Dusted off the good old blog and then sat in front of the computer for a good 30 minutes before writing the above title and this sentence.
It’s been a few months since my last post. It’s not that I didn’t want to write or didn’t have any topic to write about. It’s just that real life was getting a bit difficult and I had to step back. But here I am again!
To ease into this big writing thing again, I thought I’d start with something light, a little story on how I became a photographer.
I started university wanting to be a psychologist. I don’t know why really. Maybe it was because I have always loved people watching. Or, maybe because my grandpa always said to pay attention to the psychology in order to understand somebody. Or, maybe because I read way too many Agatha Christie books and like my grandpa, Poirot and Miss Marple were always all about the psychology.
After my fifth or sixth semester, I stumbled upon the Mass Communication program. The program consisted of Journalism, Adveritisng & PR, photography and graphic design. I had so much fun in this program! I learned how to use many of the Adobe products (Photoshop was maybe 5-years-old then, ha, showing my age now ?), design, persuasive writing and storytelling, and film photography.
Three and a half years later I graduated with two degrees. A BS in psychology and a BA in Mass Comm. If you’re wondering, no, I am not super smart. I am just really good at finding loop holes. I always took the max amount of credits each semester. Including summer terms. After studying the university handbook and also consulting with my advisor, I found out that one could transfer up to x amount of credits (I think six but not sure) a year from another university. So, each summer I crammed as many classes as I could into the first part of the summer term (Idaho State) and then I’d go to Boise State and took more.
What did I get out of the years of school? Basic stuff. Just enough to get me hooked. Was I good at photography? Or any of the stuff I learned? Yes and no. My photography, graphic design, writing and even psychology were just mediocre. I was all technical/theory and had no eye, passion, talent, and/or emotional understanding. This was why I went into IT after I graduated. Some people may be talented in music, some in math, some in art and some, like me, in understanding how to master different software quickly. This skill is how I went on to become an Instructional Technologist and getting my Master’s degree in it.
I didn’t touch a dSLR again until Emma was about a year old, seven years later. One thing that stuck to me from university was a comment from my photography professor. She said my photos were technically good but they had no soul. I didn’t get it then but after I had Emma and I started taking a lot of photos of her, I started to see what she meant.
During my university years, while I enjoyed the classes, I didn’t have the passion, the love. After having Emma, and her being my main subject, the passion and love came rushing through. It took many years, with grad school and full time work in between, but by the time Emma was four or so, I was a decent amateur photographer.
After moving to England, I became a stay-at-home-mom. My SAHM gig gave me all the time I needed to practice my photography and by 2012 I had a portrait photography business. Things were great until the end of 2013 when depression took over. Since I didn’t know that I was going through depression, I just kept trying to do what I would usually do. With no intervention, by the end of 2014, I completely lost all motivation (besides being a mess of a person).
I was miserable! Amazingly the thought that I could have been depressed didn’t cross my mind. Call me ignorant or whatever but I seriously thought that depression is innate or something that someone with a horrible background would have. I know, completely uneducated in this department!
A voice in my head told me that I needed to do something and that something was photography related. After much pondering, project 365 and Instagram got my attention and from February 2016, I became a regular Instagrammer.
It took many more months. It often took a lot of pushing on my end to go out and photograph something. But slowly and surely, I was feeling better.
While I can honestly say that my healing came from within, the external factors were a huge part of the process. I didn’t feel alone, I felt encouraged, and I felt that I was helping others too with their struggles. Things were moving up!
Around mid-April, after returning from Spain, I started feeling down again. I thought it was just the holiday blues. Especially after having such glorious weather and then returning to such moody England. But it lingered. A few things had to be let go so I could focus. I knew the signs and I did what I needed to do to not go back into that dark hole. It took almost two months but by the time I came back from Poland, I was back to my positive self again AND my photography love came all the way back too!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed the inconsistency of my photos and writing between Spain and Poland. Then you may notice a steady incline after Poland and a familiar but different photography style around two or three weeks ago.
I have no idea what’s going to happen after this. But, if I can have it my way, I’d love it if the jolt of excitement each time I snap and the zen that I feel when I edit the photos continue on.
Until next time!