Ever since I was a child, summer meant traveling up to the farmhouse in North Bay with my family. Â It meant watching the leaves flutter overhead as I looked out the window driving through Jacksonport, turning the corner into Baileys Harbor where the view opens open to the unbroken horizon of Lake Michigan, and finally pulling in the gravel path lined with cedars. Â These feelings remain unchanged for me as an adult. Â It is still where I go to connect with my family and explore nature.
During the summer I spend a lot of time shooting with my Nikon F4 35 mm film camera. Â This camera was bought second-hand and chosen for me by a stranger, and there is a part of me that feels like it had to be a bit of destiny. Â I went to college knowing I wanted to do something artistic, but certain I would choose an emphasis in painting and study graphic design to support myself. Â I had never owned anything but point-and-shoot cameras, and everything changed for me the day this little Nikon F4 arrived and I started Photography 101 with Sarah Detweiler. Â Having this camera and this amazing professor, completely altered how I saw the world around me. Â Things I never questioned, I found reasons to investigate, and things I never saw connection between began to form relationships. Â That was it: I was a photographer.
This little Nikon film camera stayed with me all throughout my undergraduate degree, traveled to Italy on a study abroad program, and finally road with me on my month long Route 66 trip. Â Now, with photography not only as my artistic expression, but as my career, capturing my personal life on film keeps me rooted. Â It reminds me to take the time to get each shot right and to find the moment where the image â€œsolves itself”. Â It calls forward everything I love about photography and it refreshes my spirit. Â Funny how something so simple can mean so much.
Captured on film this summer are lots of little events with the people I am closest with: Ben crawfishing with my cousins (and the miniature crawfish boil it led to), hay rides to Cana Island, Door County parades, and a train ride in the northwoods. Â Itâ€™s the everyday moments with the people in our lives we love most that remind us of who we are. Â Holding onto these moments helps me remember that.