BEHIND THE SCENES…PART THREE
My car pulled up to that same apartment at College Square where I moved in with myÂ blonde-haired friend. Â Days later, I began my first semester at Hawkeye Community College. Â If we’re being honest, my first semester wasn’t as full of the magic I was hoping for. Â Instead, itÂ was full of 19 credits of general education classes in attempts to finish up my degree that I had started at Dordt College. Â I went from class to class and spent my evenings reading and writing speeches and papers. Â But whenever I had the chance, I went to visit that blonde-haired roommate of mine in the basement of Blackhawk Hall to peek in at all the magic. Â And every once in awhile I would go on an assignment with that roommate of mine and just be fascinated with every part of it.
Summer came, and I headed home to work at a local greenhouse/nursery. Â The highlight of my summer was going to Romania on a service project that was aÂ life-changing experience that I wouldÂ hope to share with you some other time. Â I came home from that trip a changed person and developed deep friendships. Â The last half of my summer was spent with those friends, growing in my faith and learning so much about myself. Â To say the goodbyes at the end of that summer were hard would be such an understatement. Â With as excited as I was to start my photography courses, tears blurred my vision as I headed down Highway 3 this time.
I remember the first day of photography school like it was yesterday. Â My first class, Fundamentals of Photography, was held at 8:00am in the back corner classroom. Â My professor wore a blue shirt and stood not much more that 5 feet tall in front of the classroom. Â Our first assignment was to go around the room and share why we were there. Â Most stories went something like this, “I have loved photography my whole life. Â My parents bought me my first camera when I was 6 months old, and I have been in love with it ever since.” Â Obviously I am exaggerating but I remember thinking…how am I going to tell my story. Â It was going to sound something like this, “Well I thought I was gonna be a doctor, but then got my senior pictures done and thought that looked like fun, so here I am.” Â Because to be honest at this point, I wasn’t really sure why I was siting in this chair, besides that the decision felt right. Â I knew I had been called to this place, but for what, I had yet to discover.
Can I just tell you what I discovered over the next two years? Â I wish there were words to describe it. Â Yes, they were full of long photo sessions in the freezing temperatures. Â Yes, my hands constantly smelled like developer from the darkroom. Â Yes, hours of my life were lost in getting the color JUST right on my prints. Â Yes, my biceps grewÂ from dragging equipment from assignment to assignment. Â Yes, I formed the deepest friendships. Â But it was SO much more than that. Â I remember when my mom called, I would tell her that I knew that I knew that I knew God had made me to be a photographer. Â And the reason I knew this was because I had never felt more alive than I did behind a camera. Â So as much as I loved those math and science classes, it was nothing in comparison to what I felt in my new classes. Â I can’t even begin to share everything I learned. Â I photographed everything from cereal boxes to football games to flowers to brides and grooms. Â I loved every SINGLE moment of it. Â So thanks to photography school, not only did I receive the best education, but I had received my calling. Â A calling I am so blessed to live out every single day of my life.
As for that blonde-haired friend/roommate of mine…her name is Joni. Â To try and sum up our friendship in a sentence would be impossible. Â The best I can do is…Joni is one of the best things that happened to me in life. Â She has become one of my nearest and dearest friends!
Here are just a few of the images I created while in school. Â And of course a few images of that blonde haired friend!