While trying to think what I should post about today, I began to think back to when I first began to get serious about photography – and how far I have come in my journey. For me, and most likely for you, photography is a journey, an exciting, riveting, fulfilling, soul-filling, sometimes frustrating, always challenging journey. And I love it!
As with most of us here at FOL, I date my ‘serious’ start with photography to the beginning of Tracey Clark’s Picture classes. Oh, I was taking pictures on a fairly regular basis before that but it was not a way of life, I had not yet embarked on this lifelong journey. Those Picture classes taught me to pick up my camera every day, they taught me to see the beauty around me, they gave me self-confidence I never knew I could find in my chosen art, photography. They taught me intentional gratitude.
I learned that as with everything worth doing, photography is a practice. The same way you have to practice the piano every day to become proficient, you really must practice photography every day to begin to even approach proficiency. Truth to tell, I don’t think I’ll ever be truly proficient at photography and that’s what makes the journey so exciting.
Photography is now as much a part of me as breathing is. If I miss a day of taking photos, I feel slightly off balance. (No snickering in the gallery, please!) The photos I take may not always be with my Big Girl Camera, often I'll shoot with my iPhone. Since phone cameras have improved so much, I have learned to love the camera I have with me and for some outings, I leave my BGC at home.
So, what have I gained from photography? Well - how much time do you have to listen? What began as a way to capture family memories has brought new dimension and meaning to my life. To list just a few:
- A whole new group of life-long friends who share my passion, who truly ‘get it’.
- A new self-awareness as well as a greater awareness and appreciation of the world around me, all of which brings deeper gratitude for the little things that are the essence of life.
- An enhanced self-confidence that comes from honing a skill.
- A passion that has the power to lift me out of a funk on a bad day.
- A way to communicate some of my deepest thoughts and emotions through a visual medium.
- This lovely, caring Focusing on Life community.
This list is by no means complete but I’ll stop there, I think you get the point. What about you? What has your photography journey meant to you? I’d love to hear your story in our comments because I’ve learned that behind each photographer is a unique story about what her photography means to her and to her life.
Photography is a way of feeling, of loving, of touching. What you have caught on film is captured forever … it remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything. ~ Aaron Siskind