For as long as I can remember I have always loved looking at photographs. I would spend hours looking through old photo albums, looking at pictures in magazines and other bits of photographic art. When I got my very first cheap camera as a child, one of those camera's that use that 110 film, I loved to take shots and most importantly getting them printed to see what the outcome was. I was not good at it but I loved the process. It was not until I became a mother that I realized just how important the photograph was. For me, as for many out there, the picture is a way to capture time. It was a way for me to immortalize my children in their various stages of growing up forever. Let's face it, they are only babies, toddlers or teens once (thank goodness). But as a Mom, when the kids get older, you find that you often forget what they were like when they were 2 years old. With a photo I can instantly be transported back in time and be reminded of all the joy (or heart ache) that we experienced.
Photography makes me feel creative. I love knowing that I created something beautiful, even if it is in my eyes only. I have never been good with paints or sewing. I could not keep a garden looking lush to save my life. I don't write poetry, work with pottery or sculpture. For me, photography is one of the only ways to express myself creatively outside of the kitchen.
I love the feel of the camera in my hands. There is something almost sensual in it. I love fiddling with the dials to achieve better images. I love playing with the alchemy of light, shutter speeds, ISO, and aperture settings. While I am not the best at achieving greatly exposed or beautifully lit photos, I do enjoy trying!
Since I have become a lover of photography I find that I see the world differently. To others a building may look just like a building, but for me, I notice it's structure, texture and color. I immediately think of ways that I can photograph it to capture certain moods or ambiance. I find that when I watch movies now that I see them from a cinematography view point. I notice how scenes are lit, what special effects are used, the angles the camera are used. To me, everything is a photograph and can be beautiful.
When I first got my DSLR camera it was suggested that I join Flickr as a source of inspiration and learning. From there my passion for the art intensified. I came to know people from all over the world who all shared one common interest, photography. Some of these talented people I have met in person and have gone out on photoshoots with. The people are great, they inspire me and have taught me a great deal about using a camera correctly. I have also encountered quite a few photography snobs, you know the type, the ones who feel intimidated because you know a bit about something that they think they are experts in. These are the folk, that when you ask for advice will ignore you or insult your skill. Those people I just brush off and stick to the ones who love the art and want to share it with everybody.
At this stage in the game, I would not consider myself a photographer. Meaning that I don't see myself as a professional. I still have so much to learn. How to expose and compose images better, how to see light and capture it creatively; the list goes on. But in my heart I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER. This is one hobby that will last a life time and always be rewarding to me and my family.