I still remember the light peeking through the corners of the black-out blinds. I can taste the scent of the chemicals used to process the negatives. I remember with eyes wide, seeing for the first time images appear on those darkened negatives from nothing it seemed. It all seemed like infused magic.
We saved an entire family of baby mice from beneath my Dad’s portrait studio when he was about to open the doors to the public. We took them home and because they were with mouths too small to feed with a medicine dropper, we fed them on a milk-soaked sponge in a blanket-lined shoe box. A few weeks later, with construction complete, “Catchlight Studio” opened its doors.
I used to hold the Disney Dopey puppet behind my Dad, while he worked to catch an unscathed portrait of a family with young children. I watched him work in the dark room at a community college where he taught. I waited, impatiently, albeit as he would stop to photograph on our hikes in the high Sierras where I grew up.
I worked in our family’s one-hour photo shop, catching print after print as they spilled from a huge processor and bringing them to the drive thru window, cheerfully saying “Thank you for coming to Gallagher’s #1 Photo!.”
I believe we all see life through our own set of lenses. Photography is a means to capture the ways in which we relate to life.
The word photography literally means “drawing with light.” Catchlight has been in my blood line. It’s embedded in who I am, how I define myself, and how I’ve always seen myself.
Catchlight signifies how I perceive life and attach to its’ beauty. And for me, my images have always sparked writing.
I can’t NOT write. It’s who I am.
The only thing richer than catching light, is sharing it.
Focal Point… 📽 The image above is one my dad composed in a dark room when I was around 10 yrs old. It was done with old-school, arduous hours and technique. Those are my hands, beginning their own manifestation of catching light.