Positioned between the two overbearing oak trees in my front lawn sat my five year old niece, Kaia. She giggled in her usual, innocent way as I sat there, perched behind my camera, amazed by the image I was about to capture. In those thirty seconds, I fell in love with photography.
The one talent which I possess that I cherish most is my photography. This precious gift has been carefully wrapped up and given to me by my mother. From the time I was a small child I witnessed my mother’s love for photography. As a young girl she dreamed of two things; to be a mother and to be a photographer. Well, she followed her first dream and gave life to seven amazing children and took on photography as her hobby. As I watched in the moments as she took these photographs, I saw a woman I had yet to meet. She was confident and free in a way I did not yet understand. She wore an independence which my mother usually would be too afraid to show. All I knew at the time was I needed this freedom and I longed to feel the same confidence. Thus, at the age of thirteen I picked up my first camera and began my journey.
Soon enough everything became a possible piece of artwork. Windowsills, oil spills, and old televisions perched in tire swings became my photographs. Everywhere I looked, I saw a new opportunity to create a beautiful image. My creativity became never ending and for the first time in my life since being a child, I felt alive with opportunity. I was free to express myself in a way which I was unable to do with words. I had never been skilled with words or explaining the way I saw life so photography became my voice.
As time went on, after three courses of photography and thousands of photographs, I began to take the once negative idea of being critiqued and evolve it into a positive. Five years ago if someone critiquing my artwork would have said, “I like it but the coloring is a bit off or the subject matter just is not there,” I would have become discouraged and set back. Today these words become my stepping stones, my hurdles, and my inspiration. Without being critiqued I would not be able to grow as a photographer or as a person.
Though my photography was evolving, I still felt as though my photographs were missing substance. This is when the day with my niece , Kaia, comes into play. At the exact moment the shutter caught her laughter, I realized exactly why I love photography. I love the idea that I can find the beauty in all aspects of life and capture these images for eternity. In my eyes, there is nothing more beautiful than a child, thus, children became my muse. With this realization, my photographs became remarkable and I had finally realized the freedom which I had witnessed in my mother for so many years. The innocence and playfulness inside of me was coming alive and the children I photographed helped me to remember that I can do anything and everything of which I dream, whether it be becoming a mermaid or an astronaut.
My love for photography is among the many gifts given to me by my mother. Photography opens my mind to the beauties of our world and gives me a creative outlook on every situation. I now see the beauty in all people and situations, no matter how ugly they may seem. I am in love with photography.
I see nothing that needs to be or should be changed.