Photography has been a facet of my life for the past three years. In 2011, I spent a semester in Australia; we lived in an apartment 10 minutes south of Sydney in Waterloo. During the summer prior to that, I worked three jobs to save money for the trip. Two weeks before leaving, my Dad suggested I bring a camera. His words were something to the effect of, “You have loved shooting my camera, and it would be worth bringing down your own to capture the trip.” He is a smart man. Most of the money I made that summer went to a Nikon D7000 and an 18-200mm lens, and it was perfect.
For three months, I explored this beautiful country, from Sydney to Cairns, to the Whitsunday Islands and even over to New Zealand. Around every corner was an adventure, brand new and fascinating.
Each click of the shutter taught me something: I began to understand what makes a photograph versus just a snapshot. Some of my favorite images were taken while walking to get food, or to and from class. Looking back, I see the technical missteps I made with these images. A missed focus, the wrong ISO, or a less that ideal aperture, but know that doesn’t change the excitement of exploration or the feeling I had capturing that image.
It was all a journey and one that I am so thankful for.
Three months Down Under, and I came back with a love for photography. With a camera I am able to capture emotion and feeling. This is why I still pick up a camera every day three years later. I love it, and there is no other way to explain it. My photography has progressed greatly since my days spent wandering Sydney. My gear has changed; I have to be more creative living in a city I have known my whole life, and I cannot spend every day traveling in a new country. What still persists is my love of capturing a moment, something to hold onto. Whether it is a wedding, a family gathering, or on a photo shoot for lululemon, I still feel truly excited when I catch that moment, and it keeps me coming back to my camera every single day.