It was August 21, 1982. It was my 12th birthday. It seems like just yesterday. My Dad and I are in Lubbock and he is asking me what I really want for my birthday. I tell him that I have been dreaming of having my own camera. He asks if I am talking about a Polaroid camera. I said no. He asks if I am talking about a little Kodak camera. I again tell him no. I finally tell him that I want a real camera like a Nikon or Canon. He begins to inform me that those cameras cost some serious money and that my Mom would probably not like it too much if he spent that much on my present. I told him I knew they were expensive and that I knew he was worried that I may not ever use the camera. I told him that I would definitely use the camera and he would not ever regret getting it. He decides to take me to the retail store, Best. We looked at all the cameras and finally decided on the Nikon EM camera that you see in the picture. Of course as they say the rest is history.
As I look back today, 32 years later, I think of where I would be without that camera. I probably would never have met all the amazing people I have and seen all the beautiful places I have. My camera opened up my mind to an entirely new world of possibilities. It made me see my life differently. It made me see the world in a whole new light. My Dad didn’t just give me a camera. He gave me my livelihood. He gave me something I will be passionate about till the day I die. He made me the photographer I am today. He believed in my dreams and helped them come true. Without the help of him and my family I may have never graduated from Angelo State University with my B.A. in Journalism. I may have never shot Dallas Cowboys football games in the old Texas Stadium or made newspapers for the San Angelo hockey teams or Wall Dragway. I would not have produced my own website, chadharrisphotography.com. So many beautiful memories in my life are still being made from behind my Nikon today.
I just want my friends out there to remember that life can change for the better in an instant. You just have to believe. My Dad’s belief in me drives me still today. I am still searching for the perfect shot. I will always be searching. Thanks, Dad.