Children are very impressionable. During their formative years, they only are able to acquire the knowledge, the insights, the beliefs, and the dreams from their influences in life growing up. During their early stages of life, a few years after they learn to speak and understand language, they also begin to construct who they are as a person which definitely changes the life trajectory path that they are currently on. Depending on the influencing factors that surround them early on in life, often times you will find that in the years between 4 and 10, the early signs of an original personality and belief system begins to develop in an early human. Since it is so difficult for two children to have nearly the same upbringing as one another for years and years at a time, unless they are identical twins, often children will start to divert from the rest in some way and become more original in their thought patterns. And, while many may have the same goals and dreams in mind, the way they got there is usually way different than how another child with the same exact dream got there.
Like I said in an earlier post, I am the product of two hippy parents that grew up in the bay area in the early 60’s. As a baby, I was far from living in a sheltered environment. My parents had a hippy van, and my earliest memories are them strapping me up in my car seat to drive to some festival in San Francisco. From the pictures I have seen of me, I attended a ton of social gatherings, concerts, parties, and hung out with a lot of my parents’ friends. As one of the first children in my parents’ friend group to pop out, I got a ton of attention as a child, and as a baby, I sure relished in the spotlight.
Once I started walking and talking, all of my friends parents wanted to talk to me and get me to play with their little children. I was a very friendly little boy, and was willing to play with anyone, newborn or senior citizen, it did not matter to me as long as I got to enjoy activity throughout the day. During these little play sessions, if somebody had an available camera, I was always a subject of their picture taking that day. Before I even somewhat understood the mechanisms of the camera, after someone would take a picture of me and show me the picture, I always grew large admiration for being able to see myself in a picture with whoever else was present and just be in awe knowing that it was a past moment that I can still see. I didn’t understand much, but at a very young age, I did begin to get a grasp on what the present was, and what the past was. If the picture taker still had their camera on them while they were taking pictures, I would always beg, plead, and request more pictures to be taken. It didn’t have to be of me, or anyone else in general, I was just struck by the feeling of being able to capture a moment that had already passed. So when it was not a picture of a person being taken, it was some sort of San Francisco scenery that was captured.
When there were no more cameras around, I was doodling. I would try to draw pictures from memory that were captured, and would also use my imagination to the best of my abilities to get a grasp on what images I wanted to see pictures of, so that next time I was around a camera, I could ask to see if there could be a picture of what I imagined taken around somewhere. At a very early age, I became obsessed with picture taking, photography, photo journalism, art, anything where a moment could be captured and cemented with an image of a piece of history. Through school, this obsession with capturing moments caused me to really get a good grasp of any historical information, and anything related to history became my favorite subject in school. I began to relish in the fact that anything I learned about had already happened, and by me learning about what happened, I had already more knowledge about the situation than those who experienced it when it actually happened.
My obsession with capturing moments certainly spurned where my life as heading going into high school, as well as through that experience. i was a person who lived in the moments, so that, in the future, I could reminisce and enjoy what had happened in the past. These thoughts began to influence my livelihood as a photographer.