When I was in high school and picked my first “real” camera, one that had settings that were adjustable, one that took some actual thought to get the perfect shot, I fell in love for the first time. Really, I loved it. The entire process was fun for me. Learning, shooting, developing, sharing.
Fast forward 11 years and still, I love it. I work primarily digital now, besides a few rolls of film every year and the sporadic shot with my Instax. I like the freedom of shooting an unlimited amount with worrying if I am wasting good film with crappy shots. I like the ease and instant gratification of being able to see the image right away on my camera. There is so much that I love about it, but one thing sticks in my mind.
Photography is a tool I use to turn into myself and feel some sort of invisible. When I am out in public shooting, I don’t notice the looks people give me, quietly questioning the need for my wheelchair or wondering what on Earth I could be photographing.
Photography makes me look at the world with an infinitely more optimistic and open-minded view. I don’t see ugly dried up fall weeds; I see the crisp wisps of a plant going to sleep for the cold season. I see the details that are far too often passed aside in so many of life’s everyday rotation.
Photography calms me. Sometimes I ache for some sort of creativity to spill out, and I always know that picking up my camera and getting out into the world with it will almost instantly ease the tensions. I think that any artist can relate to that, no matter what the medium. The theraputic effects are, for me, almost too big and vague to explain. It’s just a feeling I have; an excitement, a relaxation, a happiness and a big sigh of relief all wrapped into one.I don’t ever forsee myself getting rid of my cameras or ever losing the passion I have for it. I believe it is one of those things that no matter where I am, what I am doing, or which stage in life I am be standing, it is engrained in me.
And that might be the thing I love the most about it. It is in me.