"It is photography itself that creates the illusion of innocence. Its ironies of frozen narrative lend to its subjects an apparent unawareness that they will change or die. It is the future they are innocent of. Fifty years on we look at them with the godly knowledge of how they turned out after all - who they married, the date of their death - with no thought for who will one day be holding photographs of us." - Ian McEwan

I hate writing about myself.

But even more than that, I hate when people write about themselves in third person. So bear with me.

I was born and raised in the Sunshine State, receiving my Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Florida after attending small private schools for my entire elementary and high school years. Photography found me early on. Before the days of cheap external hard drives, I filled CDs with countless photos of friends, family, sunsets and things I found super "artsy," like macro shots of grass, raindrops and crayons. I was pretty bad. But I loved it.

During my sophomore year of college I decided to make it more than just a hobby and attempted to be better than colored wax and glistening beads of dew. So I practiced. I freelanced for the Independent Florida Alligator, taking photos of artists and student government meetings. The first time my photo was featured on the front page, they got my byline wrong, attributing it to a completely different person. My heart was broken. But I practiced. And I was still pretty bad.

In my junior year, the photo classes became more intensive, and I found myself surrounded by a group of extremely talented individuals. We worked with each other, critiqued each other and made each other better photographers. A fellow classmate was the photo editor at the Alligator and took a chance on me. He sent me on an assignment to photograph a bubble tea cafe. I took photos of people walking in and out, kids sipping through straws and of course, macro shots of the small tapioca balls floating in colorful tea. The practice paid off. Within a week I was made staff photographer.

Today I am the editor of The Skagway News, a small, bi-monthly paper located in a small windswept valley on the coast of Southeast Alaska. I've worked for large newspapers, magazines, law schools, brothel museums and for myself.  I've photographed grueling canoe races in the Yukon, midnight runs through the Klondike, celebrities and their mothers, couples saying "I Do," presidential candidates and have taken a few good macro shots here and there. I think I've improved from my days of "pretty bad," but I know I can do even better. So I'll keep practicing.  

Visit my portrait website here: http://elisegiordanophotography.com

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