Tag Archives: kids

Beginnings.

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Beginnings.

I bought my first camera when I was 12 years old.

That sentence is absolutely true. That sentence was also the lede of my entry into the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism competition. I didn’t win, (thanks to Elian Gonzalez – another story for another time) but just having the Chicago Sun-Times editors believe I had a chance at the Pulitzer was certainly one of my career highlights.

The reaction of people when they find out what I do for a living ranges from jealousy to starstruck. It’s so funny – I am almost embarrassed sometimes to admit that I have this crazy, fun, amazing way to make a living.

But truthfully, it is the only job I have ever had.

My dad, my grandmother and my grandfather all loved to take photos. Grandpa Lachat favored Kodachrome, and boxes of his slides are still in my aunt’s possession.

My dad didn’t buy that first camera – a Kodak 126 that I saved $12 to purchase. But he did buy my first real 35mm camera – A Canonet QL 17 – for me. That camera got me through a couple years shooting for Inscape, the student newspaper at Mother McAuley High School, until I was able to save enough money for a Canon AE-1 Program from Able Camera on Kedzie in Mt. Greenwood.

So, the photography bug runs deep and wide on both sides of my family. And I caught it at a very young age. Gram used to let us kids take photos with her camera. It was magical and fun, and all these years later, it still is.

Why do I do what I do? The joy that great photography brings to the people who entrust me with documenting their families, their children, their weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays and anniversaries gives me my own joy times ten.

I do this because it is magical and fun. I do this so that my own daughters see that passion should be a part of what you do to make a living. I do this because it is joyful and important to those I serve.

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

MokenaGram 03/23/16

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Kids scramble to fill their baskets with Easter Eggs Saturday during the annual Mokena Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt at Main Park. photo by Jean Lachat

note: MokenaGram is making it’s last appearance in the Mokena Messenger this week, but will find a new happy home right here on my blog. Please subscribe to stay in touch and see more of my town every week! Thanks for your support! jl

I <3 mokena.

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Inspired by my foray into teaching the history of photography I was inspired in two different ways.

I joined Instagram. (jeanlachat)

I was able to start a photo column at the Mokena Messenger. It’s a wonderfully local paper in our town, edited by the fabulous Will O’Brien. The Messenger arrives free in my mailbox every week. I shoot freelance for them. I write occasionally. I read it cover-to-cover every week because I love knowing what’s going on in my town.

Will wrote a wonderful story on my studio opening in March. I literally cried when I read it.

You can read some of it online here: http://www.mokenamessenger.com/capturing-moment

When I pitched the idea of a locally-grown photo column, he said yes!

And so the photo debuted last week in the Messenger.

http://www.mokenamessenger.com/mokena-gram

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And I checked this morning on the website and saw that it was number one on the most viewed list!

 

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I couldn’t be more excited. I did have some regular photo features waaayyy back at the Sun-Times but it was short-lived because of a shrinking news hole and an unsupportive editor. I always loved the concept though, and I am pleased that 15 years later, I can again use my photography to explore, inform and entertain on a regular basis.

Please keep checking back. It hits the website on Wednesdays and the mailboxes in Mokena on Thursdays. I have another cool image coming your way this week. And with all my Mokena friends’ help, I will be able to show what makes living in this little town so wonderful.