My name is Taryn Sullivan; I’m an author, photographer, and recently in 2015 I brushed up on my passion for stitchery by releasing cross stitch patterns. I graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle with a degree in photography back in 2012, and unfortunately after graduation I realized just how many people have the idea that because they own a camera, they are professional photographers.
Or maybe it was a blessing in disguise. That same year (2012), I was asked to restore a few photographs for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary and of course I wasn’t going to turn down the offer. In one of the classes I took in college, we were taught how to restore old photographs, and our instructor wouldn’t accept them until they were flawless. After graduation, between trying to find work and trying to push my photography business, I decided to pick up the restoring process again using photos of Buster Keaton. About six months to a year later, I taught myself how to colorize photographs.
Here’s the thing. History is another passion of mine, ever since I was little. Call me weird (you wouldn’t be the first, or the last), but it interests me and also my grandfather once said “Never forget history, because who we are comes from history”. There was a photographer who spoke to us and he said that a photograph isn’t worth taking if it doesn’t have a story behind it. Every photo I colorize has a story; that person had a name and did something that is now linked to the present, so what is it? On my website (http://tarynsullivan.weebly.com/) I make sure to try and find all the information I can regarding the photos I restore/colorize; it’s like my own little treasure hunt and I love it.
The reason for opening this blog has to do with something I recently discovered. Back in 2010, when I was in class learning how to restore photographs, Reddit revealed a Photoshop tutorial to their users and it became a trend. That’s fine but….what about making sure to talk about what photos are off limits? I went on the site and they don’t have any sort of warning telling people what photos they can or can’t use – as a photographer I know what photos can and can’t be used. Nobody will get you for using your own family photos, that’s a given, but using a B&W photograph from 3 weeks ago that’s under copyright? Has anyone thought of that? Even some historical photographs are off limits. I’ll basically post tips to help fellow colorizers.