My world changed after picking up my first camera (a Nikon F70 film SLR) as a teen – both figuratively and literally. While initially I was mostly interested in capturing interesting or pretty scenes, the way I viewed the world soon changed. As I ventured from being a simple hobbyist into the broad realm of professional photography, I discovered different things about myself through each subject I shot. Along the way, I aimed to learn something from each challenge, to discover new nuances of the art that became a part of my repertoire over time.
As I wrote in my first ever mission statement (which I still use on this same website, years later), photography is the art of appreciation. Much like most of life’s inspirations, if you remain diligent and observant with photography, you will never stop learning. And as you learn to appreciate the art of photography, you will never stop wanting to learn about the world around you.
It isn’t about fancy equipment or pressing buttons a certain way to make magical photos – the 2 megapixel camera in your cell phone is plenty to capture the right moment if you know where & when to look, so you don’t need to devote all of your income or time to photography to enjoy photography, even if practice & equipment are important. In short, if you’re fortunate enough to be passionate about photography (as I am) – cherish it, no matter what comes from it. If you enjoy taking photos, you owe it to yourself to learn about something that will likely stay with you long after your arthritic joints & busy schedules keep you away from other things you may be passionate about today.