits. My previous shoots were fun and a great experience, but most of those were conducted with my dinky old Olympus. To be able to work with an actual digital SLR and play around in a complete (non-trial) version of Photoshop…it was like heaven to me. And of course, even after three years, I still get a kick out of using Nikons and playing around in Photoshop. Somethings just never change.

This was the day I established “Adventures with the Littlest Latina.” That’s what I call my days spent with Felicita mostly because we go on epic adventures, adventures that include ghost trains and amazing soccer goals that don’t count and “Hoes of KY” and Mexican food. This started all of that. I don’t quite remember the exact details of how we got to this point. It probably went down in this “hey, let’s do this because we can” kind of way, but I do remember walking out of the front door of our dorm and pointing to the ledge and telling Feli to stand there. And Heather watched and laughed as Felicita played around and I snapped pictures. My, what a simpler time.

I love everything about this photo. The fact that it’s an action shot as Felicita is struggling to climb down this 8-10 foot wall. The happiness she exudes as she’s listening to Heather and I laughing at her from behind the camera. (I still, to this day, don’t know why she didn’t just take the stairs like normal people, but then again, Felicita is far from “normal.) It’s just a fun photo, a memory of a fun day before everything about college got complicated socially, academically, everything. Maybe that’s why I’ve always called this photo Happy Guatemala.

I think it’s nice to remember where you began. I started this experience years ago, and though I’m not nearly as talented as actual professionals, I have grown as a photographer. This photo no longer graces my portfolio because I’ve gained skill, a more creative eye, and a better sense of what makes a good photo. That’s not to say that my old work isn’t good even if it’s poorer quality or too busy or what have you. It just means that I’ve moved on from whence I commenced to where I am now. And I’m totally fine with that because that very thought fuels this idea that in a little less than a year, I will look back to where I began and realize how far I’ve come when I graduate from college (oh my gosh, kids, I’m a senior). There are bright things waiting in my future, including photography (add to wedding photography and senior portraits the following: nature shots and, potentially, maternity photography). It’s all about the journey, folks.

Well, I’m done reminiscing…for now anyway. Have a great Monday!

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