I have always loved photos, always loved taking photos. I didn’t have a “natural knack” for it when I was younger, mind you. I cut off heads and feet of every animal I tried to take a photo of, or they were just a blurry spot on the horizon because I was miles away from them. But whatever, passion is passion, right?
In high school I always had a little “point and shoot” camera (and no editing software) and I did senior photos for a few people, which usually included their heads and everything. Improvement! But then I got away from photography, knowing that if I wanted to pursue it further it would take some financial investment (DSLR camera, computer or laptop, editing software) and I just didn’t have the funds to invest.
And then I was gifted my first DSLR camera for Christmas of 2015.
I knew absolutely nothing about how to use it. I literally thought I was shooting “in manual” because I was using manual focus. Seriously. It also didn’t take long before I figured I was in way over my head, I would never figure this thing out, and I should probably just give up.
I was super discouraged.
But I’m also pretty determined and a little bit hard on myself, so it became a challenge. I got online and read some blogs and watched some videos and TOOK SO MANY PHOTOS to practice what I was reading and learning about. Because everything I was reading and watching said the same thing, “you’ll never understand if you don’t practice”. And I was equating that darn exposure triangle to math, which was putting up a huge mental block for me (don’t judge me too harshly, math scares me).
I took photos of all of my animals, all the time. To the point where poor Lucy, my dog, now avoids eye contact any time she sees the camera. My bad.
And then the itch to photograph people hit. I wanted to make pretty pictures of pretty people, like all the photographers I’ve been following for so long do. So I reached out to some people and did so, so many free shoots to practice and build my portfolio. And then I started advertising and booking real, paid shoots and the next year and a half was a whirlwind of craziness. I was learning and improving with each session, but I was also losing interest. It wasn’t as much fun anymore when it was taking up all of my time, when I couldn’t remember the last time I had ridden my horse, when I went months at a time without taking a single photo “just for me”.
So I took a few giant steps backwards. I booked people who reached out to me, but I didn’t advertise anymore. Instead, I went back to what I loved… photographing my horses and my critters. I was continuing to learn and improve, without the stress of delivering galleries to people with expectations.
And you know what? I love photography. I am beginning to feel the itch to photograph people again.
I currently have a Canon 6D and I rotate between three prime lenses: Canon 35mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.8 (which I probably use the most since it’s the one I take riding), and Canon 85mm 1.8.
I edit all of my photos in Adobe Lightroom and when I’m doing human portrait sessions, I use Adobe Photoshop for retouching once in a while.
Oh, and I’m currently booking sessions again. Bonus if they include horses 😉
Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.