April 2018: Photography, Jill
The idea of photography has been around forever and began with the first projection image in the 11th century by an Iranian scientist. Fast forward to the 1800’s, Joseph Niépce invented what we know today as the photograph. After nearly 200 years we take for granted the work and art that is photography. Almost everyone has a camera that works double duty with their phone and you take pictures of the randomness of life without much thought of why you are taking the picture. When you add filters and photoshop you can completely alter your whole image to make it appear completely different than the original version thus essentially lying to the viewer. Don’t get me wrong though, with these advances, photographers can emphasize the natural beauty of the object and help you focus on the story they are trying to tell.
To be a true photographer you have to have the ability, creativity and the talent of an artist. You have to go beyond the black and white to see the kaleidoscope of beauty. Not only do you have to capture the image, but you have to be able to tell the story beyond the image. A talented photographer can make you laugh and cry without saying a single word.
For this reason alone, I chose to feature my old high school friend and talented photographer of 20+ years, Ms. Jill Funk. Jill has been my inspiration and idea bouncer for this great project. She is seriously the yang to my yin. I give her my black and white thoughts and she turns them into beautiful images I want everyone to see. Not only is she a great talent in the photography world, she has a heart of gold. She is my go to person for phase 2 of project breakaway. This project will focus on helping individuals free themselves from their economically and financially abusive past and present so they can thrive in the future.
Without further ado, I would be honored to introduce to you Jill:
LS: Explain the history behind photography (some fun facts that made you interested in Photography as a career in the first place.)
Jill.- Even before the invention of photography, art was used to tell stories and pass along history to future generations, all the way back to cave drawings. Looking back on the past and bringing those people and events back into our lives through photography is amazing. I love knowing that years from now, someone will hold onto a photo that I have taken and remember special times in their lives and loved ones that may no longer be with them.
LS: What does Photography mean to you?
Jill: - Photography is a way to preserve moments in life that we want to keep with us and be able to revisit over and over. For me, it is an outlet for creativity. A way to express myself and the way I see the world around me.
LS: How did you become a photographer? How did your path lead you there? Any interesting stories?
Jill: Photography is something that I have always been interested in. Even when I was very young, I remember looking at old family photos and snapshots and asking about the stories that went along with them. I knew that I wanted to be able to capture those memories for my children to do the same someday.
I took photos for the yearbook in high school, and I was always the one in my group of friends who had a camera to make sure all of our time together was recorded. I got my first photography job almost 18 years ago, and while I have done a few other things in those years, I always gravitate back toward this in some form or another. I am lucky enough to have found a career that allows me to use my photography knowledge and still get behind the camera on occasion.
LS: Is photography your end goal, or are you still on your path to a bigger purpose?
Jill: - Photography will always be a big part of my life, whether I continue to do it for a living or not. There are still so many things I’d like to do in life- travel, volunteer more, give back to the universe in some way- and I plan on documenting every step of my journey with my photos.
LS: What are your goals to improve your community? What do you want to do or have you done to be involved?
Jill:- I want people to take pride in their community, whether it’s a big city, a small town, or a rural area in the middle of nowhere. The best way to do that is to get involved and take ownership. Make it yours and do your best to constantly improve it. I try to do just that by getting involved with local groups, church, political organizations- anything to contribute whatever I can to better the community for myself and everyone else who lives and works here.
LS: What is your why? What motivates you to become a better person for yourself, your family your neighbors?
Jill: - I just want to make the world a better place. For myself, my children, family, and friends. There is so much hatred and hardship in this world that if I can make people forget about all that for a moment and find something to be happy about, I will do whatever I can.
LS: What does happiness mean to you?
Jill- Finding joy and beauty in the simple things. I think that’s why I enjoy photography so much. A picture can allow you to take that joy and beauty with you wherever you go, even when it seems like there is nothing to be happy about.
Thank you Jill! I am looking forward to this beautiful partnership and our many projects together!
*about me- after getting myself out of a very tumultuous relationship I decided to go back to college and finish my Bachelors degree in Economics from The Ohio State University. I still didn’t feel fulfilled and decided to take on the happiness project which is phase one of my goal of opening a non-profit to help victims to regain their life and also provide financial therapy services. In the meantime I am honing in on my writing skills by offering viewers a look into people of our own communities and what they do to make everyone's life a little happier.
** If you would like to learn a little more about the history of photography please read A Brief History of Photography and the Camera: Explore the major advances in the history of photography by LIZ MASONER Here. This is the article I read to get a brief history lesson and it is a very good read.
**Photo credit to Jill Thank you
** Featured sock “pop” Arazzi Socks by SockSmith