Inspiration and passion… two words that drive us to do what we love. We can be inspired by many things, yet passion is what makes us excited about that certain thing. This past weekend, I was the host photographer for a really great workshop, and I was inspired. Not only by the incredible information that was being disseminated, but also by the desire of others to learn more about a shared passion.
During most of the weekend, I spent my time helping attendees with understanding some of the concepts that were taught and discussed. Although it was always with me, I didn’t have my camera in my hands most of the time. Did I mind? Not at all. I was thrilled to see the spark in someone’s eye when a teaching point or concept made sense to them.
By chance, I ran into a dancer from the California Ballet Company, whom I’d worked with only a few weeks prior with Joe McNally. It’s an incredibly small world. And although our days were fairly long, I never got tired of sharing information with others or carrying around gear to help set up some of the shots. I am truly passionate about photography… I only wish I had realized it sooner.
When I was a kid, I remember taking pictures all the time. I remember buying lots of disposable Kodak cameras, putting Kodak Gold in a cheap little point and shoot 35mm camera that my parents bought for me, and even convincing my Dad to let me use his Minolta 35mm SLR a time or two. When I was 12, I took a trip to Huntington Beach, CA to see my Great Aunt and Uncle (who still live there today) to spend two weeks out of my Summer visiting them. I shot roll after roll of film. It just never seemed to get old and I couldn’t wait to see the prints after they came back from the lab.
When Kelie and I got married, her older sister let me use an a Nikon N60 SLR that she had turned in to Lost and Found where she worked, and got it back after 3 months where no one claimed it. I shot a lot with that camera too. In fact, I still have a picture of my wife on our wall in front of the USS Barry (DDG 52) in Norfolk, VA. I’ve even got some prints of sunsets, flowers, and other odds and ends that I shot with that camera.
My first digital camera was a point and shoot that my parents bought for us as an anniversary gift. We used it to take pictures of Benjamin, our oldest son. I shot like crazy with that camera too. I have all the photos saved to this day, since we got that camera. I still don’t really understand why it didn’t click in my head that photography was my passion.
The day it did finally come together for me, I was at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. I was out with a friend seeing the sights. I had a Nikon point and shoot with me and I was taking shot after shot, caring about nothing else but the picture. That’s what really mattered. D.C. has some incredible history and I wanted to have great photographs to remember it by. I took one particular shot of the memorial and looked at the image on the tiny little LCD and all of a sudden, the light came on. I had realized what I was truly passionate about. Shortly after, I won a Nikon D40 in a raffle and I haven’t looked back since.
Be passionate about what you enjoy. Love your family and go after whatever it is that ignites the fire deep inside of you. I had the pleasure of meeting some great people this weekend who helped fuel my passion. I hope you have the opportunity to do the same.