Where it all started

My first Photography blog post.  

I'm specializing in portraiture but I thought it might be fun to show you all where this journey started for me.  I grew up in a small farm town in Northern California; a place I couldn't wait to leave when I was 17.  Funny how things change when you grow up.  Now, I crave that drive home. My eyes open wide when we drive down that last hill on the outskirts of town where there is nothing but open space and rice fields.  I feel like I can breathe.  I didn't start feeling this way until about a year after I moved away, of course.  

My dad has always been the hardest working person I've ever known.  He and my mom have given me everything in life.  God only knows where I would be without them.  My brother is now farming alongside my dad; they come from generations of rice farmers.  I can't even put into words how much I respect those two and their work ethic.  When the time came to think up a final photography project in college just before graduation, documenting rice harvest was actually my first thought.  I drove home almost every weekend that semester to take photos.  I grew up around farming but being there to photograph the "behind the scenes" was amazing.  I made a book to present to my class which contained all of my edited harvest photos and a brief description of each.  It was so fun to show my work but it was heartwarming to teach the other students, and my professor, about the trials and tribulations of rice farming.  This was when I first realized how important photography was to me, and how important it can be for other people.  Yes I share photos, and capture emotion, but we can also use images to teach.  How wonderful is that?

So here they are.  These were taken and edited about 7 years ago and although I would love to reopen them in photoshop just to touch them up, I'm also proud of my work.  This was my beginning...and I received an "A" grade. :) 

hailey hopkins