I just really, really love photography.
When I signed up for my photography class in high school, I had no idea that I would fall so in love with it. If you asked 15 year old me what I would be doing as a career someday, the word “photographer” would have never escaped my lips. My passion for this craft has become so deep, I sometimes feel ill.
Sometimes there’s this crushing weight on my chest when I can’t seem to get it right, when I can’t edit something just the right way, when I have no idea how to translate something from my mind to the lens. Sometimes when I see people who are younger than me producing work that is mind-blowing and creative and filled with wonderful technique I just want to curl into a ball. It gets painful at times because the thought of quitting never crosses my mind. I know how I have to keep going, and sometimes that’s scary.
I can’t focus on things. When people are talking, my mind wanders. I think of props, places, people, costumes, compositions, series… Instead of paying attention in classes, I make lists. When I’m not thinking about anything in particular, my mind wanders and somehow ends up on photography. When I’m on the computer I have my wordpress, my fb page, lomography, flickr, and tumblr open. I’m always looking for inspiration, trying to find out new things I could try. Tutorials and experiments are a few of my favorite things.
Sometimes I sit back and think, “I’m doing a good job.” and other times I say to myself, “You’re terrible. This is no good.” When I see something someone did and I don’t know how they did it, I try and try and don’t stop until I know how they did it. I want to be
good fantastic. I know I could be.
It’s hard to have this sort of passion and no one to share it with. I wish I had close friends who were fanatics like me, someone who I could bounce off ideas with and talk the lingo and figure out new things together. Because, sometimes, I don’t think the people around me get it. They just look at my pictures and say, “Wow, this is really great!” They don’t see the hard work, the sweat, the hours of photoshop. They don’t see the layers, the developing, the anticipation of waiting for prints. They don’t know. And I want someone who does. I want someone who will kick me when I’m comparing myself to others and remind me I don’t have time to waste.
I’m not going to stop trying. I’m young and ambitious and I dream big. I may not have the resources that fantastic photographers my age have, but I have a lot of heart. Sometimes people say that’s not enough- but they haven’t met me yet. I’m going to get it right. I’m going to pick myself up off the floor when I can’t fathom how people can be so talented. I’m going to keep trying and trying until I can get the lighting just right, until I can make that surreal image look crazy enough. I’ll keep learning about photography and all the things it has to offer. I’m going to be one of those names that photographers bring up in conversation.
I’ve been trying so hard, and not for naught. This past year alone I have improved at an incredible rate. I might not be where I want to be yet, but I’m getting there. I started this blog, I update my facebook page weekly, and I just started using my flickr more regularly. I’m getting my stuff out there- I mean, here you are, someone I don’t know, and you’re reading my blurbs and looking any my work. That makes me ecstatic.
So, when I’m out there trying my hardest and getting discouraged and getting inspired and not quite making it but almost making it, I will remember why I love this craft so much. I love it because I can’t stop.