Local Photographer Develops 'Wild Side' (VIDEO)

By Eric Olson

April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana--There are a lot of photographers in Fort Wayne and we’ve met a lot of them. But none of them has more fun taking pictures than Theresa Thompson. Thompson was six years old when she discovered photography.

“I was playing at my grandma’s house,” she recalls, “and I found an old Brownie camera and she said I could have it and I remember my parents buying me the film.”

To this day there is a childlike quality to her images, always something a little odd, like lips dipped in baking sprinkles or antique photos to which she adds the Thompson touch. She loves the era of the 1950’s and often uses herself as a sort of 1950’s June Cleaver kind of mom.

“I would love it if we women still wore aprons and hats,” she says. “I love to wear hats. I have a collection of vintage clothes and I love to wear them. Some of the stuff you can’t hardly wear out anymore it looks a little costumey but I can still dress up and take pictures of it.”

There is a serious side to this artist, these very poignant images from a series on Fort Wayne beauty salons she shot for a class. But Theresa Thompson can’t be serious for too long before the fun busts out. She found a guy on the photo website ‘Flicker’ who shoots pictures of tiny model cars, making them look real. Thompson photo shopped herself into some of them to everyone’s delight.

“Having something that you create is just the spice of life,” Thompson says. “I think it wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t able to make something and photography is just sort of my niche.”

Thomson says now that her kids are grown and out of the house she’ll delve even more deeply into picture taking. But she says she hopes she never looses the childlike delight she finds looking through a lens, that delight she discovered at age six through the lens of a Brownie box camera.

“I think I’ll at least always keep that nostalgic feel just ‘cause I think that’s really neat but I kind of like the idea of kind of going wherever….see what develops.”

Eric Olson reporting, out in Your Country.

To see Theresa's flickr photostream click here.

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