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who am i?

"well, who are you? (who are you? who, who, who, who?

i really wanna know (who are you? who, who, who, who?)"

-pete townshend (guitarist for the who)

i've been going back and forth in my mind whether i should write a blog like this. other than the "about me" page on my website, i'm guessing there are many of you who don't know much about me. so the general question has been "would the readers even have an interest in knowing who stephen hadeen, the photographer, is?"

well, the stalemate has been broken! a winner has emerged! i've decided to switch things up for this blog and give you a brief insight into the fascinating world of.....myself!. now a disclaimer,..usage of the word fascinating to describe my world is purely subjective. when you are done reading this blog, you may be thinking, "well there's (x) minutes of my life i won't get back". i assure you i won't think any less of you even if you share some variation of that in the comments below! 😂 so let's get started! i'll share just a few personal things about myself and then segue into a few photography-related tidbits.

- my birth name is stephen douglas hadeen (hence the name stephen in my business name) though steve is my main moniker. if someone calls me stephen, i immediately start to feel guilty and look for a place to hide. only my mother calls me stephen and rarely at that. if my mother says stephen, i'm looking at the stink eye and usually in trouble for something!

- my hearing loss came at 18 months of age. i contracted spinal meningitis and was not expected to live. when it became apparent i was going to live, it was expected i would have serious brain damage and should be placed in state care or something like that. fortunately, that was not an option for my parents. my wife might beg to differ that I am of sound mind from time to time though....🤔

- despite the severity of my hearing loss, i learned to play the piano. i even played keyboards/synthesizers in a few different bands. whaaaaaaaat?!? yep...i really did. after my mother finally found someone willing to teach me (it is my understanding I initialized wanting to pursue piano), i ended up taking piano lessons for a good number of years. there was a lot i never heard when i was playing. my "perfect" range of hearing is middle c and about 2 or 3 notes in both directions from middle c. outside of that, it "drops off the charts" very quickly. however, that didn't mean i couldn't play. i learned to read music, learned tempos and rhythms...heck, i even wrote my own music! for those of you who might still be wondering about the validity of this, here's a couple of definitive proofs that i was able to find to share....

this fantastic image was made by my friend darryl poenisch. he still does amazing "doodles" today! i love that he added a pic of my wife to the top of my keyboard! and yes, sadly, i was losing hair by! if you're reading this darryl, i still love it!

this image is one of the bands i played with called shatter bay. we were located in phoenix az. that's me in the middle. if you look close, you can see i'm wearing a keyboard watch that my wife gave me which was super cool! i've lost touch with most of the guys but i still follow dennis gerard in the upper right who plays the bass now for a rock band. if you're reading this dennis, i truly miss playing with ya'!

music continues to play an important part of my life. for now, it is on the sidelines as a listener. maybe someday it'll be as a performer again!

- i'm a loner by nature. it's not that i don't like people. i do like people. i want to say first that what i'm about to share is not meant to be a pity story. it's just the natural progression of my life. besides becoming a loner due to being bullied through my school years, i don't do very well in settings where there is a lot of people talking. as i'm a lip reader, it is difficult for me to follow conversations moving around from person to person. it's not impossible; just difficult. the more people involved, the harder it is as i have to keep looking around for the person talking to read their lips. my hearing loss has messed up my sense of direction so i have no idea where sound is coming from. if and when i hear it, i look all around for it. just ask my wife when she calls for me. i've gone room to room looking for her!😂 in dimly lit, dark or night settings, it is pretty much impossible for me to be a part of any conversation short of some light source shining on the lips for me to read.

- one more personal tidbit about me is that i love and follow Jesus. i'm not perfect and it certainly isn't easy. often, it is trusting Him when the future, whether near or distant, is uncertain. no matter who you are, how you live and what you believe, i work to respect that without compromising my own beliefs. the world at large seems to be moving further and further from that mentality of respect, but i personally am committed to doing what i can do.

