Jun 30, 2019 | By: Bari Baskin/Time Stops Photography
If you had known me in my younger years, you would have known me as a dancer. Being a photographer never even crossed my mind. I danced 20 hours a week in high school, through most of college and then professionally after I graduated, for several years. I taught dance in several studios, sat on the Board of Directors for a ballet company, performed and always had an administrative job for consistent income. And then one day, it was time to move on. I took a break from dancing, thought I'd miss it and go back and the truth was, I just didn't miss it enough. And that left me feeling like I didn't really know who I was anymore. The main thing people always thought about when they thought about me was no longer a part of the equation. So now what? A handful of years went by, I had a marketing career with a national restaurant company, got married, had babies (twins) and kept working. One aspect of my marketing job included taking photos of our events. I had always loved photography but now it was being sparked into something bigger, a new passion. I asked my parents for a "real" camera, asked a bunch of questions, bought some cheap lenses and tried to learn as much as I could.
There is one image I took in my early days that, to me, is the moment when I really, truly got hooked on photography. It's the moment I feel like my newfound identity and passion started. I was in South Haven, Michigan with my family. My twins were two and a half and we were playing on the beach. I had a new zoom lens that I couldn't get enough of. I turned to see my daughter as she was walking down the beach, carrying a beach ball. I lifted my camera, hit the shutter button and the zoom lens did this really cool thing. It brought her into focus and blurred everything out behind her. I literally thought it was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen and I was hooked, fully and completely. It sparked my desire to learn how to create that look on purpose and not just rely on the lens to do it's thing. So, while I didn't really know how to control my camera when I took this shot, and there are issues with the image I can see how that I couldn't see then (focus, crispness, brightness), to me it's absolutely perfect. To me, it's the beginning of this wonderful journey I've been on for the past 12 years. And it captures a moment in time for me that allows me to revisit my sweet baby girl who has grown up way too fast and is well into her teens. It gives me a way to tie in the past and present that I'm truly thankful for. This is the moment it all started for me.
What is your passion? Can you pinpoint the moment it all started? I'd love to hear your stories!