I could tell you how I’ve always tried to be an artist, and liked pictures, and loved to draw, until I realized that drawing was not a particular talent of mine.
Or I could tell you how I always thought photography was cool, but never really bothered to try it until a friend gave me an old 35mm camera…I thought that it would just be a short-lived experiment for me.
Or I could tell you how wrong I was to think that. The old 35mm point-and-shoot only lasted for a few months before I realized that buying and developing film was going to get pretty expensive. I upgraded to digital. (Turns out you never really stop spending money, though…)
And I could tell you about all the new doors that photography opened up to me. Suddenly, I had a medium where I could make art, a medium where I could tell stories. This was huge. Pretty pictures are nice, but discovering how to communicate with the camera, how to tell someone’s story—that’s powerful.
So I dove right in. As soon as I got my new digital SLR, I started shooting for my college newspaper, learning about photojournalism and documentary work. After graduating, I started doing weddings to learn to tell emotional stories, shooting portraits to search out people’s real personalities, and photographing for my church and non-profits to support issues I care about.
And now I’m getting ready to totally upend my life and move to the East End of London in the very near future—and I’m back to learning. New ways to tell stories, new ways to interact with strangers, new ways to build bridges with art and images and relationships. Because we never really stop learning, do we?
I hope I never do.