Photography is a love affair with life. -Burk Uzzle
I may not have the most expensive camera, lenses, or the most experience, but I LOVE taking photos! I love grabbing my camera and driving to whatever destination and being in tune with nature; with the world. I love capturing places and moments that some may, otherwise, never experience.
How it all started…
I had been taking photos like crazy on my phone, I had already joined Instagram, and I knew that I wanted a DSLR camera to “up my game”, if you will. I had purchased a point and shoot, and it just wasn’t cutting it.
I purchased my Nikon D3200 on Black Friday 2014 – or rather Grey Thursday, as I like to call it. There were two cameras at Wal-Mart; a Canon and a Nikon. I had done my research on both. I had decided on which one I was going to get. The two cameras were not going to be for sale until 8pm. My friends and I got there early. I knew exactly where the cameras were to be set up when they went on sale. We walked around a bit and they had their own shopping to do. At 7:55, I went back to the camera display. When I got there, there were four Canon’s and only one (ONE!) Nikon left. I panicked. In that moment, my decision went right out the window! I didn’t know what to do. I stood there with one hand on the Nikon and one hand on the Canon. A few people were starting to crowd me…it was getting serious.
My friend, Anthony, came around the corner and saw me. He grabbed the Nikon and told me to grab the other one. He put them in his cart and we rushed off. I glanced at the people who were closing in on me and they just glared! I mean it was pretty hilarious because you know how people are on Black Friday! As we rushed away from the crowd we were both laughing and he told me I could think about which one I really wanted while they finished shopping. After about an hour with both cameras in the cart I decided on the Nikon.
And, that’s how the love affair began…
That night, when I took it out of the box I fell in love! The camera fit perfectly in my hand. It was meant to be! The very next day I sat on my balcony and took photos of my dead potted plants. Don’t judge me – I do not possess a green thumb. I left the camera in automatic mode. I tried to understand how ISO and aperture affected my photos. I loved trying to figure it out by myself! I got some pretty decent photos for my first time using my camera.
I ended up going to my mom’s house a few weekends later. We walked around Spring Meadow Lake and I brought my camera. (Duh, right!?). Again, for an amateur, and total beginner, I captured some pretty great shots. Not to toot my own horn or anything. This was also the time I began dabbling in editing my photos with Lightroom.
I couldn’t get enough of being outside with my new friend. It was like everything, all of a sudden, made sense. It felt natural. It felt right.
I wanted to understand more about the settings of my camera so I took a photography class. I can’t tell you how much that helped me understand my camera and what it can do! Understanding how light affects your photos and how you can control how much light to let into the camera made me want to go out even more to experiment with what I was learning.
I started driving all around for new photo ops. I went down the Bitterroot Valley, up to Flathead Lake, Big Fork, Lakeside, up the Swan Valley, Seeley Lake, the Mission Mountains, and all around Missoula. I think I was driving somewhere every other weekend. Taking photos and driving were like therapy. It still is. I had time to think and process life. I couldn’t believe that something as simple as having a camera in my hand and capturing photos could give me so much contentment. I wanted more.
And then, something crazy happened…
I never really saw myself as a portrait photographer. I was always taking landscape and macro shots. Well, the best macro shots I could with the kit lenses I was using. I didn’t want to mess up someone’s family photos or have them turn out awful. A friend of mine asked me if I would take some photos of her two children. I was honored and totally floored that she thought my photos were good enough that she wanted me to photograph her children!
So, we went to the park on a rainy day in the spring. What follows is my first time taking photos of humans.
My friend loved them! I was dying over a few of the photos! I bet you can’t guess which ones!
Then I had more friends ask me to take photos of their families. I couldn’t believe it! Then I started charging and they were paying! Again, I couldn’t believe it! I taught myself to be a good enough photographer that people were willing to pay me for taking their photos; for capturing special moments. Unbelievable and humbling! And as it turns out, I really enjoyed taking photos of humans.
BUT, it is not about the money in the least!
Photography will NEVER be about the money for me. I love being able to see a moment in time and capture it. To be able to freeze time; freeze that moment to cherish it forever. I love seeing people’s faces light up when they receive their photos. I love hearing them giggle over the silly candid shots. The unexpected ones. Those are my favorites!
I love that photography is my way of sharing the world the way I see it. Photography is my art, my creative outlet, my passion. I love that as a photographer you capture moments in time that can never be reproduced again. Photography is vulnerable, raw, love, magical, imaginative, passion, therapy, breath, fear, pain, sadness, anger – it is pure beauty at its core. This is why I love it so much. Its emotional. It’s a love affair!
Ansel Adams and Destin Sparks said it best, I think…
A great photograph is full of expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. -Ansel Adams
Photography is the story I fail to put into words. -Destin Sparks
I have found that with photography I have an avenue for my emotional release. Photography and being in nature help me cope with “life things” easier. It gives me joy, and after all, that’s what I am looking for more of in my life. Take a peek at my previous post.
What is your creative outlet? What gives you so much joy it’s ridiculous? What is your passion? What calms you and gives you peace? What makes your world right again?
Playing an instrument? Music? Knitting? Quilting? Designing? Painting? Photography? Building things? Sculpting? Throwing clay? Cooking? Dancing? Inventing new things?
Whatever it is tap into it!
If you don’t think you have something that gives you the above I suggest trying different things. Take classes that pique your interests. Sit down and ask yourself the above questions. Really think about it – meditate on it. We all have talents, skills, and passions. It is just a matter of self-reflection to find them. And the more you practice and put effort into your artistic side the easier it becomes and the better you will be at it. Practice all the time!
Plus, expressing yourself through your art releases endorphins, and you can never have too many of those!
Don’t keep your artistic craft a secret. Everyone’s art is important because diversity is important. Everyone’s view of the world is important. It all deserves to be appreciated. It all deserves to be felt. It all deserves to be shared. Even if you think no one will see it, or hear it, or you think people will find it silly – share it! Share your art!
Create your art!
And make your world right again.
…So, go make things!