Lately I’ve been getting asked why I want to become a photographer… a lot…
I have been an avid fan, aficionado, and zealot of photography for as long as I can remember. But all I’ve ever used are “point and shoot” cameras. I still remember getting my first 110 Kodak film camera when I was 8 or 9… I can remember playing with double exposures and trying to get “cool” angles of fallen trees and interesting things I saw. I never took photography in high school… so why do I want to become a photographer?
I already have an established, successful business that I enjoy, and I am very good at. It’s funny how one little comment can stick in your mind and change your life… I have had a quote rattling around in my head since 2002:
“It’s never to late to be what you might have been”
It moved me then, and it moves me now… but it never pushed me to action… Until I watched an interview a few months ago with George Lucas, of all people.
He was talking about how he had different career plans in mind, and really didn’t see himself going down the road he ended up going down… but his key piece of advice was to follow your passion. This resonated with me. He said that you must find that thing that you are passionate about, and make that your career. You don’t have to be good at it, you don’t have to even know how to do it… but you must be passionate, and that will make you successful. Good advice, I know… but still didn’t push me to action… yet…
The interviewer asked him how you know what your passion is… his answer was (paraphrasing): You know that thing that you sit down to do at 7am and later you realize you’re hungry… because it’s 7pm? Time passed without you being aware because that thing is your passion. THIS is when it clicked for me. I will commonly spend hours taking and sharing photos of trips, family, and friends… with no formal training, and no professional equipment… just a love of capturing moments in time. I love capturing emotions, people, and events… all things photo.
I took Mr. Lucas’ words to heart… I must follow my passion. Not because I was already good at it. Not because I would make money at it. Not because of any other reason than it was my passion, and it moved me… so I began saving and finally ordered my first DSLR… a Canon D60, along with a couple of lenses and misc equipment. I signed up for a couple of training sessions, as well as a couple of mentoring sessions with Jaime of Jaime Hough Photography (who by the way has been amazingly supportive and helpful!)… and started a process of scouring the internet for tutorials, tips, and techniques… and driving my children crazy with practicing on them!
I have all but stopped sleeping at night… I am obsessed with learning more, more, more… and the more I learn, the more I realize I want to learn. My list of techniques to learn is growing by the minute, as is my list of equipment I want to buy someday! I have begun “cyber-stalking” the blogs and websites of several photographers from around the globe, and I am amazed at the talent that is out there… *maybe* someday I’ll get there!
Who knows where this journey will take me… who knows if this will work, or if I’ll be successful… and does it really even matter? The bottom line is that I have found my passion and I am taking the plunge!