Sharing your passion with your child…

 In Dave Gallagher, Leica, Leica M, News

If you asked me what my passions in life were, I would tell you that they are “Family, Travel, and Photography” in that order. And this is one of the reasons that I truly love what I do.  As owner of Capture Integration, I am able to travel to see my customers or conduct photographic workshops all over this amazing planet and create images of the gorgeous locations.  That covers 2 out of the three…. so how do I incorporate the most important passion, my family?

When my daughter was very young I often brought one of her stuffed animals with me through my travels in order to photograph them in the different incredible locations.  If you have not seen it, I invite you to read one of my blog posts that truly defines who I am:

It was a fun to show my daughter that she was always on my mind. She could see her little beloved stuffed animal being photographed all around the world.  I wanted to communicate to her that a little piece of her was always with me even when she was not. And I was able to express that to her with photography, one my my passions. As a child it made her smile…. but as a young adult, she now tells me that she absolutely loved it in so many ways. By being a part of this fun thing with her dad, she, at a young age, learned to appreciate that photography could be a way to show love and expression. I didn’t create these images for her to love photography itself but just to show her the love of her father. Funny enough, not only did she love to see the imagery, but it was natural for her to find interest in creating it eventually for herself.

So as soon as she wanted to truly learn photography I placed a Leica M in her hands and we would go shoot. Yeah, that’s me…. not a point and shoot. Not a DSLR. But she had to have a Leica M like her “old man.”   My idea was that having the same manual body with manual lenses, she could really learn photography from a pure sense as possible. Especially in today’s world of “pray and spray” digital capture. Also we could share the same lenses in one of the most compact systems we could carry. Naturally Dad’s favorite camera became the daughters favorite camera as well…… at least when I was around it was. 🙂

So needless to say, while we really enjoyed the time together and sharing the same passion for capturing images, I had no expectations of how good she could be. The point of shooting together was just to create precious moments and doing something that we loved. However, I had no idea what an amazing eye for imagery she possessed even at a very early age. Her first images showed comprehension way beyond her years. And this was the important catalyst to shooting more…

Laughing Horse – Emma Gallagher
Old truck – new dice – Emma Gallagher

Composition, composition, composition. How could such a young person understand composition so thoroughly? It is normal for children just to take “snap shots” of wide content of the subject matter. Her images were opening in Capture One and they had such strong and tight composition. And she was doing this without the use of the easier to use zoom lens as crutch. We only shot 4 lenses total. A 21mm, 35mm, 50mm, and a 75mm. I truly was blown away.

Equine Dreaming – Emma Gallagher
McGregor fishing – Emma Gallagher

Context and balance. The pureness of black and white. Seeing an image where others do not. An understanding of the medium that you just can’t teach. And this was all coming from Dad’s little girl…..

Montana Strength – Emma Gallagher

You want to share your passion with the people you love the most in this world. How amazing is it when those same people also show an outstanding aptitude along with that love for the same medium? While I only hoped for my child to enjoy the the first time I handed her a camera, I could never have hoped that she loved it as much as her old man. And even better that she would request to go shooting together more and more.

I am happy to say that this passion of photography has continued into her college days. She is now taking photography classes while preparing for law school next year. A few months ago she asked me for a brick of Tmaxx and now loves to tell me that “Dad, this film is so much better than the digital files you shoot…” She clearly shares my sense of humor as much as my passion for photography and travel. 🙂

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