Passion | Behind the Camera
December 7, 2020
I have been a wedding and portrait photographer since 2013, but my passion didn’t start on the day I got my business license, my new fancy camera, or even my first paying client. It started so long ago I can’t even remember the exact moment.
I got my first camera when I was just 11 years old; it was my mom’s old film camera and I instantly fell in love. I had no idea what I was doing but I took photos of everyone and everything. I remember when I filled up my first roll of film, and how excited I was to get it developed. From then on I was known as the girl who always had her camera. I knew from a very young age that this is what I want to do forever. I don’t remember when I decided that, I just remember the passion.
Passion is not instant. It takes time to cultivate. You may think they that passion and excitement are similar but would you say that you are passionate about finding a coupon for free shipping from your favorite online retailer, or would you say you’re excited about it? Excitement is everywhere! I get excited when I get a free cup of coffee after I have already bought 9 others. But I’m not passionate about it.
But why? Why did I choose photography? I chose photography because I want to show people the best things about themselves. I want to show the world in a different way that makes people think deeper. From day one, my goal is to capture what was real, with nothing forced or too posed. I want you to look at my images and feel something. Capturing even the simplest of emotion, a soft serene sweep of a hair, the gentle loving touch of someone close, and the slight smile of relaxation. A connection is everything to me, I feel in order to capture the real you, I need to get to know you first. I want to become your friend and give you an experience, not just take pretty pictures.
You see, photography is so much more than pressing a button. People who take photos are capturing the world in their own way. It’s an art. If 10 people take a photo of the same thing, I guarantee that the photo will look different from each person.
The next step for me was to make photography a business. This is where things got difficult. Contracts, licenses, permits, banking, and business plans. Not to mention marketing, social media, blogging, and brand design. I had to figure out most of it on my own, and am still constantly learning. It has been challenging, and I might even say a struggle trying to figure everything out. I obviously could have kept photography a hobby and not have to go through all the trouble.
Excitement, Passion, and Dedication. Excitement is everywhere and the joy can go as fast as it comes. You can even be excited several times a day. Passion is the next step you think about hard and often. You become curious about it and seek out the answers. You may only become passionate about something once a year. Dedication is a whole other thing. You dedicate your time and your life to only a few things in your entire lifetime. They are rarely physical and often are ideas or practices. Like your faith or your love for a partner. Passion is merely the catalyst and dedication is what keeps you going.
Here is an experiment that you can try at home:
Find an acquaintance, ideally someone not emotionally connected to you, and ask them this question:
“I like to think that photography is my passion. What does this statement mean to you?”
The most common answer you’re likely to get is, “well, it means you love your job”, which is not at all the whole story, is it? You and I both know there’s a lot more to it than just that!
The concepts of “passion”, “drive” and “determination” are deeply fascinating to me, and central to my work. Is your passion for photography strong enough to drive you to push yourself as a professional photographer every single day, regardless of the obstacles and challenges that get in your way?