when i first got started in photography, i sort of expected that i would learn about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. i assumed that i would learn about elements of composition among other things. but what i never anticipated was that my journey in photography would sort of parallel the journey of my life.
so i thought i might share some of the major photography-related ‘a ah!’ moments i have experienced along the way.
1) there is no right or wrong answer. when taking a photograph, there can be any number of combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO that will produce a technically correct exposure. but what really matters is the story you want to tell.
2) the importance of being open. in the beginning of my photography journey i would often set out on a photo walk with a specific thing in mind. and often i would find myself so frustrated when i couldn’t find what i was looking for. but these days, most of the time, i will walk out the front door and say to myself, ‘i am open to whatever magic and wonder presents itself.’ i find that it not only takes all the pressure off, but opens the eyes of my heart.
3) making your own magic. this is basically the exact opposite of what i just said. and that is, sometimes there is magic is putting things together. taking control and making something out of nothing. it’s not something that comes easily to me, but i am getting better with practice.
4) there is nothing new under the sun. i am far from the first person to be completely enamored with the beauty of fall. it’s universal. and even if i try my best to shoot from a different angle or try something new in post-processing, it’s probably been done before. and this used to be a real hang-up for me creatively. wanting to do my ‘own thing’. but it was so liberating for me to realize that i don’t have to try that hard. just express what i feel and see with my heart. tell my story. and that is enough to make my photos original.
5) old dogs can learn new tricks. in the beginning, i would get so frustrated because my photos wouldn’t turn out the way i saw them with my mind’s eye. but even still, i loved it. because i enjoy learning. discovering new things. finding solutions to problems. even now, everyday i’m learning something new. a new way to shoot or post-processing. and it just brings me so much joy.
so whether it’s photography or life, i am enjoying the journey. and as always, i thank you for letting me share it with you.
from the archives