This week we’re getting to know community member, Mary Wardell.

Mary hails from the Pacific Northwest and inspires me by her desire and willingness to get out daily to create images, no matter what. She likes being active, involved and always learning. Looking at the world through her lens is one of the highlights of her days. Sharing what she sees is another.

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How did you get started in photography?

“I would use my mom’s camera so she could be in family photos. I didn’t have a camera of my own until I was 16. After that, I would take pictures whenever I could although I was pretty conservative because film processing was expensive.”

What was your first camera?

“Oddly, I don’t remember the make but I know I was using 110 film in it. My godmother gave me the camera for my 16th birthday back in 1965. I graduated to a 35mm in the early 1980s. That camera was a Pentax K-1000 which I still have. My son used it in his high school photography classes.”

Who is one photographer that inspires you and why?

“There are a lot of photographers I follow but I’m going to say that Rick Sammon holds the record for influence because of his philosophy. I’ve heard him say many times that he doesn’t specialize in any one type of photography and that’s pretty much how I feel too. I’ll photograph anything that grabs my eye.”

What’s the first thing you look for in composing your image?

“This one is tough as I am a shoot-from-the-hip photographer many times, but I do try to follow the rule of thirds if I can and try to fill the frame. Even negative space involves filling the frame. If I can’t get close enough to make the ideal shot in-camera I have no qualms about cropping.”

Join Mary and others in the Photofocus Community!

If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Mary, join the community here. More than that though, it’s a great place to meet other photographers, share images and talk about all things photography.