My Photography Journey by Elicia Graves
My photography journey began in high school when I bought a little Canon Rebel film camera with my Christmas money one year. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time, but I enjoyed shooting rolls of black and white film and picking up the resulting images at my local drugstore. Time moved on, I graduated college, got a job, married my high school sweetheart, and photography fell by the wayside. Like so many others, the impending birth of my first daughter rekindled my interest in photography. I bought a digital Canon Rebel and enrolled in a class at my local community college. I learned the basics of the exposure triangle, figured out that I needed a prime lens and was totally hooked on my new hobby.
When my baby was 7 months old, I made a new friend who happened to be a wedding photographer. We had little girls that were a month apart and we all became fast friends. She taught me so much and I’m still grateful to her for sharing her knowledge. We started a photography play group and I had a great time learning alongside those women. Around that time I also joined Clickin Moms and I browsed the forum here and there, but I was intimidated by the talent and didn’t share often. I began having friends ask me to take their photos which eventually led me to start a business.
Life changes and my husband and I decided to accept an offer to move to the San Francisco Bay Area for his work in early 2011. We made our move and a few months later welcomed our second baby into our family.
I missed my Texas friends dearly and started participating more often on CM at that time. I wanted something more out of my photography but I wasn’t sure how to achieve it. Luckily I snagged a spot in Sarah Wilkerson‘s Composition and Creativity workshop. This class was pivotal in my journey and I saw the world through my camera with fresh eyes.
Around this time I decided that I did not want to go into business again in California. I wanted the freedom to photograph my family at leisure and I wanted to hone my style more thoroughly. I signed up for Megan Cieloha‘s Mastering Natural Light Indoors class. It was just what I needed at the time and I really learned to see light and control it.
After MNLI, I took another eye opening course by Sarah, Elements of Design. I still think about what I learned in this course on a daily basis. During this class I applied for and made CMpro.
Following EOD I took a workshop break for a while and enjoyed photographing my growing girls.
When I saw the announcement for Elle Walker’s Fine Art and Visual Expression, I couldn’t resist signing up and it was an incredible experience where I learned to think more carefully about my vision as an artist.
That brings me to my current work where I have been trying my best to photograph my girls purely from a documentary stand point without any instruction on my part. I have so enjoyed my journey leading up to this point and I’m incredibly grateful for the women that I have met and become friends with through CM. This community is a wonderful place and I have learned so much here and I can only hope to continue learning and growing amidst the CM community.