“I got into shooting with the Holga because a friend of mine from kung fu was shooting with one. I was just new into photography then and had just gotten my D80. I didnt know anything about fstops or shutter speeds or anything like that and barely understood how the ISO could affect my images. Diana and I decided to shoot the grand opening of the new school in Burbank so we met up before the opening and she showed me her Holga. She had it rigged up for 35mm but I didnt understand what she was talking about at all. The camera looked so strange to me and she had it all taped up so that only added to the strangeness. But it intrigued me as well. So I asked my sister, who is also a photographer, to explain what a Holga was. I didnt want to sound like a total moron asking Diana. I didnt know her as well then as I do now. Anyway, after my sister explained it to me, I sort of wrote it off for a while thinking I couldnt really get into film because I didnt understand it. Well, I guess my subconscious wouldnt let it go because I would say that less than a year later I had one. I was lucky because Diana works at A&I and she took the film in to get developed for me. Sheesh, it was like being 10 on Christmas eve waiting for that film to come back. I had gotten my scanner already and had scanned some 35mm and slides just to figure out how it all worked so when I got the 120 back I would know what to do.
My first shots were of abandoned houses, inside and out. Then I decided to play around with the camera at the Huntington Library and well, the rest is history. Im not exactly sure how long I’ve been shooting with the Holga but its been less than 3 years. Maybe even less than 2. I’ve been very lucky. I got invited to be a part of a group show called I Spy With My Plastic Eye curated by Astor Morgan. Aline Smithson was in that show and I got to meet her at the reception. So much fun!!! Anyway, I think I now have, lets see, 5 Holgas. 2 35mm, 1 TLR, and 2 regular 120’s. I do have a Pola back so sometimes one of those regular 120’s becomes a Holgaroid. It is right now actually.
Oh, and I started developing my own film because I got tired of having to wait for it. I was scared to do it and I lost about 5 or 6 or maybe even 7 rolls to just figuring it out, but once I got it, its been cake ever since.
And school. I am enrolled in my 5th semester at Academy of Art University, San Francisco. My goal is a BFA in Photography. AAU is an all art school and I have learned a great deal from attending there. My current classes are Quality of Light, which is mostly a studio lighting class, and Photo Design and Concept, which is an all around type of class that forces us to focus on composition and narrative. Very tough. I like to just shoot from the hip so being forced into really figuring out what and how to shoot is very difficult and frustrating for me. The first assignment was to pick a dream or a memory and shoot it using 3 of the 4 or 5 fundamentals of composition outlined in the syllabus. I couldnt really do it. I could do that for 2 of my shots but for the third shot that Im submitting, I just took the picture as I saw it in my head and then found the composition fundamental that best fit the image. Ugh. We’ll see how it goes. “