-switching gears to photography, what cameras have i used over the years? my first camera i can remember using was a kodak instamatic camera with the cube lights. anyone remember this camera?

my next camera that i remember was a nikon em. there might have been another one or two before the nikon em but i can't remember. i made images for quite a few years with that camera. it was a slr camera or single lens reflex camera. this camera shot film. here's fun fact! i have my dad's canon t70 and my grandpa's minolta srt101 sitting on the shelf along with my nikon em. i also have all the slides that my dad and grandpa took. i've digitized my dad's and grandpa's; i still need to digitize the ones i took.

i finally graduated to a completely new way of making images with a canon t1i rebel dslr or digital single reflex camera about twelve years ago!

around two years or so after i received this camera (a birthday gift from my wife) was the beginning of when i began my more "intentional" approach to photography. i began to make images with a more thoughtful outcome to the images made. those eleven years were formative in my growth as a photographer.

my current camera is a fujifilm xt3.

even though the features of this type of camera have been around for a while, it was a huge leap from the canon t1i and catapulted me into a new stratosphere of learning. i have enjoyed learning the capabilities of this camera as i continue to move forward in my progression as a photographer. i have not "arrived". i believe there is always something to learn and to improve upon what I have already learned. this is true no matter how long i've been making images.

- i really enjoy iphoneography as well. while my main camera is the xt-3, i use my iphone a bit for making images as well. here's a few to share with you.

this was taken at como conservatory. i just fell in love with the patterns made by all the koi swimming in the pond.

this was taken from my backyard. you don't always have to go far to find some great compositions!

the repetiveness of the decks protruding from this apartment building in minneapolis captured my eye. i love cool architectural features and buildings!

- one last thing i want to share about myself is that i try to have a controlled fear in photography of the unknown in regards to things i can't hear. whether walking out in nature or in a densely populated location, i always have to be aware of my surroundings. i won't hear the noises of wildlife. i don't hear the noises of oncoming vehicles or people. some locations require absolute focus on what's around me to make sure i don't run into danger. in nature, i often make clapping sounds or loud noises. i'll even sing if i think no one will hear me! i'm just trying to make sure animals that i don't want to encounter hear me. in public places, i watch people and move confidently to make sure i'm not projecting a sense of fear when walking at night. this also applies during the day in an area that might be a little dicey. if i'm on a road making an image, i'm always looking all around me to make sure there are no approaching vehicles. my eyes are my ears. a controlled fear is good. that type of fear helps me determine whether or not to move ahead in pursuit of making an image.

this is just a snippet about myself and my photographic journey! i hope you enjoyed reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it. my intent was to pull back the curtain enough to give you a little more insight into the person i am. i hope i achieved that. perhaps i even shared something you never expected! maybe, just maybe, my journey has inspired you to rise up and pursue your passion if you've been hesitant about it for whatever reason!

i'm certainly willing to share more info about myself should you have any questions. just scroll down to the comments section below and leave any questions/comments you would like to share. i always read and answer them all!

thanks for reading the blog! please do feel free to share this blog with others. i will see you next time with "more images from a quiet world"!

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stephen hadeen
stephen hadeen
Feb 22, 2022

Thanks James. I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yeah, there is some trepidation when I’m out at night in the unfamiliar or “not the best neighborhood” but I can also see your point about fear. It all goes back to being safe and if I find myself in a situation that makes me uncomfortable, I need to recognize that and pull back to reassess or just not go there. Really appreciate you following the blogs and especially that you like them!


James Mullier
James Mullier
Feb 21, 2022

Yes... well done Steve, (Stephen 😂)

Finally got around to reading your blog and really did enjoy your level of honesty without going too far into what some may have considered a bit uncomfortable. In your band photo, you look so made for that promotional image... a iconic band member who could have progressed to super stardom, (did you?). My favourite bands of probably a slightly earlier time, (I'm guessing maybe a decade) were "Moody Blues"... along with "Deep Purple" and "Eric Burden & the Animals". Anything protest, like "We gotta get out of this place..." Lol

Love your take on cameras and photography. Also, you were brave enough to honour Jesus... and smart enough to avoid religion. The on…

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