Musings on Photography Shows

by Jenny on 14 April 2016

The New Kensington Camera Club has a Flower Show this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This whole thing is making me so emotional. I actually entered two of my own photos.

Here’s a boring story: I had to pass every single class my final semester in college in order to graduate. My school charged by the credit, and I worried constantly about debt. I couldn’t afford any extra credits, so I only registered for the exact number that I needed for my degree.

Anyway, my final semester I took a (required) photojournalism course. I started the course with absolutely no prior photography knowledge beyond using a point-and-shoot. I used a crappy camera that I had available for free instead of investing in something more suitable. I didn’t completely understand anything in the class. Dr. X, the instructor, intimidated me.

So, my final semester in college, I dreaded photography class each week.

I actually thought, “Jenny Gaffron will not pass her final semester in college – and will therefore not be permitted to walk at commencement – due to a PHOTOGRAPHY class.”

I hated, hated, hated the photos that I took for my final project. Because my camera was a piece of junk and I had a lot of problems using the darkroom. The photos that we all had to mount for an exhibit in our school’s student union. Labeled with our names. (Arghhh!)

And then – then – I put an Exacto knife through my finger when I matted the photos that I hated. I almost cut off the tip of my finger.

This happened during my dreaded photojournalism class.

First I thought, “Dr X is going to yell at me!”

Then I thought, “It’s not so bad.”

Then I thought, “Shit, I’m really bleeding now.”

I ran into the ladies’ room without saying a word. (Because I was afraid that the Instructor would yell at me.) I wrapped up my hand and ran back to my dorm.

I ran into my good friend Chrissy’s room and showed her what I did. She drove me to the ER in Latrobe. At the same time that we arrived, EMT’s wheeled in a woman who had just been hit by a car and couldn’t feel her legs.

Guys, the ER staff triaged ME ahead of the the person who got Hit by a Car.

My finger healed.

Dr. X. never found out about this.

I got a B in the class.

I actually did graduate from college that semester.

Chrissy is going to defend her PhD dissertation tomorrow. (!!!!!!)

I mention all of this because I haven’t matted a photo since. However, this winter I decided to enter the New Kensington Camera Club’s spring flower show.

I ordered my photos from the company that Jonathan uses, but they didn’t arrive until  this past Tuesday. Drop-off was Wednesday evening. (Which was yesterday.)  On Wednesday morning, I told Jonathan that I decided not to enter the show after all because I had to attend a work function in Pittsburgh late Wednesday afternoon and I was too intimidated to mat my photos in such a short time window.

On Wednesday, while I was still at my work function, Jonathan did all of the following: he left his own day job, went to Michael’s for supplies, and then came home and matted my photos for me. Then he went off to Valley High School for the rest of the night because this week is tech week for the Peter Pan musical. When I came home, I found two photos matted and waiting for me to drop off at the camera club.

I scored in so many ways:

This is the very first time that I will exhibit a photo that I feel good about showing with my name attached.

My neighborhood has issues, but an awesome, talented bunch of people from this same community are putting together a photography show within a 15 minute walk from my house.

I still have all of my fingers.




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