Do you remember when you got your very first camera? Or maybe not your very first, but the one that changed everything for you, and put you on the path of becoming a photographer?
For me, it was a little Canon Rebel I purchased in 2007, from Best Buy. I did absolutely no research, I just walked in, picked it out, and was forever changed - although at the time I had no idea that a change was coming.
I thought I was purchasing a camera - I didn’t know that I was starting down a long, twisty, peaks-and-valleys filled journey that would become to define me almost as much as the most important relationships in my life. I didn’t know I was starting the journey of becoming not just a camera owner, but a photographer.
We’re a special type, photographers. I’m totally, unashamedly, partial to photographers. We are artists, but we’re also technicians. We’re creators, but we’re also tinkerers. We embrace everything beautiful and soul fulfilling that comes with this art, but we also embrace the nitty gritty things that comes from the craft. We can speak of f-stops, frame rates, sensor sizes, and shutter speeds. But we can also speak of humanity, universality, beauty, pain, and the intangible things that bring us together.
We photograph everything from the highest points of human existence to the very lowest. To the most beautiful places on earth, to the dirtiest. We serve as the record keepers of this life - of our families, our communities, and our world. The places familiar and close to home and the places exotic and far. We hold the visual record of whatever we are inspired to turn our lens towards.
Each click of the shutter is one, simple act. Yet nothing about the results can be called simple. I’m still in awe of how one click can produce art that quenches my soul, and speaks things that I can’t even put into words. when I bought that little camera all those years ago, I had no idea it would have the power to do that.
I also had no idea the relationships it would bring into my life - peers, friends, students, and mentors - each one leaving an indelible mark on my very being, changing me forever. Relationships that mean the world to me. Some in person, some online, but all meaningful, and all leaving me a richer person than I was before.
I had no idea the healing balm to my soul it would provide, years later in a hospital, dealing with our scariest night ever as parents. How it would become a record of things intangible, of things too far in the past to touch. How the very act of making a photograph quenches something inside of me I didn’t know was thirsty.
I had no idea how much I would need a thing of my own, a powerful thing, once I became a mother and my world was no longer only mine. I had no idea the confidence and sureness of self I would gain because of it, and how important that would be for my daughters to see me do.
Photography is powerful. YOU are powerful. Don’t ever let someone else tell you otherwise.
When I'm not documenting families all over the world or encouraging others to follow their photographic dreams, you can find me spending time with my husband and two young daughters at our national park home (currently the Grand Canyon, Arizona), and dreaming up ways to best illustrate the emotional themes of motherhood, connection, and family in my work.