Updated: Nov 6, 2017
I fell in love with photography when I was only 15. Despite my millennial-status, I started my journey the old fashioned way; in a darkroom, with a roll of black and white film, and a chemical smell that’s still burned into my brain.
I was always an artsy kid; drawing, painting, sculpting, and the like. But photography was one of the first ways that really connected as a way to express myself, and my love for it grew over the years. It became a way to capture memories. In high school, it was a medium for sharing a part of myself. In college, a tool to chase fleeting moments. When I moved out of state for the first time and started a newspaper job, it became a way to tell other’s stories.
The passion ebbed and flowed over the years and, for a while, my camera became so much a part of me that I lost that initial spark. Photography was my livelihood, but it was also a chore. I fell out of love with the medium, and when I left my second photography job, my camera sat practically untouched for the better part of a year.
Having my son changed (everything, as kids often do) my outlook on photography yet again. I started to see the world through his eyes, and that drive to capture those moments grew stronger and stronger. I finally started taking photographs again - photos for me and my little family and no one else. Pictures that were allowed to be out of focus and poorly framed and dimly lit. Pictures that captured joy and sadness and calmness and chaos. Pictures that were raw and real.
Which brings me to now.
My love for photography isn’t the same as it was a decade ago when I first picked up the camera. It’s older, worn, weathered, and more comfortable. Instead of a fiery passion, it’s a low burning flame. The difference is, quite simply, me.
Art is a long term relationship. Those initial butterflies fade but, if you stick with it, you find the beauty in the reliability of the medium. I fell back in love with photography because of how it let’s me see the world, and I’ve found that my time away from the camera is just as important as my time behind it. It let’s me shift my viewpoints, and I’ve had the chance to see how lots of other wonderful people see the world and share their stories.
And that’s really what we are as humans, isn’t it? Storytellers.