From The Beginning

September 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

The Beginning

It all started on a New Year’s Eve in Croatia where my parents first met, they had a brief encounter during the day in the capital, Zagreb, when my dad dropped his camera lens cap in the packed street and my mother picked it up. Later that night they bumped into each other at a party, This is a photograph my dad took of my mother that very night. That was the very beginning.

I was born a few years later on the 14th April 1992 in Slough, but for the rest of my life I was raised in the slightly more pleasant town of Reading. They decided to name me Gita.

My name is Indian as my parents were Hare Krishna’s when I came along. It means ‘Song’. I don’t know whether it is ironic that my mother is a guitar teacher or that it was just incredibly well thought out.

Alternative Education

I was home educated until college, as my mother didn’t like the idea of putting me and my sister in a school when we were so young.

Despite being home educated I didn’t come from a cave without knowledge of the real world. The idea behind home education is that we would learn more outside of school than inside. I liked sports a lot, my time was filled with ice skating, diving, caving, snowboarding, rock climbing, rifle shooting (I have a pretty little certificate), mountain boarding and archery. Me and my younger sister also gained a few years of knowledge about wilderness survival skills where we stayed in forests and fields for weeks at a time and learned how to make knives out of flint, fire by hand, twine, shelters and wooden spoons. We also liked to go mushroom hunting.

How Photography Came Along..

So with the time on the side, my sister, two friends, and I, all started to make clothes when I was about 11. We all made long gothic dresses that were each the same but in different colours. We liked them so much that we did our hair and makeup just to look our best in them, and then we photographed ourselves afterwards in urban and candle lit scenarios for the whole look to be completed. I guess this sparked an idea; we looked so amazing that we had to do it again. Dress making, however, took quite a long time so eventually we just started photographing each other in scenic environments.

I became very eager to photograph everything so my dad ‘leant’ me his 2 megapixel Sony Cybershot. It was never returned but it had a great life before eventually being left out in the rain. Soon after the incident he gave me his Canon A1 film camera with his bag of lenses. It was the camera he had for over 20 years and the camera he had met my mother with.

My first digital camera was an Olympus. It was the most beautiful camera, I took it everywhere and I achieved so much with it. I was inspired by everything, by my surroundings and by the people, by colours and clothes. I was innocent to technique but I was visual, I saw photographs in my mind and I saw them in my dreams. I saw images growing in front of my eyes in rooms and I just had to photograph them, how could I not? I was so inspired by light, and how it would fall on faces and surroundings.

Studying Photography

When I was 15 I lied about my age and started a part time night class in photography. My favourite place was the darkroom where I learnt how to process film. Unfortunately the only thing I took away from the experience, other than darkroom knowledge, was an E in photography.

So when it was time to choose the subjects I wanted to study at college, I knew I wanted to study photography though I was a little worried because of how awful my first experience had been. I don’t remember applying for the National Diploma in Photography and Multimedia as I wanted to study other things too, but I went along to the interview anyway. Before sitting down and showing my interviewer my little 6×8 portfolio of pictures he showed me around Thames Valley University. I passed by large studios where I saw studio lights going off, people working inside with models and sets and cameras.. Right then and there I thought to myself, ‘how could I have ever wanted to do anything but this?’

Two years later I left with a DDD. It was the most amazing life changing experience and I couldn’t think more highly of my teacher Peter Savage, who went far beyond what he needed to do as a teacher.

Going to University

I am now studying Commercial Photography at The Arts University at Bournemouth. I only applied for the one place, in all honesty I didn’t really want to pay UCAS an extra £12 to be able to apply in more places nor did I want to settle with a second place choice, it was all or nothing! After an incredibly nerve wrecking and slightly emotional interview, I got in.

I have just started my 3rd and final year at university before joining the big world, I’m nearly ready!