Learning and Loving It (Dec. 9, 2013)

March 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

After college, I worked in higher education student services for 7 years. During that time, I helped adult college students (either in technical programs or online) who had dreams of bettering their lives.  Students who were struggling often told me that they were missing out on precious moments with their loved ones since they used every free moment outside of work to study and earn a degree.  I would talk through their obstacles, helping them determine the best path to move forward.  It was emotionally exhausting and usually thankless work, but I enjoyed it and felt like I made a difference in people's lives.

As much as I loved helping people in this way, I, too, felt I was missing something.  A creative outlet, yes, but I wanted more than that.  Inspired by my students’ lamentations, as well as a beautiful (and rapidly growing!) new daughter, I quit my job (yikes!), picked up my barely-touched DSLR, and started combing the internet for tutorials.  The most important lesson I've learned is this:  Photographers NEVER stop learning.  Got that, college students?  After graduation, KEEP GOING in your quest for knowledge.  Whether in your field or hobby or whatever, KEEP IT UP!  Ok, that's my soapbox for the day...

The point is, I was encouraged by the fact that while there is definitely a difference between a photo hobbyist and a professional (one gets paid…duh), even the pros are constantly learning, working to improve, move with the times, etc…

I like that.  

I am definitely a perfectionist and if I feel that there is a "ceiling" or "terminal" whatever to reach, I will NEVER feel that I am good enough.  Just part of my personality.  But, if I know that CONSTANT growth and learning is part of the gig, I'm all in!  That's one of the things I liked about working in higher education; there were always new studies coming out about student services, etc; always something to learn and improve upon.  Unfortunately, there was little in the way of creativity, and that's where my camera comes in. 

While I inherited my love of photography from my mom (she ALWAYS has her camera attached to her face!), I have always had this unspoken desire to take it a step further by learning more about the art (what techniques produce what effect, how light plays a part, what settings to use, etc).  So, here I am…Nikon D5100 in hand, and a brand-new "nifty" 50mm firmly in place (I have aspirations of becoming a newborn/growing baby photographer and from what I gather, this is the best tool for the job!), shooting wherever, whenever I can, making adjustments, playing with settings, looking at light at different times of day (my husband thinks I'm crazy; I'm always randomly looking at the light coming in our big living room window, then glance at the clock to note what time of day the light is like that), trying a photo with/without flash, studying a new blog post, article, or photo session every day or two, and loving every minute of it!


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