I started developing film in my bathroom when I was 13 years old, and more than forty years later I'm still developing black and white film in bathrooms wherever I travel. For the past 20 years I've also been fortunate enough to have a friend who's a professional studio photographer with his own Jobo machine to develop my color slide film. Early on a cousin was looking through my photographs and remarked: "Don't you ever take pictures of people?" She made me realize that I was too fixated on nature and landscapes, so I began photographing human subjects, and eventually I realized that children are by far the most photogenic - if not the easiest - subjects.
Around 1980 the first Day Care child abuse scandal hit the nation's headlines, and religious opportunists spread hysteria about sexual abuse across the western world. (Read the book Last Night in Paradise for the details.) It has become more and more difficult to photograph children, but there is a growing reaction against the hysteria so there's hope that things will improve once people find out that the vast majority of child deaths and serious injuries are the result of physical abuse and neglect, not child "pornography," and the vast majority of the perpetrators of sexual abuse are parents and other caregivers, not strangers!
The recent digital revolution also threatens to cheapen the quality of photographic images, so there is a need for information on techniques to raise the standards of what is considered a good photograph. Many people nowadays think that looking at a tiny image on a cell phone display is what photography is all about! The domain name GirlBecomesWoman.com is from the title of my photo-documentary of a child I've been photographing for seven years now. It was published in November 2011. - Frank Adamo. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org