My Photography Journey by Megan Axelsson
I wouldn’t say I’ve always loved photography. As a matter of fact, I can distinctly remember going to Mexico as a child and not taking a single picture. I had the camera and I had the film. I even loaded it. But there was this sense of dread. Dread of what? I’m unsure. I’ve always loved art. So much in fact the last two years of high school more than half of my school day was spent in the art barn (I went to high school in a small town in Kansas. Art was in a big metal shed). I essentially moved to Sweden after high school. Life happened and here I am some years later. A wife, a mother, an artist.
I started purposefully taking photographs while in Sweden. Digital was new and we bought this slick little camera with the tiniest lcd screen on the back. I remember distinctly saying ‘I don’t want to photograph people. How boring is it to sit them there. Next!’ So I did mostly landscapes and flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.
And then I started having kids. Years passed. Cross Atlantic moves happened.
I decided to jump in. I bought a Nikon D90 and a nifty 50. I used GIMP because let’s just be honest, it was free and I had no clue what I was doing. I started in Manual mode. Staying at ISO 200 and moving my shutter speed accordingly.
I practiced. And practiced. And practiced some more.
Some were not good. Boogs?? Random shoes? Focus issues? I was a hot mess.
Sometimes I got super lucky.
These are the first pictures I was proud of. So so proud. Color issues? Nah. I worked hours on these. For days. Trying to fix whatever issue I found.
This I was also proud of. Yeah I got nothing. It’s fine. Getting there.
Action pics? Mhmm. I rocked them.
Fake barn board flooring? I bought it. Sold it. Bought it again.
Heavily saturated? Sure.
And trust me, this nonsense goes on and on and on (I could drown you in nearly every kind of imagery, except selective color, I’ve never thrown those dice).
Finally I started to find myself. I upgraded to the Nikon D700 at some point but usually stuck to the 50.
I received a ton of not helpful feedback (‘his shoes are ugly’, ‘he’s not facing the camera’, ‘it’s creepy’, ‘that kid has no shirt on’ and my personal favorite ‘you center your subjects’,…) but I eventually threw my hands in the air and said I was going to do it my way because it’s what I like. I found Clickin Moms after this and was asked to be a Pro. I haven’t looked back. I do my thing and let it wrap around my body of work. There’s only up from here. I photograph a few families a year but mostly focus on my own. I currently use a Canon 5D Mark III and a Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art along with various film cameras.