I am often asked how I found my love for photography and like many of my peers, it has been an innate love since the first time I picked up a camera. However, like many long-term relationships, my relationship with photography hasn’t always been easy.
My relationship with photography really started in high school, when I took my first photography course. It was there I learned about the technical side of photography and experimented with different styles (Thank you Mr. Martin!). By the end of my high school career, I knew I wanted to further pursue photography as a career in college. I applied to Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts & Sciences and, much to my delight, I was accepted.
It was when I started my training at RIT that my relationship with photography had hit a bit of a rough patch. I don’t know if it was the stress of classes or what, but photography slowly started to become something I dreaded—no longer was it something I did out of enjoyment for me. It was then I decided to switch majors to marketing (which is what I do full time) and keep photography as just a hobby, hoping to salvage whatever spark I had left. Honestly, after I made the decision to change majors, it was years before I ever picked up a camera; a thought that makes me sad even to this day.
As the old adage goes, “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.” This is exactly what happened to me and how I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, that photography is a part of my being and is something I could never truly give up.
Photography slowly eeked its way back into my life slowly over the past 3 years, but it wasn’t until the birth of my daughter that I truly realized I had rekindled that love. I saved up enough money before my daughter was born to buy a high-end point and shoot camera with fully manual capabilities and that was it…once again I was hooked. Now to be clear, my appreciation for photography never wavered, I constantly viewed other photographers and their art, secretly longing to pick up a camera again. I booked photo session upon photo session for my daughter’s first year since I knew how fleeting these moments were and photography was my way of preserving them.
They say having children changes you and it does, but it can also help you find yourself again. This is what happened to me. I realized I had found the love I had let go of so long ago and it was so much sweeter the second time around. I love all the memories I get to preserve of my daughter and now my son. I love how slowly, I am finding my photographic voice again. I love the sense of community I am building through connecting with artists like myself.
I am slowly familiarizing myself with my camera, becoming more and more addicted to the craft. The pictures I produce not only bring me joy, but are filled with meaning. It’s a piece of me I had long forgotten and am so glad I get to know again.