My first digital camera was the Sony DSC F707. If you are familiar with that camera at all, you will know that it was the highest end 'prosumer' camera available at the time. The 707 was a truly wonderful camera, and the closest that the average bear could get to a dslr at the time. I bought it, after doing 'research' in magazines and on line, because I thought it would allow me to take action shots of my kids playing soccer. That was in late 2000 or early 2001, when the kids were 10, 8 and 6!!!! The 707 was an amazing camera, and it actually did a decent job of taking action photos - outside, in good light, with the Olympus teleconvertor. But it did a decent job. I read photography forums, and sports photography forums and spent a lot of time learning the basics of good exposure, good composition, good sports shots. I was soooo proud of those photos, and worked very hard at being sure that they were more than snapshots. I shared them through my first on line web gallery, pbase, and was immensely offended when they were lifted without permission. I shared them on photography forums too, especially the Sony Talk Forum on dpreview. I got lots and lots of feedback, mostly good. I discovered a passion, and was driven to improve.
Looking back, the 707 probably wasn't the right tool for the job. It was very, very good, for the time and the price, but it wasn't a sports camera. It was, however, better than good at still life and macro photography. The swivel body and large lcd made getting the 'right angle' on insect or flower close ups a peice of cake. And it was exceptional as a teaching device. The feedback loop of digital photography, combined with the basic lessons of exposure and composition, makes learning fun and immediate and inexpensive. I took very many good photographs, including good sports photos, with that camera, and credit working with the 707 and wanting to progress at sports photography, to leading me to where I am now.
Which brings me to the title of todays post. I started as a soccer mom with a digicam - a label that I really, really resented when it was used to describe me by an 'old school' sports photographer. But, looking back, it fit. However, what I did with that digicam and the resources that I sought out to learn more about the art of photography, has led me to feel confident in my ability to get the shot, and to deliver product to paying customers. However, the fact that I have a dSLR is no longer unique. The option of shooting with a dSLR has become available to interested hobbyists, as shooting with the 707 opened the world to me. So I need, more than ever, to be able to deliver/provide a product that stands out - to get the shot that goes beyond a technically good photograph. Which, of course, gives me more fuel to stoke the fire of this passion.
I love photography. It is the one thing in my life of which I have control - I choose when, I choose what, I choose how long. It is an activity that I want to do alone, but share the results with everyone. It is an activity that I enjoy discussing - I love to talk gear, technique, result...anything photography. It is my passion. And I am still a soccer mom with a digital camera.
Interestingly, as Andy mentions in his comment, the NYT recently wrote about moms & cameras. One of the interviewees of the article has posted this