I’ve loved photography as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I had one of those old school cameras that used 110 film and you had to buy a pack of the flash bulbs that attached to the top of the camera. It was the coolest thing ever. I still remember the way it smelled when the flash went off. I loved taking pictures of my friends, my cat, and other random things.
I always had little point and shoot cameras and sometimes Polaroids until my high school photography class. There were only so many spots in the class and lots of kids that wanted to take it so we had to write an essay about why we wanted to take the class and the teacher would decide who got in. I remember how excited I was that the high school offered photography and how I thought I would just be devastated if I didn’t get to take it. Thankfully I did land a spot and that class quickly became my favorite. My mom bought me a Minolta film SLR (before the digital age) and then, of course, it became the coolest thing ever. We got to develop film in a dark room, play with different photography techniques, and – bonus- my closest friends were also in the class. And yep, I still remember the smell of the developer chemicals.
After graduating from high school I took some basic college courses at a local community college but I wasn’t completely committed to finishing college right away (my priorities weren’t in order) and I didn’t stick with it. In my early twenties I started taking classes at the University of North Texas as a Photography major. I only stayed there for one semester and the “realist” in me talked myself out of sticking with a major in the Arts because I thought it might be difficult to make a career of. Oh, the irony! However, it just wasn’t the path I was meant to take at the time. I occasionally dabbled in photography over the next few years, not seriously, but was always drawn back to it.
Early in my marriage I bought my first DSLR and was so excited to devote more time to photography. It wasn’t until several years later after the birth of my daughter that I really started taking the time to delve in and learn how to really use my camera. I still don’t know how to use every single feature (I really want to invest the time to know it inside out) but I did manage to learn how to shoot in manual mode. I fell in love with the creative control you have over managing the settings yourself rather than letting the camera decide for you.
I started taking photos of birthdays, holidays, as well as for friends and family members. I tried lots of different avenues in order to try to figure out what type of photography I liked best. I took small photography jobs on the side including family portraits, seniors, engagements, a few small weddings and even a 2nd shooter job. It took me years to realize none of those areas are my passion. As much as I love looking at portraits, newborn, and wedding photography and sometimes I’ve had fun shooting them, those are not the areas of photography I’m really drawn to.
What I discovered is that I love photography on my own terms. I love to shoot what I want, when I want. I especially love to capture moments as they naturally unfold rather than having to pose people for portraits. I love to tell a story through photos in such a way that it feels honest and authentic and makes people feel something. And I love having a creative outlet in photography. Over time what I have enjoyed most have been the opportunities when I have been able to take photos of the ordinary magical moments of everyday life as well as traveling and taking photos on vacations and especially mission trips. You can see some photos from my trip to Costa Rica here. Lifestyle and travel photography are what I feel most drawn to and called to photograph.
The process of starting this blog and beginning to write have provided me new opportunities to invest in prayer and self-reflection. I’ve since discovered blogging is a new passion and one I also feel called to continue indefinitely. I keep having visions in my head of my future and what it will look like when I’m able to live purposefully, putting my God-given passions to use on a daily basis (because I believe one day I will). God has revealed to me the dreams He has put in my heart and the gifts He has given me aren’t just there to continue on as dreams and hobbies or to be utilized only in the small amount of spare time that remains when I still have any energy to put forth. He’s calling me to a life where He will make my dreams a reality and my gifts will be used for His glory.
missions + photography + blogging = dream
One thing I love about photography is that there’s always more to learn and room to grow. I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but I love looking back and being able to see the progress I’ve made over the past few years. So far I never get bored with learning new aspects of photography. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn the craft as well as discovering more about myself through the process and seeing how God uses this passion as His plan comes to fruition in my life.
Whatever it is you’re passionate about, I hope you allow yourself time to learn more about it and practice. I think it’s so important for people to find a creative outlet. You just might be surprised to discover what you’re capable of!
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