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It all started with photography.
My love of light and how it creates storylines in my paintings all started with photography.
I grew up modestly in rural areas of Iowa and Texas. The first camera that I had access to was one of those old polaroids with square flashes on top that would turn after they popped. The flashes and film were expensive, so there was a strict limit on how many photos I could take.
Paper and pencil were less expensive, so this is the time that I also started drawing.
During High School, I saved the money earned by working at the local ice cream shop and bought my first SLR. It was an Olympus, and I really wish I still had it. The camera was loaded with film, and I usually shot in black and white.
We were living in a small town in Iowa at this point. My dad was a Radio Announcer on KMA (if you are from Iowa, you will remember this station). He was also a private pilot and gave flying lessons.
Very early one morning, he woke me up. A train derailed not far from where we lived. He was going up to see it in his airplane and told me to grab my camera.
We contacted Associated Press and told them we had some photos. A couple of AP photographers meet us in a hotel room and developed the film in the bathroom. The images were good enough to run nationwide. I now had the money to buy the equipment for my first darkroom.
I learned so much from my early exposure to black and white photography. It was not like today, where you take 100 images and crop them 100 digital ways. Everything had to be perfect the moment you pressed the shutter - it taught me about light and how to convey the story or feeling through its composition.
It's impossible to count the number of photos I have taken since then - traveling, my family, senior portraits, weddings, pets . . . everyday life. And even though editing options are abundant, I still resist the temptation to over-process the photo. I think it should be correct and say what you want it to say the moment you take it.
Shop for prints of fine art photographs by Jamie Lightfoot. All prints are professional prints by Bay Photo Labs.
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