I INHERITED MY LOVE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
We all know "a picture's worth a thousand words," so it makes perfectly good sense that as a long-time writer and communicator, I am also a photographer.
Actually, I’m a 5th generation photographer. My great-great-grandfather Stanton and my great-grandparents were all pioneers in the photography field. They owned and operated a number of portrait studios in Ohio from the mid-1800's to the early 1900's.
In 1931, my grandmother, Ruby McArtor, continued the family business by establishing a studio of her own in Somerville, NJ, where she specialized in formal and children's portraits. She had an artist’s touch, so it wasn’t long before her work was in great demand by area families, businessmen and those serving in the armed forces.
My time in the studio came during and post World War II, when my father was overseas with the U.S. Army and later in law school. Mother would take me along with her to the McArtor Studio, where she would retouch photographs and help Grandmother with other aspects of the business.
REMEMBERING THE MAGIC OF PHOTO PROCESSING
Memories of those studio years are strong to this day. I loved being there, especially going into the dark room, peering into the processing trays and watching images magically appear on paper as the developing chemicals brought pictures to life.
Almost as much fun was watching my grandmother and mother "colorize" the sepia tone photographs with oil paints so customers could get a professionally colored portrait. Color photography had yet to be born!
MY PHOTOGRAPHY TODAY
Whether it was the result of childhood experiences or some inherited family genes, photography is an art form I have always enjoyed. I love seeing the world through a camera lens...finding beauty in the grand view or the tiniest detail.
A Brownie camera was my first as a child, followed by a number of simple Kodak “point and shoots.” When I decided to look at photography more as an artistic expression, I bought an Olympus SLR camera for film and later graduated to its digital counterpart. Today, I work with the Nikon D7100 SLR and use the Nikkor family of lenses, enjoying all that they allow me to do.
Needless to say, the art of photography is a whole lot easier for me today than it was for those in the “good ole days.” I can only imagine what a shock current photographic technologies would be to my great-grand ancestors!
Left to right: Mother, Grandmother McArtor, Great-Grandmother Stanton, and me.
Photo - 1942.