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Confessions of a Photography Addict: Photographer Alan Babbitt

April 9, 2010

I was a kid when it started – a mere innocent. My folks got me a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye – my 1st camera. “Here kid”, they said. “Enjoy it”. What they should have said was, “Here kid. first one’s free.”

It was nothing at first, a 12 exposure roll here – couple of flash bulbs there. Before I knew it, I fell in with a fast crowd – hanging out in dark rooms!. Experimenting with CHEMICALS!!

It was then I started to break the rules. I began ignoring “NO TRESPASSING” signs. Sometimes, just for the thrill, I’d tilt the camera so the horizon WASN’T HORIZONTAL!!! Finally, I had to get a paper route & sell seeds door to door to feed my habit.

I did try to seek help. I joined a therapy group for photo addicts based on the “12 Stop” program. It didn’t click. Everywhere I looked, people were selling film, never once asking for an ID.

Soon I was out on the streets again, always angling for that next shot. Oh, I’d do anything to get high – climb trees, poles, fences, stairs – I had no pride. It got so I didn’t care what people thought as I lay in the street with my wide angle lens stuck out there for all to see.

I hit bottom in Amsterdam. In a Koda-crazed state, I strapped on every piece of gear I’d brought – 2 cameras, 4 lenses, 4 kinds of film, light meters, filters, batteries and a tripod – and walked into town to shoot. Powerful images everywhere – wonderful architecture – smiling faces – magical light – scrumptious french fries. I couldn’t crank a frame.

Today, of course, I can see it for the classic photo overdose it was – the dazed, crazed and glazed-over, pack mule photographer – unable to make a decision. At the time though, it was devastating. I was a broken man – deep in denial – with sore feet.

From then on, my shame knew no bounds. When the urge to shoot became too big, I’d go hang out with tourists so I’d blend in, Then I’d sneak to the lab at night and secretly savor my prints in private. Then, finally, a breakthrough. The day every photographer dreams of – I saw the light. But wait! It was coming from a computer monitor! And before I could say, “dot-com”, I was caught in the Web.

The Web has really helped me take responsibility for what I’d become. The only way out was to shout it to the world from the highest rooftop (where I had climbed to get a good angle) that I WAS a ph…. ph…. PHOTOGRAPHER and PROUD of it!! Whew, there, I said it.

The only thing that bothers me is that computer store clerk who threw in a CD of Internet software and said, “Here kid. This one’s free”

To learn more about photographer Alan Babbitt; see more of his work and to purchase, please visit his gallery on

Prelude by Alan Babbitt

Prelude by Alan Babbitt

Concert Hall Improv by Alan Babbitt

Concert Hall Improv by Alan Babbitt

Hall of Arches by Alan Babbitt

Hall of Arches by Alan Babbitt

One Comment leave one →
  1. vincent doran permalink
    May 24, 2010 6:00 pm

    alan that was great to see your web page. I’m seting her with META in her leg rehab. she enjoyed your work as well . be good see you in JULY

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