I’m so glad you could make it out to my little corner of the web. Let me introduce myself, my name is Cameron and I’m your photographer. (If I’m not your photographer — I hope I soon can be.)

What is there to say about me? Well — one of my first memories as a child involves my mother and her incredible talent as an artist. She used to spend hours sketching, analyzing, erasing, smudging, coloring and creating some amazing works of art. When she would draw, her command of her tools was awe inspiring and I was forever changed by it.

Without much prodding she taught me to draw and always encouraged me to see things as they really were and not as I perceived them. That’s not always an easy task, especially when I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. However, I desperately wanted to draw straighter, sexier stick figures and become the best artist that I possibly could. So I studied, I practiced and I pushed myself as much as you can imagine. It was there, through the fog of chalk dust, graphite stains and stick figures that I learned to see light, and it has been a major part of my life ever since. So much so that I decided–at the all knowing age of 13–that art was to become my career. I never doubted it and I never waivered. I also never knew how much I didn’t know.

I studied illustration, airbrush, sculpture, figure drawing, graphic design and a number of other artistic disciplines while I was in college. I was surrounded by creative people and amazing talent and I was having the time of my life! I was sharpening my skills, fattening my brain, expanding my artistic horizons–I was also meeting great new people along the way, but I still couldn’t draw a straight stick figure.

In one of the last semesters of college I took a photography course. I borrowed a camera from a friend, got a crash course in loading the film and set out to take amazing pictures. I figured at the very least, I could take reference photos for my paintings and illustrations.

Over the course of the semester I really fell in love with photography. You see–with paint, it’s all about how you perceive light and represent it on your canvas. With a photograph–it’s about using light as the medium to represent life. It’s real in every sense and that’s what makes it so special. My love and excitement for photography grew every time I was in the dark room. There’s something special about the process of exposing negatives and seeing a beautiful photograph appear on the print as you swirl it around in the chemicals. In those dimly lit moments, my nose filled with the stench of developer and fixer, I knew that photography was going to be a significant part of my career and my life.

My art background, while it taught me about composition and color, also taught me to see the beauty in all things. Maybe that’s my true gift in life. I see beauty in the way the sun rises, the way water moves, the way that a wooden door distresses, the smile on the face of a child, the way light dances in your eyes, even in the way that you giggle when you’re nervous. There are so many things that make the world around us beautiful–photography just allows me to capture those amazing moments and preserve them in an image.

Many photographers will tell you that they are passionate about photography, but I won’t tell you that. My passion is in the little moments. It’s in the moment that you see yourself and KNOW that you are beautiful. It’s in the moment that you share your pictures with a smile on your face and proudly proclaim “That’s me, don’t I look great!” It’s in the moment that someone sees you in a different light and says “Wow, you look amazing!” It’s these moments that inspire me to be a photographer.

-Cameron VanAusdal