Photography and Me: The Journey So far

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Beginnings

I’m still an amateur at best, but I’m better than when I started.

Strange as it may seem, photography is not something that I actually thought I would be so interested in. I’ve always kind of liked the artistic nature of capturing images with ink, on paper, through lenses, but I never considered myself a photographer.

Sure, I’ve been on Instagram for ages and have all these old photos that I thought were so good and so cool and so unique at the time. Spoiler: They’re not. But it was a start. I never dreamed I’d make it this far.

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Hiking

I think I started noticing how much I loved taking pictures of scenes when I started to really get into hiking. I wanted to capture the magic of nature and the emotions I felt while exploring it.

I wanted a way for others to feel the same way I did when I felt the warm sun bleeding through the trees and warming my shoulders on a summer’s afternoon. There’s nothing quite like it.

The Purchase

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I bought my first camera nearly two years ago a few months before leaving for the UK. London was a place I had been wanting to go for decades, so I knew now was the time to invest.

It was strange at first. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I started practicing, experimenting, and reading about others’ journeys with photography. I hyper-focused my instagram and started working to make my photos look the best they could.

My London photos turned out wonderful and gave me the encouragement to keep going, to keep pursuing this new goal I had found and gave me hope that I would continue to grow and learn as long as I kept a focused mind and determined will.

A New Accessory

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Before I knew it, this camera was coming everywhere with me. Day trip? Gotta bring the camera. Cross country road trip? Bringing my baby. Going to the bookstore? Okay…maybe not, but I do bring it along even if I think there’s even the slightest chance there might be photo opportunities.

Eager for Life

If nothing else, photography has given me a new eagerness to experience everything I can. To me, photography often gets a negative stigma since you’re experiencing life through a lens, but I beg to differ.

I like to think that taking a photo helps me delve more into life and all the small things that make it happier. I want to capture moments so I can remember the emotions I felt at that time in my life. It’s almost like a journal –– only visually instead of with a pen.

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Little Details

I also find that photography has not closed my eyes, but opened them further. I’m constantly looking for the small things to take photos of –– the little details that nobody seems to notice:

The gargoyle on top of a building that you have to strain your neck to see; the penny on the ground that 500 people have walked over but that you’ve stopped to examine every millimeter of; a bird hanging on a wire without a care in the world.

There’s so much to see, so much to capture, and I want to do it all.

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Different Perspectives

Photography is about experimenting, exploring, and maybe even learning new things in the process. As a hobby I find so much joy in looking at the world in so many different ways. There’s always something new to be discovered, and I don’t want to miss a moment.

I find myself constantly looking for new shots, new angles, new ways to see something I’ve looked at a million times, or maybe discovering something I’ve been by –– driven, walked, skipped –– that I’ve never really seen.

It all comes back to those little details, and I can’t get enough of them. Crave them in a way that I crave water or coffee in the morning after a poorly slept night.

There’s so much to see. I want to see it all.

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Futures and Careers

I’m not sure I’m there yet. I still have so much to learn, but I’m eager, and, for the first time, I’ve started thinking that this is maybe something I want to incorporate in my life professionally.

Smol, Tired Freelance Writer

I’m already a freelance writer and editor, but I want more.

There’s always something more I want to be doing. There’s a burning fire inside of me that has me thinking I want to continue to move forward in life, learning new skills and trying to understand where I want to end up and how I want to get there.

Travel Writer

There’s a large part of me that would love to be a travel writer. It’s something I already do so much, something I’m so passionate about, why not do it as a career?

The problem is that you kind of have to get lucky or you have to know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who’s brother is in the business. It’s strange, and scary, and exciting.

Up and Coming

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Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be the next big thing.

Honestly, though, I would settle for just a few people knowing who I was, what I did, and what I strove to aspire. I could die happy if I only knew that there were a few people out there who looked at my photos and went, with a sigh,

“Wow, I really get that.”


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HainAL17@uww.edu
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