Good morning everyone! I had the wonderful opportunity of working with Mollie from The Wednesday Edit, where you can find this article also published. Please check her site out and follow her for more of her amazing content!
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When I was ten, I received my first camera for Christmas. It wasn’t anything fancy, just a basic camera that required film. Sadly, I wanted to take pictures of everything around me and ran through that film so fast. As a ten-year old without an allowance or a job, I had no choice but to shelf my camera- quite literally!
By high school one of my cousins had a digital camera- something that had only just came out in the affordable range for consumers. I was constantly borrowing it to take selfies, pictures around the house, and random odds and ends in my life. I always wanted to get more into photography, but something always came up. In high school, my family was pretty poor so something like a camera was considered out of reach. I wanted to take the photography class in high school, but my schedule lacked room for extracurricular classes. By the time I finished meeting by graduation requirements, I signed up for photography. However due to its popular nature, I didn’t get in.
Once I entered adulthood, smartphones came into popularity and the new age of devices were born. A high-end camera wasn’t needed to take beautiful shots- you just needed your phone. I loved being able to snap a photo at an instant. My camera was always by my side in the form of a smartphone. Sadly, I had developed an addiction to my smartphone. I was constantly on it, either talking to people or playing games. After developing anxiety when my phone was misplaced, I decided that during my next upgrade, I would downgrade to a basic flip phone. I didn’t make it long before a twist of fate brought about a blessing in disguise. Three months before my upgrade, the screen shattered on my phone. I lost my pocket sized camera.
I was struggling with the direction of my life and took some time to figure it all out. The corporate world burned me up and spit me out. With nothing but severe depression, I came up with a business idea where I make and sell crafted items online. I grew up being taught a variety of crafts- I learned to crochet by 10, sew by 12, knit by 14- so it seemed the perfect idea.
In order for this business plan to work, I needed a camera to photograph my projects. This was it. It was my chance to get a camera and learn photography. I purchased this camera (<– affiliate link). Within two months of getting my camera and working on my business plan, I started having symptoms of carpal tunnel. I knew it would happen- it happened to both of my parents. But I honestly thought I had a couple more years before it would show itself.
Spending hours and hours a day working with my hands was fine, until the pain set in. My business was still in infancy, and I ultimately made the decision to drop it altogether. There was no guarantee of my success and there might have been a point where my work would have been for nothing, because I will eventually get to the point where I can’t work with my hands without pain.
So after months of work between getting my initial inventory made, photography lessons online, and paperwork to register my business, I scraped it. I was left with two things though- Christmas presents for the next year and a camera. It wasn’t for nothing, however.
I’ve thought about selling my camera and the equipment, but it brought me such joy in my life. My camera forces me to go outside and capture the full moon. To photograph the budding trees. To capture humanity in all of its glory. Photography is a wonderful medium for expression. In addition to the beautiful photos I ended up with that you see today, I also have found a way to help with my depression.
Even when it’s a nice day out, it’s so easy for me to get lost in chores around the house. There’s always something to be done! But I force myself to not allow expensive equipment sit on the shelf and I get out there. I compare my moods from when I left the house to when I return and I am always in a better mood. It has the power to turn my bad day into a great day.
Who would have known that one failed business venture would have brought me back to this passion? That’s why I’m writing this today; to show you that if you have an interest, however mild, you should follow it. Failure comes with lessons; you’ll learn what didn’t work, what does work, and come away better for it.
It saddens me to think of all of the beautiful, heart wrenching, desperate, or joyful images I’ve missed out on over the years. All because I refused to make time for my interests. But no more. It takes conscious effort to make a change and it is worth it.
Do it. Follow your interests and your passions. You might be surprised where you find yourself.