How I Found My Passion For Photography

My Passion For Photography Means More Than Just Taking Pictures

Photography, the art of taking pictures, has the power to tell stories, capture moments, and impact the way people see the world.

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I found my passion for photography during a trip to my home country of the Philippines in the summer of 2016. While there, I began documenting my experiences on Instagram, taking pictures on my phone of the places I visited, the people/animals I met, and the food I ate, and I realized I enjoyed telling stories through the images I took.

When I returned to the U.S., I decided I wanted to start taking more pictures - so I bought myself my first camera and began photographing people. Inspired by the popular Humans of New York blog, I began my own Humans project for my high school. Through this, I found a love for connecting with other people through my photography.

Over the years, I continued to pursue this passion, taking photography classes, attending workshops, and photographing school events. When the time came to start thinking about where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to do, I originally thought of majoring in photography as an art student.

After months of rumination, I learned that my favorite style of photography wasn't all about the visual aesthetic of pictures - I didn't care much about having models to photograph, or taking pictures of architecture, nature, etc. - I wanted to tell people's stories in my photographs, capturing moments, their emotions, their lives.

I chose to pursue photojournalism - the use of photographs to tell stories. With photojournalism, my photos can give others, especially those who are underrepresented, a voice, and a platform to share their stories.

I've always been an open person - I'm not afraid to speak up about how I feel, and I'm not afraid to talk about my own struggles and share my experiences with others. Because of this, I'm able to connect with people easily, and through my photography, I've been able to create new connections, new relationships and branch out of my comfort zone.

To me, photography is more than just a hobby - it's a passion, a discipline, and allows me to bring out the best of who I am into the world.

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10 VSCO Presets That Make You Look Tan As All Heck

Because come on, we can't all be sun kissed while also working 40 hours a week.

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I don't know about you, but I cannot seem to get to the golden shade that I so desperately want. Think I'm silly all you want, but being tan makes me more confident. Now, working 40 hours a week, during prime sun hours doesn't exactly help this dilemma, so I have taken the matter into my own hands. These are a few of the VSCO Filter pre-sets that make me feel just as sun-kissed and stunning as I aspire to be, from the comfort of my cubicle.

1. E8 +8, Contrast +1, Temperature -1, Saturation -1, H. Tint Magenta +3

2. HB2 +7, Contrast -1, Exposure -1, Temperature +0.5, Saturation +1, Fade +1.5, Grain +4

3. C8 +12, Exposure -2, Saturation -2/+2, Grain +3 (Optional)

4. C1 +12, Fade +4, Contrast +2, Exposure +2, Saturation -2, Tint +3

5. A4 +7, Exposure -2, Contrast +1.7, Temperature +1.7, Tint +1.0, Saturation -2.0, Skin tone -1.0

6. M3 +12, Temperature -1, Contrast +2, Saturation -1/+1

7. E3 +12, Temperature -1, Saturation -2, Skin -2

8. HB1 +8, Exposure -1, Temperature -1

9. C1 +12, Exposure -1, Contrast +2, Temperature +2, Saturation -2, Skin Tone -3

10. G1 +8, Exposure -2, Contrast +2, Saturation +2, Temperature -1, Fade +2

Cover Image Credit:

Erika Glover

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11 Reasons Why Hiking Should Become A Pivotal Part Of Your Life

It's good for the body and soul.

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I was lucky enough to grow up 10 minutes from a national park. This meant that some of my earliest memories were riding on my dad's shoulders through miles of beautiful trails. As a got older, the simple joy of enjoying the fresh air and getting away from the craziness of life that hiking offered only made me fall in love with it more. Now, whenever I have a rough day or just need a break from stress, the first thing that I want to do is hit the trails.

1. Fresh air

Emily Smith

Being cooped up inside for too long can take a toll on anyone. Being able to get out and breathe the fresh air and feel the sun shining can instantly boost anyone's mood!

2. Exercise

Emily Smith

Hiking is a great way to get those extra steps in, and many areas have different paths you can take depending on your fitness level.

3. No electronics

Emily Smith

I am so guilty of going on my phone way too much. Being outdoors allows a break from social media and time to focus on being in the moment and enjoying the amazing world we live in.

4. Scenery

Emily Smith

Hiking allows us to see some of the most gorgeous untouched pieces of nature. It is hard to not be amazed by how beautiful our earth is.

5. Vitamin D

Emily Smith

There is nothing that a little bit of sun can't cure. Being outside in the sun not only gives you a nice summer glow, but it can be so beneficial to our health! Vitamin D helps boost our immune system and gives us energy.

6. Way more fun than going to the gym

Emily Smith

Going to the gym and using the treadmill and other machines provide a workout but can become more of a chore than fun after a while. Hikes are an amazing workout that hardly feels like a chore. So, the next time you are getting tired of the same old routine at a smelly gym, think about taking a hike instead.

7. Stress reliever

Emily Smith

Being out in nature can be such a great break from the "real world."

8. Great way to spend time with friends

Emily Smith

The next time you don't know what to do with your friends, consider going on a hike! There are so many fun things to do, like bring a picnic or watch the sunset. It's a great way to switch up your typical routine of watching T.V. or Netflix.

9. Perfect way to exercise with dogs

Emily Smith

Instead of taking your dog around the neighborhood, switch it up and take them on a hike! It's a great workout for them, and oftentimes, a lot more enjoyable than the daily neighborhood route.

10.  It's free!

Emily Smith

What more needs to be said? Free fun is hard to come by nowadays, so going on a hike can help your bank account too!

11.  It's fun!

Emily Smith

What's not to love about the endless ways to enjoy hiking?

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