When and How #ppiwinter2017

my-first

Taken with a Canon PowerShot SD750, Lens 5-17mm, F3.5, ISO 320.

Vibrant, vivid snapshots…moments captured in time…not by man-made mechanical devices but frozen in memories…moments of violent sadness and pure joy. Snippets of life…preserved…some obvious while others…random.

We all have them, those memories from our past that come back to us in flashes, so vividly accurate that we revel at our ability to recall even the smallest details. It’s these pieces of my past that I imagine will be what possesses my mind at the end of my life. Some so sad they hurt my heart to remember and I’m quick to push them away, and others so full of sweet happiness that I long desperately to relive them again and again.

I attended my first photography conference last weekend. It was fantastic and frustrating…awesome and overwhelming…it was…exactly what I needed! (I will be sending a handwritten thank you to the person who suggested it to me. It was just that good.) The first day there, I met four other photographers who were attending for their first time and we quickly became friends. Two are talented, working photographers who have spent many years working hard to get their businesses going. One was returning to photography after taking some time off and two of us are just on the fringes of learning how to turn what we love into something that might actually pay the bills. The conference itself had some amazing speakers that were motivating and informative but it was these four ladies that truly inspired me and have given me hope for my future in photography.

After the conference I came home and have spent the past week digesting and filtering through the notes and information. Several times I sat down and, in vain, tried to prioritize my list of to-do’s. Completely overwhelmed and distracted by everything I have to do, this morning, I decided to let go for a while. Not really knowing why I scrolled through all my photos and stopped on this one. Taken on April 23, 2010 with my point-and-shoot, I felt my eyes well with tears as the memory of this day flooded in. I had taken hundreds of photos before this and knew that I enjoyed photography but this was probably the first day that I decided to go out and just shoot, just for me. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have the equipment of a professional and I had no clue what aperture or f-stops were.

While this is clearly not a professional photo, it will always be one of the most precious in my photography life. Today it serves as a huge reminder of how far I’ve come and that it isn’t just about getting the perfect shot. It’s about living in the moment and appreciating and preserving these beautiful memories. This barn/coop is no longer there. It fell over just a couple a years later. It broke my heart upon returning to find it laying in a pile of boards and weeds but I’m grateful for what it represents to me now…a beginning.

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