Hello, hello. I am Deb Achak and I am delighted to have been invited to join the ViewFinder’s family as a regular contributor. I am a fine art photographer and filmmaker based in Seattle, WA. My path as an artist is rather long and winding. It is my second career —– a delicious mid-life reinvention —– with lots of messy motherhood moments sprinkled in there to keep things interesting.
Usually when we read an photographer’s bio they talk about getting their first camera when they were very young. A kindly uncle or benevolent teacher passed one on to them and they haven’t stopped shooting since.
That’s not my story at all.
Are you ready for it? Here goes: My husband gave me a camera six years ago because I was sick and tired of taking photos of my children with my smart phone. Yup, it is as unromantic as that and yes it was six years ago. I mention this because, if you are like me and are new to this medium, I want you to know that you are welcome at the table too. Whether you were born with a Rolleiflex in your hand or you got a screaming deal on a starter camera at Costco, you are entitled to make art that fills you up.
Photography and filmmaking satisfies my craving for visual beauty, my love of storytelling, and my endless curiosity about the world around me. I felt it the minute I held my new camera for the first time. It has also become a means of reflection, meditation and gratitude — things I hadn’t expected to find behind a camera.
One of my favorite things to do is to sit at my desk, alone in my studio, editing a film or photo series —– a solitary pursuit where I lose all sense of time, often forgetting to eat or drink.
But I also crave community and the generous sharing of ideas, inspiration and encouragement. ViewFinders is just such a platform. A place to gather and connect whether you were born with a camera in your hand or are bravely readying yourself for your second act.
I am so pleased to be here.