In Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon, four-year-old Harold uses his purple crayon to create the world he imagines. While he has many adventures in this dream world, Harold eventually draws his own room and goes to sleep. With all the power to design his own world, maybe even a better world, Harold realized that what made him happiest was right in front of him all along. It’s a simple story, but in the process of trying to create something new in my own life, it resonates with me.
I have always loved taking pictures. My dad gave me my first real camera in high school, and I went through roll after roll of film. I often carried two cameras; one with black and white film, which I saved for what I considered “special” photo opportunities. I took my first photography class at Washington State University my junior year. That same semester, I began struggling with mysterious vision problems that were soon identified as MS. I had to drop out of that class, but I never stopped taking pictures.
I had been taking professional photos for over seven years, on strictly a referral basis but an MS relapse in 2016 forced me to re-evaluate my priorities. I left my job in technology in order to focus on my health and my family and what makes me happy. Photography is what makes me truly happy. So here I am, trying to create my dream. Photography is my purple crayon.
I consider myself a lifestyle photographer. I don't like to force poses or smiles. Families are not perfect. They're busy and messy and loud. And so full of joy. I want to capture the in between moments of family; when we are the most ourselves and the least like anyone else.