© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

My First Photo

The first snapshot I ever took was of my parents and sister. They were all laying in a hammock beneath our three swaying maple trees in our Ontario backyard. Our green canoe hung on the fence in the background. In that photo, Meghan is about a year old, so I must have been about seven. I remember shooting that photo. Thrifty by nature I composed it just right, not wanting to squander the 50 cent fee of film and developing. I remember Mom and Dad paying me a nice complement when that roll’s photographs were first viewed.

I don’t believe I touched a camera again until my second year of high school. I took at journalism class during my second semester and as part of one assignment, we had to shoot a roll of film for our mock newspaper. I remember quite clearly laying in the grass and composing a shot of my brother playing croquet in our front yard. The depth of field was perfect. Ms. Shipp paid me a nice complement on that photograph when that class critiqued the printouts.

I went from there to take both photography classes in high school under the expert tutelage of Mr. Weiss. At Graceland I managed the darkroom for my final three years, though I didn’t take a single photography class in university as what I’d learned in high school far surpassed the Graceland equivalent. It was at Graceland that I started dabbling the business of taking and shooting photographs of my classmates. The day I graduated from Graceland was the last time I set foot in a darkroom. I shot my first wedding when I was 20. I purchased my D80 a couple of years later. In the past six years I’ve shot two dozen weddings, including those of some of my closest friends.

Literally hundreds of thousands of shots later, thanks to that small photograph of my family under those trees, I can still clearly see that day, that moment in my mind. And I think that’s the major appeal of photography.

It helps me to picture this life.


  1. Katie HOyt
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm | #

    You are such a talent! I’m glad to have had the chance to be your subject a few times. Shooting in the fields around Lamoni is a fun memory of mine from college… Hugs!

  2. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted July 24, 2011 at 12:07 am | #


    Great to hear from you and so nice to know that you check in once in a while! If I was a talent behind the camera, you were one in front of it. I certainly loved working with you too. There are a couple of shots of you that made there way onto little magnets that now decorate my fridge. That being said, it’s nice to see you once in a while when a shot catches my eye.

    Thanks again for the note.

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