Kenny Shackleford, Montgomery, AL Member Since April 2008 Artist Statement When I was a child, before the first grade, I would go through old black and white photographs my older brother had made while in the Army and Air Force during the Korean War period. Seeing places from the other parts of the world amazed me. He died when I was two so I was always grateful that he had left those photographs. It helped me know a brother that I would otherwise never had known. It also set in motion my love for photography.
My first camera was a Polaroid. It was a present from my parents when I was still very young. It was one of those white plastic things, with instant black and white film, more of a toy than a camera. It produced images not much bigger than a postage stamp. I got my use out of it. From there it was a Kodak Brownie and other 126 and 110 film cameras. Throw in a Bell and Howell Super 8 as well. I never quite liked the movie types though. My first 35 SLR was a Pentax. I got a lot of mileage from it plus a better understanding of cameras and film.
I took the leap in 1977 and attended a Continued Education course in Photography at Auburn University in Montgomery, AL. I gained hands on in the dark room plus a lot of knowledge on the principles and rules. The one thing I learned about rules was that rules could be broke with good results. The New York Institute of Photography was my next step. Even though it was a Home Study, I did gain from it. July 1979 I enlisted in the Air National Guard for the Air Force Photo Schools. While in service, I attended the Air Force Photojournalism School in Denver. Also during this period I worked as a civilian with the Air Force as a photographer and operated a part time photo business. I worked in all formats up to 8 x 10. In 1985 my family and I moved to Atlanta, Georgia where I worked with the Marietta Daily Journal. I also enlisted in the Naval Reserve for two years and took the Navy Photo Course.
As much as I loved photography I could never make a really descent living at it so over time it was put on the back burner. I eventually sold of my equipment and just stopped. For a period of about ten or so years photography was something I use to do. A drunk driver killed my son Chris, at age 19, in a car wreck July 29, 2000. For those of you who have dealt with this sort of thing you know the emotional set back it brings. Photography became the last thing on my mind.
My 54th birthday was April 29, 2006. My darling wife bought me a Nikon Cool-Pix 4800. A simple non-complicated camera for those of you with the big stuff I know but it sparked the photo bug in me again. Technology had rushed by me but now I am learning again. I hope to move up to better equipment when I can afford it. Still with this modest little camera, I have been impressed. I also noticed that those “rules” that I learned so many years ago could still be broken.
So what do I hope to gain? I only wish to gain the enjoyment and hopefully the ability to share it with others. So please, enjoy the photos and feel free to share back with me.