MY FIRST PICTURES – NHUNG TAM HINH DAU TIEN CUA TOI
My love of photography is natural. I have loved to see myself in photographs ever since I was small.
It might be an obvious desire. Remember I was born in a remote village. There was no electricity. Although electricity was nothing related to photography, I introduce it here to let your mind play some imagination about the kind of life, dark, remote, and primitive. Rarely someone had a camera, and a primitive one it was. Still, it was a fancy thing.
I had my first picture taken in 1968 at the only studio in the closest district town. It was a 4x6mm and a 3x4mm. I did not ask the money from my parents for fancy pictures. They were needed to attach to the application for taking the entry exam for the 6th grade, the entry level for my elementary school.
With the eyes of a 6-year-old person I believed I looked beautiful.
Now, after adding years of life, I see in the picture a little creature, shy and timid, exposing her inner self to the photographer, wearing her white school dress. I was puzzled to find myself in a strange and dark studio. I trembled when the strobe light was turned on. Yet, I was burnt with desire to be beautiful in the picture.
I took a few more pictures when I was in the 6th grade.
My school organized a tour for students to the sea. That was my first trip away from home. That event was big. My mother was excited as much as I was. From our village to Saigon, the old capital of the South of Vietnam, was the farthest she had ever gone from home. She had never had the opportunity to see the sea, so she was happy for me. She went out buying me a stainless steel fork and spoon that were so big that I felt embarrassed. Her effort was to get me something fancy to have to eat my meals with other students, instead of using ordinary bamboo chopsticks that we used every day.
My youngest aunt lent me her new beautiful blouse. I even had a pair of black glasses.
So I was there, me and the ocean for the first time. I played with the waves. I rented a float (it was actually a huge tire) and rode on it. I was not afraid of the ocean at all. So young and so brave!
I was curious and patient to wait for the light beams that casted over the school yard of some school that our teachers could arrange for us to stay.
I believed all the overwhelming excitement from discoveries of new things and new places were captured there in my pictures. Thanks to the photographer who had the camera and cared enough to take my pictures.
Now it is your turn. I can’t wait to read about your first picture taking experiences.
Please come back for more about photography.