About Keesling Photography
Like many photographers before us, our family has always had a general interest in taking pictures especially of our own family adventures. Along the way somewhere we have turned our love of photography into kind of a hobby on steroids. We do much of our photography for family and friends and it keeps us really busy. It is very satisfying to know we help so many of our family and friends out as we all know how expensive hiring a professional photographer can be. I firmly believe in supporting your local pro photographer if you can but we are always here if you need us. We have come by way of the 35mm all manual FILM camera’s and we will attempt a little history lesson in how each one in our family has come to love our hobby of photography.
I can’t remember a time that a camera wasn’t part of my life. My dad had one of those old silver and black Polaroid cameras from the 1960’s, you know the ones, with the big flash on the side where the bulb cover was blue and got really hot, the body of the camera was silver with black accordion sides and it seemed to take forever to wait to peal the backing off and then you had to let the picture “dry”. I can remember even thinking how neat it was when my dad and my uncle took pictures of each other taking a picture of each other with their Polaroids. I remember my dad letting me “help” take a few pictures with it. I think that it is where my picture taking bug got its start.
When I was in 3rd grade, I had read a book about a famous lady photographer, in the book she talked about her first camera being a Brownie box camera. Well, I decided that was really neat and if I ever got the chance I would get one. That summer, while I was at an auction with my mother, I saw a Brownie Hawk-eye box camera that was dark brown with a brown leather case and brown fabric strap, I just had to have it. I used all my babysitting money (a whole $10) to buy that camera. Mom supplied the film and away I went taking pictures of my dogs, cats, grass, trees, brothers, sisters, and neighborhood friends. Then the reality hit that I had to pay to have the pictures processed and I became much more selective in the pictures I took. I remember taking my brownie on a school field trip; all of the kids wanted me to take their picture.
The next camera I owned was not bought until I was in high school. In between the brownie and my next camera, I used my parents camera. I bought my first and only 35mm film camera at Kmart, a Pentax K1000. I was so happy. I bought a battery operated flash, a fancy strap, and a blue camera bag. The summer between my junior and senior years, I went with the school yearbook staff to a workshop at Ball State where they taught us how to use 35mm camera, how to write copy, how to choose pictures for the yearbook and basically how to make a yearbook.
I kept and used that camera for many years to chronicle the events in my life and the lives of my family. It went on vacations, holiday celebrations, and to weddings, graduations, band camp, band competitions, etc.
When I met my husband, he was very excited that I had it, as he had sold the cameras that he had while in the military. Tim used that camera to continue to chronicle the special events in our lives, the births of our sons, their school successes, 4-H, dog events, racing events, etc. until we got our first digital camera. That new digital camera continued, and still continues to chronicle the events in our life, our sons events: sports, band, choirs, school activities, holidays, etc. Over time, we were posting the pictures Tim took on Facebook. Tim also at this time started enhancing the pictures in Photoshop and taking pictures of flowers, trees, street signs, the sky, etc. Family and friends seeing these photos that we posted on Facebook, started asking for copies of them and if Tim could take pictures for them. It progressed to people asking if he could take senior pictures and wedding pictures.
Recently he has been taking many, many pictures. He started asking me to help him pose people for senior pictures and then recently when he started taking wedding pictures, I started helping to pose people and assist with taking candid shots and pictures of the brides while getting ready. Now, I am continually looking for new ways to take pictures that are unique for these very special events. The picture taking bug is back!
As a little boy I have very fond memories of spending time in my bedroom playing with an old Brownie Box Camera, I was probably about 9 or 10 years old. This old camera was really intriguing to me and I believe it is one of the reasons I still have the interest in camera’s today. I still find the very old camera’s very interesting.
The next camera I was given was a Polaroid (for Christmas) and those of you who grew up in the late 60’s and early 70’s will probably remember that Polaroid came out with a RED/WHITE/BLUE series instant camera which I believe was to pull a younger audience in, which it did well! My camera was “Blue” and I loved it. We would go buy the big cartridge for it and the picture taking would commence! That was awesome back then because the pictures just appeared after a short period of time after you pulled the picture out of the camera. So, my interest just continued in photography albeit, mostly just family pictures. I still have one of those original pictures today and it has stood the test of time pretty well. That camera lasted into my early teen years.
