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                                    Santa Monica~California~USA

Featured Photographer's Statement

Photography has always been one of my passions since the early days of those
first cardboard box cameras we used to get in the mail. We'd snap our photos,
send the camera back to Kodak and then wait what seemed a lifetime for
them to send back our prints and a new cardboard camera.

When I was around 11 years old, I received my first Brownie Fun Saver. It was
a small brown plastic camera that you had to put a roll of film into, wind the
sprocket a bit, close the camera and fingers crossed hope it was winding after
each photo. Sometimes there was the disappointment of thinking you had
shot an entire roll only to find the film had not advanced.

Those photos linger in your memory, but sadly not on film!

By the time I was 12, my father built dark room onto the back of our garage at
our home in Tarzana. I learned to develop my own photos.

When I graduated high school, I went to work at Universal Studios at the camera
concession. We used only Polaroid cameras. What a joy it was to be able to see
your photos almost immediately. I say almost immediately, because I remember
those cold winter mornings when I had to place the photos under my arms to
keep them warm until the developing solution did its job.

Later when I began modeling as a career, I envied the photographers who had the
electric motors on their very expensive Hasselblad cameras.

When I began working as a researcher for my then future husband on film projects,
he gifted me with an Olympus camera. A real camera with extra lenses! I was in
heaven. He gave me a second camera, and I used to take them with me everywhere.
One was filled with colour film and one black and white.

I documented our trips on movie locations, our vacations, and later captured on
film our daughter's life from birth until she graduated high school.

Every year we created a calendar with her photo on it to gift to anyone who had done
us a kindness over the past year. This was our much sought after Christmas gift from
the time she was 7 months old until she turned 17.

By that time, this hobby had become quite expensive with purchasing film and
developing it and making prints. I no longer had the luxury of a home darkroom.
I tend to over shoot a subject to make sure I have exactly
what I want captured on film.

After awhile I wondered why I was taking photos that would only wind up
moldering in a drawer some where at home never to be looked at again long
after the vacation was over, so I took up water colour painting preferring to
have a real souvenir of our trip to hang upon the wall once we

returned home. With the advent of the digital age and the cell phone camera, I picked
up this hobby, this long lost love, once again and it has become a very important part
of my everyday life.

I am delighted to share with you the fruits of my labour, and I invite you to visit
my Instagram account "photo gallery" at sharmagnelstj.


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