Finding my vision in Photography...Part I

My love for photography and the beginning of it all

Let’s face it…Not everyone is good at writing eloquently. I am good at talking nonstop and expressing myself that way. But not very good with words. And maybe that’s one of the reasons why I developed a love for photography. 

My love for photography did not start with the birth of my son like many moms. I do love photographing him a lot, but my love for photographs and observing ‘beautiful imagery’ started sometime as a kid, probably around 10? I did not work in the dark room developing film rolls. Although I would have loved to. I had an Olympus camera that was my dad’s but became mine during my teens since I used it more often than him. I did not know anything about the basics of photography. I just enjoyed owning a camera and taking pictures of my family and nature.

Improvisation on the skill with practice

I did not do anything about that love for many years. Years down the line like every parent who wants to capture their kids memories through cellphones, camera anything they can find, I bought a Canon rebel t3 – my first DSLR camera for somewhere around $450 including the 18-55 mm kit lens. I shot in auto entirely but loved everything about the experience of documenting his first year and then doing a scrapbook album for him with those images. I am not sure exactly what got into me after that, but in 2015; I suddenly felt the need to ‘do more’. I wasn’t happy at the images I was looking at of him, technically speaking. I started shooting in ‘Aperture priority’. Took an online paid class to study the exposure triangle – F-stop, shutter speed and ISO but still was all confused. I just started reading basic tutorials on the 101 for photography and simply kept experimenting with my settings to start ‘feeling’ a little better about my personal work. All of this while still doing my day job as an Electrical Engineer in a MEP consulting firm.

It was only in the later part of 2015 that I borrowed my Dad’s 75-300 mm zoom lens, bought a new 50 mm 1.8 prime for $120 bucks and then kept going away. It is amazing what that 50 mm lens can do when you are just starting out. Over time, I started working my own way through to shooting entirely in manual while experimenting with the extreme end of settings simply to test the results I can get.

I love this hobby, side gig whatever we may call it as a photographer. It has helped me understand so many things about – understanding people from the business side of things, making new friends who sincerely appreciate what I produce, my kids who think “Mommy is the bestest photographer in the world’ and to my own personal acceptance and failures in life and otherwise.

Finding my vision in photography and the future

This is where I stand in my journey right now. Imagine being at the crossroads of an intersection and not knowing which turn to take. Left will take you to be really good in the business in photography, continue and thrive in this field and do some creative work as well as explore the business and marketing side more while also with the possibility of doing this full-time. A right turn will take you to stop taking clients for $$$, only take on limited sessions throughout the year and explore the creative side of photography more with no boundaries. Freedom to pursue what I want. The reason why I got into this the first place. The reason why I want to be better at it. The reason why documenting every smile, every giggle of my baby was so important to me. Explore the different genres in photography; travel across the country and even the world, blog more, do more macro, simply enjoy doing what I love and want without the pressure of having and running a business. Going straight ahead will mean continuing what I am currently doing; keeping the business going as is at least for now; while also continuing to work on my creative vision – lifestyle with kids and my own personal favorite – macros and nature.

I am not sure which path to take and what comes next. For now, I am hoping to continue this journey of exploration, playing with light and shadows in my photography, continue to work on that desire to learn more where the people I am surrounded with and who have encouraged me so far think “You are the best”; but I know I am far from that. Education and learning in any field never stops. My keenness is using my lens as a tool to view the world around me will not stop regardless of which path I choose to take.

“Photography saved my life by opening my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me each and everyday. Life look much richer from behind the lens.” 
― Donna Kasubeck