About Susie Forrester PhotographyMy first camera was a Polaroid OneStep I got when I was 12. I toted it everywhere, pretending I was a “serious artist,” saving my allowance to buy film. I didn’t just see pictures in the objects and life around me; I felt them. And being able to capture those feelings on film was (and is) thrilling. But years went by before I really learned anything about photography. At Archbishop Wood Catholic high school, the art program was only for the talented sketchers, and I wasn’t one of them.
It wasn’t until I was a senior in college, studying sociology, that I took an intro to photography class. It changed my life. This was my medium, and I wanted to learn as much about photography as I could. I talked to photographers, read photo books, took workshops, and made trips to museums. Photography began to shape how I looked at the world.
After college, I studied with some of the great photographers of our time: Larry Fink, Debbie Fleming-Caffrey and photo critic John Szarkowski. As Larry Fink’s printer and studio manager, I become a master printer. It took years, and many muddy prints, to reach that place. I miss the darkroom (even the smell of the chemicals). I spent hours there. The darkroom was my sanctuary—a place to print, listen to music or think.
Now instead of standing in a darkroom, I sit at a computer. My commercial work has required me to add digital cameras and Photoshop to my resume. It’s not as exciting as the darkroom but I love the versatility of digital photography. And it has opened up my work to include more color.
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