We are often told in society “follow your passion” — and I do believe that concept (to an extent). But of course, before you can follow your passion, you must discover what your passion is.
When I first fell in love with photography, my children were young and photographing them was my passion. I captured every activity, birthday party, first day of school, and soccer game. I captured every detail of their faces right down to their eyelashes. And I’m so grateful to have that record of their childhoods. Every last photo, regardless of the quality of the shot, is precious to me. A moment frozen in time that would fade away if it weren’t for the photos I took.
Fast forward a few years and all of a sudden I had an empty nest and no sweet faces to take photos of. And, in fact, I stumbled around a few years trying to find something else that I could be passionate about. Purchasing a macro lens and realizing how much fun it was to capture all the tiniest elements of nature made me fall in love with photographing flowers and especially cactus flowers. In the spring, that’s my major focus. The color, the detail, the juxtaposition of spiky cactus and delicate flowers – I am fascinated with all of it.
And in order to have numerous cactus to photograph, I began growing my own so I had a ready supply of subjects. You might think that focusing on cactus blooms would limit my photographic subjects but things are blooming here from February to October so there are only a few months that I have to put my cactus bloom passion on hold.
And if you’re noticing a pink trend, you’re partly right. I do seem to have an affinity for the pink ones, but there are so many more colors that I love almost as much:
Another trend you might have noticed, and it’s completely unintentional, is the bees. For some reason, this spring the bees have discovered my blooms every morning almost before I can get out on the patio to shoot so I just go with it and include them in my composition. If you can't fight 'em, join 'em!
So have your found your photographic passion? Is it portraiture, landscapes, pets, still life? Or maybe you’re still trying to decide what it is. I tried many different things on my road to macro photography and blooming cactus. If you haven’t felt that passion yet, keep shooting. Photography is such a huge territory and I think if you try to broaden your horizons too much, you may find yourself losing interest. There is something so fulfilling about finding the passion, that thing that makes your heart sing when you see it in your viewfinder. What is it for you?