C.S. Lewis wrote that, “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” Must be true, as I recently launched a new business, and I’m in my 80’s. It began when I took up photography few years ago. I taught myself the basics of digital photography and how to use the editing software, and thus began a new chapter in my life.
My father was an amateur photographer, and our kitchen was his darkroom at night. I loved watching the magic of black and white images appear in the trays of chemicals when he was printing. Although I had a Brownie camera (an inexpensive box camera) as a child, my picture taking was limited by the cost of film and processing. When I did find some money for photography, the pictures I got back from the drugstore were disappointing. The snapshots never matched the image I had in mind, and the Brownie was tucked away in some drawer and forgotten.
When it came time to decide on an area of study at UCLA I chose art, an impractical but fun major. After graduation I traveled down many roads, looking for a way use my education and earn a living. Finally, 50 years after graduation, I left Los Angeles and moved to the Mendocino Coast where I settled into the community and eventually found my way to photography.
I began with a small 3 megapixel camera that I used to record the beautiful coast and the redwood forests. Health issues eventually forced me to find subject matter that didn’t require hiking and running around, so I turned to photographing flowers. I bought a new camera, a close-up lens and tripod, and began exploring the possibilities in the botanical world.
Although I have had several shows locally and was establishing a reputation as a flower photographer, my new career was not as lucrative as I had expected. I decided then that if I couldn’t make money taking pictures I could use the pictures to make people happy. My goal was to produce something inexpensively that I could give away. The idea of combining an inspiring quotation to the back of a flower photo came “out of the blue”, and Happiness Cards were born.