Inspiration comes in different forms: art, nature, people, to name a few. For me, my inspiration has come through the lenses of my camera. By considering myself a photographer, I’ve learned to pay attention to details and focus on different aspects of the world around me. Through photography, we can tell a story.
I first started doing photography when I was in fifth grade. I wanted to learn photography skills and take pictures as 4-H projects. One of my first pictures was considered for our state fair and I was excited. After the success of my first year, I wanted to continue doing it and build my skills.
When I was a freshman in high school, I was asked to join the 4-H Camera Corps. This program allowed each of us who were asked to join to submit twelve photos each month to be looked at by a professional photographer. This process was one of the most mentally challenging things I have ever had to go through. Taking twelve decent photos each month was not easy. Sometimes there was no motivation and when I take a picture, I only take it once and move on to the next object.
The end reward was that 50 of the best photos in four different states would be shown in a gallery in Des Moines, Iowa for a month. Also twelve of the photos would be chosen to be in a calendar. I was blessed to have three of my photos chosen to be shown in the gallery and one of them to be in the calendar. All my hard work had finally paid off.
My photo that was chosen to be in the calendar for the month of July
After my senior year of high school, I was asked to have my photographs in another gallery for three months. I said yes and was featured in a local newspaper about my exhibition. It all seemed surreal to me. I was getting to show my hard work from over eight years.
Why should you start photography? It’s not just taking pictures, it’s taking a step back and focusing on details you normally wouldn’t focus on. Photography allows you to slow down your busy day. I’ve found spending a couple hours taking photos is a form of stress relief. Everyone can consider themselves a photographer! As long as you are loving what you are doing and seeing yourself grow, that’s all that matters.