practice and passion

I first dipped my toes into photography in the summer of 2016.

I knew next to nothing, the rule of thirds being the only important information I retained from eighth grade technology class. Despite this, I was going through what I now call “a phase”. I picked up drawing, stole my friend’s pastels for two months and did everything to immerse myself in art.

It started with pulling out my old calligraphy set andbinging on Instagram calligraphy videos. I must have written my name 100 times last summer. Gaining confidence in my drawing and lettering skills (ones which quickly faded into disuse with the start of the school year) I started sharing my art with some friends. In turn, they showed me an art form I had always been fascinated with, but never actually tried — photography.

Photographer’s eye. This artistic view of my fish was something I had never noticed, despite seeing it every day.  Photo by Anna Kemper

Like I said, I knew nothing about it; but I had a Canon sitting in the corner of my room, given to my sister by a family friend. Both of my friends had amazing photography accounts on Instagram and neither had more than a semester’s worth of photography knowledge. Anyone could be a photographer, given time and practice.

I wanted to try it out.

July 5, 2016. My fifteenth birthday. I grabbed my camera, my bike and we set out.

Success. I had found my new passion. I started a photography page on Instagram and got every artsy picture I could of the sunset, the trees, the sky. For a period of time I annoyed everyone I went out with, insisting on stopping to take 5 or 10 pictures if the clouds looked cool. Or leaning over my sister in the airplane to get a cool picture of the sunset on our flight over the ocean. 

As most of my hobbies tend to do this at some point, I was expecting the excitement to fade. Luckily for me, it hasn’t happened yet. While I don’t go on photography expeditions as often, the way I see the world has changed. Now, when I look around I see potential pictures — the glare of the sun at an interesting angle, an abandoned house behind a bridge, the rocks beneath a miniature waterfall.

I still don’t know what aperture means. Shutter speed is a thing, but don’t ask my to tell you the significance. I don’t know these things, but that is part of what I love about photography. I don’t have to know everything, to enjoy it.



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