In the middle of my teen years at some point my Dad bought a Canon AE-1 35mm FILM camera and a couple lenses. I thought the thing was made out of gold because it looked very fancy for the time period and it just looked extremely complicated and intimidating to me. I was mostly standoffish when it came to using it but I would use it under supervision of my Dad. I remember well that after Dad bought that Canon AE-1 that he really started learning a lot about camera’s and we enjoyed his pictures so much.
In the same time period probably late elementary to late teens, my Uncle Leland (Dad’s Brother) who was in the forestry service would come back to our home state usually every year once a year on vacation and I believe the camera he used was a Canon but not sure what model. He would set up slide shows and we would all set around eating popcorn and reminisce while he would explain his slides to everyone! This made a HUGE impact on me! I simply loved his slide shows of his nature adventures and to put those on a BIG SCREEN was really something spectacular back then.
On into my teen years as I entered into sports of all kinds, my Dad was right there shooting pictures of my buddies and I and he was always giving pictures to my buddies. We made scrap books or “Photo Albums” as we called them back then and mine have survived to this day! This also made a really BIG impact on my interest in photography even though I didn’t do much of it myself at that time. I wouldn’t trade anything for those photos my Dad took of me back then of my sports days, they meant the world to me then and now! Dad really took care of his camera and it lasted for many, many years. (I currently have the camera now but it needs restored)
After High School, it was a couple years out in the early 80’s and there were no jobs to be had. Photography was really not even on my mind in that short period of time. I decided to join the service as I wanted to go see the world and travel and get off of the family farm for a while. So, I joined up and was assigned to a ship that was already over in the Mediterranean. Most ships at least in those days had a ships store and it didn’t take long to notice that they had very nice 35mm cameras for sale. Why not, we traveled all over the place and the sites wow, the sites I saw! No better way to capture that than with a camera huh?! So it was that I purchased my first 35mm camera that came with a 50mm lens and another telephoto lens. The camera I purchased was a Fujica STX-1 and it was a basic little 35mm but it took some awesome pictures! So there the photography bug bit me again and I have fond memories of taking my film to over sea’s 1 hour developers and trying to tell them what I wanted! The pictures seemed to always turn out good. A couple years later I bought a newer Fujica but can’t remember the model right now. I had somehow got rid of my cameras about the time I got out of the Navy and kind of lost interest in photography again since I was back stateside.
I am now in my late 20’s and have met my wife Lora. Well, here we go again Lora had a Pentax K1000 35mm FILM camera and so I started using it and we used it on our honeymoon and for years after that. I know at one time we did buy a new Pentax “Automatic” 35mm FILM camera and it was basically like your point and shoot cameras only with film. It did it all for you! We used that point and shoot Pentax until it was wore out. We still had the Pentax K1000 and used it periodically. Our Sons were getting older and starting to get involved in extracurricular activities, so we decided that we should get a new digital camera since digital was all the rage in camera gear now. So with my love for Canon (Thanks to my Dad and Uncle Leland) we explored the digital cameras that were offered at the time. There it was, a brand new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, I had to have it. So we purchased it and that started the whole process of interest in photography again for our family.
As time would have it, I began to want a better, higher pixel digital camera and of course I’m a pretty die hard Canon lover by now! I did a little research and found a camera that I could afford, not the best that I wanted but it was what I could afford at the time. I found an 18 megapixel Canon EOS Rebel T3i and what was even better, all my lenses from my Rebel XT fit it. So here I am now taking pics with it. I do pull out the Rebel XT every once in a while because it still takes awesome pictures as well. In the last couple years my interest in photography has went from the occasional family outing pics to family and friend hobby pictures on steroids!
I have since purchased a couple of old Fujica STX-1’s like I had when I was in the Navy. I find it fun and challenging to go retro and pull the old 35mm FILM cameras out and do a photoshoot!
My latest camera that I purchased after I had written all this history is a Canon 5D Mark III full frame. That camera is unbelievable, and its been used so many times now that it is nearly wore out! I’ve taken thousands of pictures with that thing, mostly of choir events. Well, that is about it for me, I don’t plan on stopping with my photography, however I’ve slowed down a bit!
Thanks for reading our story, I know you must have an interest in peoples stories if you’ve read this far unto the end.