As I have been nominated and won Hamilton Music Award’s “Event Photographer of the Year”, I feel compelled to introduce myself, and share my experience as a photographer on the Hamilton Music Scene.
I started taking photos with my Polaroid camera when I was eight. I would pose my stuffed animals and do ‘photo shoots’. At twelve, I told my best friend that ‘When I grow up, I want to dress people up and take their photo so they can feel confident.’ Too many people suffer low self-esteem and body image issues, and I want to change that.
I took photography in high school, studying: technique, style, and the darkroom. I also did a TV Broadcasting co-op at Rogers Community 14, where I contributed to a show called “Expose Yourself”, interviewing and filming local bands. These experiences fuelled my passion for Photography. Family and friends began giving me old cameras to “play” with. I was a camera magnet! I started dressing up the kids I babysit and do photo shoots.
I got my first ‘real’ SLR, a Canon EoS RebelG, when I attended UBC, where I studied: Art History, Film, and Literature. As a ‘starving student’, it often became a difficult choice between buying “food” or “film”. “Film” usually won... Back then, I wasn’t yet known as MISHAFOTOS; people dubbed me “Misha-the-Poetess”, as I regularly performed Spoken Word poetry all around Vancouver. This kept me constantly surrounded by Creative People: artists, actors, musicians, D.J.s..photographers... You know, the “Fun, funky, fabulous folk”. I always carried my notebook and camera. Photography became not only the way I See, it became the way I socialize.
In 2006, I started taking photos of the Hamilton music scene. Immediately, I was welcomed into this talented, unique community with open arms. I was surrounded with Music! It was amazing!
Photography lets me see the world in an entirely new way. Through the lens, I can take a new perspective, as I stop to See Life. Photography lets me Experience living in the Now; for, when I shoot, nothing exists except my subject.
I am filled with gratitude when I think of how many spectacular musical moments I have been privy to: at the HMAs, Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, and various venues around town.
There are too many names to thank here, so see my photos and let them be a refection of my gratitude for so many great memories-- you know who you are!
Thank you, Hamilton, for a great ten years filled with awesome memories! Let's do another ten, shall we?!
Stay happy, and smile.