This month, Jan Cregan is our honored Photographer of the Month. She is an active member and, because of her friendly nature, we are glad to have her on the hospitality committee of the club. She is also why I am living in SaddleBrooke, because five years ago she said, “Why don’t you come check out where I live. I know you would like it.” After we sat on her patio and enjoyed the view of the wild spaces, we agreed. My husband and I lived in the Phoenix area and put our house on the market. Months later we were fellow residents of this beautiful community.
When I asked her how she got started in photography, she told the following story.
“‘Need a ride?’ I never could have imagined how those three words could have changed my life. It was the summer of 2012 in Logan, Utah when I asked a group of ladies if they wanted me to drive them to a dilapidated factory that they wanted to photograph.
“They had their ‘fancy’ cameras and I was the owner of a 12.1 megapixel Canon Power Shot camera that could fit in my shirt pocket. By the time they finished shooting at the old building, I knew I had found a group of women who were adventurous, daring, and fun loving. I wanted to spend the rest of my summer doing what they did. (We were doing the Summer Citizen program sponsored by Utah State University and living in the student apartments.) In just a few weeks, I bought my first real camera, a Panasonic fixed lens. In years to come, I moved on to the Sony mirrorless series.
“I have had the opportunity to travel near and far taking photography courses, learning to take my camera out of automatic, understanding ISO, shutter speed, and F-stops. All of that has helped me to become a better photographer. Whether I’m taking shots out in the desert in our Jeep, of wildlife that stops by in our own backyard, or of flowers I come across, there is always something to photograph. Becoming involved with photography has given me such joy as I continue to learn more about one of my greatest passions in life.
“I have learned a lot after becoming a member of the SaddleBrooke Photography Club. Our weekly videos, many fun field trips, and the gentle critiquing of my photos all have helped me grow as a photographer. I’ve also received help from other more knowledgeable members, along with making great friends.”
As one of the original “fun” photographers who hung out with Jan in Utah, I can confirm that we all did grow from the almost daily impromptu photo excursions. It’s been great watching her eagerness to learn and see the improvements in her work.
Come to our open studio sessions in the Agate Room, SaddleBrooke TWO, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 a.m.-noon.