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Becoming a Light Scribe

February 28, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Old Selfie w/ 40D


It’s been a while since I reflected on the circumstances and events that led me to pick up a camera. I figured I’d share it with you because – well, it’ll give us something to talk about. [smile]

It began with 4-H


For those not familiar, 4-H is a youth organization “empowers young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime.” The four H’s stand for Head, Heart, Hands and health; the following is there pledge:


4H Pledge

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,

My heart to greater loyalty,

My hands to larger service,

and my health to better living,

for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

I know you may be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with how you became a photographer.” Well, I have a story about that. Want to read it? Here we go! (Get the In Living Color reference?!)


Basically, when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, there was a 4-H meeting during recess. There were representatives from various clubs within the organization discussing how to join in so on. I remember seeing this funny looking little box on a table surrounded by these fabulous images. I don’t know why to this day but something about knowing I could use that little box to freeze time and capture important moments really resonated within me! Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the club as my mom just didn’t have the money to afford the club fees. Disappointed, I put the thought of photography out of my mind. Little did I know I would be blessed with a means to begin my journey!


My first camera

My mom, really is the best! She saw how awestruck I was with photography that she worked extra hours and purchased me a Polaroid One-Step camera for Christmas that year! It wasn’t quite like the little box presented by 4-H. In fact, it as better because this camera produced prints on the spot! I took pictures of EVERYTHING with my One-Step! People, barns, insects, street signs, nothing was safe from capture by my little Polaroid. Yet again, I would have to give up my beloved hobby as replacement film was too expensive. To top that, the camera was irreparably damaged. It would be nearly 30 years before I’d pick up another camera. The saga continues!


Daughters to the rescue

So, like I mentioned, I’d not touched a camera since the middle to late 80’s. Then one day while shopping in downtown Chicago, I saw this photography student shooting with a model in Grant Park. My little family group had walked about a block and a half when they noticed I was glued to the spot surveilling the interaction between the two. It was almost like a dance as the model shifted her pose and the photographer, in kind, adjusted his stance to capture the moment. Finally, after several minutes of trying to get my attention, I rejoined my family and shared the experience. For weeks after that that’s all I could talk about and how I wished I could take photos again. Well, again during Christmas, my daughters gifted me a little point and shoot camera! Eventually, I would trade up to a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera and I’ve been going strong taking images whenever I’m inspired to do so!


BTS Aretha Bright Shoot

Continuing the story

I’ve been shooting since about 2011 beginning with that little Kodak point and shoot camera. I even attended college for a bit in pursuit of a degree in photography – but that’s the subject of another post! I got the nickname “light scribe” from a fellow photographer buddy. “Well,” he said, you used to like writing stories with pen and paper. Now you write with light!” Funny how things work out when you keep your dream alive. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to pursue photography. Someday, I want to be a blessing to a young boy or girl that has the same twinkle in their eyes when they see the wonder a small box and some glass can create!


MJ | Your Light Scribe



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