It has been seven years since I first picked up a camera. My mom had sent me on a trip to the Grand Canyon with my first- a dinky disposable one- and without her, I never would have become discovered my passion. (So thanks, Ma!) Three years ago, I wrote a blog post about this event, which I titled Photographic Roots. It's amazing to see just how much my photography- and writing- have grown, even in just that three year span! And although I'm tempted to edit that post, I shall leave it alone. (It should remain an accurate reflection on how I've grown.)
So from this simple event I became obsessed. I'd swipe my mom's point-and-shoot (which she still has today...time to upgrade, lady, seriously) and would photograph my surroundings. Landscapes, flowers, cows, anything. I entered my photos in the Deerfield Fair and even won a few blue ribbons.
And then there was this:
When my mom told me I won 4th out of 800 in the New Hampshire Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission photography contest, I was cleaning a table at Polly's Pancake Parlor. It was August 2009.
At that point I had a few people ask me to take pictures. Of their kids, their dog, their daughter's Bat Mitzvah, etc. This was when I developed a love for portraits. I hate having my picture taken, and I know many who emphasize. Due to my intimacy with the subject, I feel confident in being able to reveal a person's true beauty and personality through a shot. For example:
If you couldn't pick up on the resemblance, that's my brutha! His girlfriend, Kali, is just like me: she HATES the camera. (Well, being in front of it at least.) And because her face is round like mine, I knew that by angling the camera down, stunning results would occur. She was so amazed by this picture, and I absolutely love it. (It has since reserved a spot on my mother's refrigerator. If that's not success, I don't know what is.) Furthermore, it was such a simple moment. We were at Camp (you can see it in the background) in August for Grandpa's birthday party, sitting at the picnic table. Kali would never let me take her picture- yet she somehow consented on that day- and look how beautiful she is. (And although he can drive me crazy, I have to say- my brother looks pretty dapper himself.) I love that moment, and the fact that I was able to capture it. It's stunning simplicity.
So thus my roots in photography were developed; I am now a still life and portrait photographer. Whenever I'm behind the lens, I'm happy. It doesn't matter what the subject is, what matters is what I make of it. To be able to take something that's overlooked and draw attention to it is pure satisfaction and fulfillment.
Who does that? Who looks at their gearshift and says, "I'm gonna take me a picture of that!"? Well, apparently that's what I was thinking when I snapped this shot. I have many beautiful pictures of out-of-the-ordinary objects, but this is the most out there. I really like this.
I think everyone should do what they're passionate about for a living. It brings such joy and personal satisfaction. (And as "Joy" is my middle name, I should probably be living up to that.) Since I was in middle school, I knew that photography and writing are what I want to do with my life, it's just taken me awhile to realize how to do it- and I'm still wrestling with that question. A few weeks ago, however, I took a leap. I just did it. I was with my dad who's experienced in the small business arena, and he helped me fill out a form known as a "Certificate of Formation". I anxiously wrote the check, licked the envelope, and dropped it in the mailbox, apprehensive about it's fate.
About a week and a half later I was studying my checking account statement at the bank. (Working there has it's perks, one of which is being on top of check clearings.) When I saw check number 134 hit presentments, I knew. Two days later my suspicions were confirmed: on the breakfast bar in my kitchen was a letter addressed to me from the NH Secretary of State. On October 17, MegaBug Photography became an LLC. Additionally, my new Canon 5D Mark II arrived that same day. I had officially become a professional photographer.
One of the first shots taken with my new camera.
(Yes, I was in the Staples parking lot. I had to buy a memory card!)
The next day I opened my business account- just a week ago today- which further reinforced the fact that I'm a business owner. An entrepreneur! And last night I was a marketing challenge at WREN's Eureka Night. It was such an incredible and inspiring experience. To tell my story and share my challenges with an excellent panel and an attentive audience was such a thrill, and I learned so much from it. I'm thankful to have been selected.
I think last night did it for me. Last night showed me that I can do this, that I'm capable. I've constantly been told I cannot do something because of my age, but one woman last night said to forget that; I can do anything I set my mind to. I have been saying that all along, but her comment freed me from the confinement I thought was still placed upon me. If someone pushes against you for any reason, push back. If you can do it, do it. Demographics don't matter, what does is perseverance.
In conclusion, I'd like to thank everyone for their comments last night, especially this woman. I feel incredibly inspired and have plenty of goals on my official "Business Plan". Expect to see some exciting changes. =)