I guess I'd never really considered myself a photographer. In high school while my friends were all taking photography classes, I never had any desire. After high school, I never had the money for a digital camera, while everyone else seemed to be getting better and better ones every 6 months, and I was grateful to even have my 1.3 megapixel camera on my phone.
Last April, a wonderful friend of mine gave me her digital camera. Yup. Just gave it to me (did I mention that she is a WONDERFUL friend?). I was actually kind of intimidated, because I'd never taken any pictures. And on top of that, most of my friends had been taking photos for years, so I felt like I had a ton to live up to. I felt like I wasn't -allowed- to take pictures. I was doing all this other stuff: writing novels, making duct tape artwork, watercolor painting...and I was scared they were thinking "and now she's going to take photography? That's MY thing!"
I loved it right away. I even thought some of my stuff was...y'know...good. I went on more walks, looked at things more, took pictures of beautiful, colorful, astounding, perfect things. I remember the first time photography really had it's grip on my me. I was working third shift, and I had taken pictures of things in the house that night (plant vases, lights, doors, random stuff), but I never got the photo that I really wanted, so at 7:00 AM when I got off my shift, I drove to a nearby park and took photos until 8:30 in the morning.
Photography stayed incredibly important to me for nearly a year. Then, one day, I went down to the Madison capital to participate in the rallies, and when I pulled my camera out of my purse, the screen was completely blank. It was just white with a big crack down the middle.
No, no, no, no, no!
It hit me, at that very moment, how important it had become to me. How many things revolved around photos. I never would have been able to take pictures of my tarantula molting, or any of my artwork. Not only that, but it was another way to express myself, and I need that. I need to express myself every way I can, or I feel like I will burst at times.
That week I got paid, and that week I bought a new camera. I had discussed with Gabe (the boyfriend) the possibility of going on Craigslist to get a super cheap, super low quality camera, just to have something on hand. But all logic flew out the window I needed something wonderful, and beautiful, and powerful, and able to take pictures of everything I wanted to take pictures of.
That was when I finally decided I felt...kind of like a photographer. I mean, maybe not completely, but I was able to show off my photos, that was the first time I uploaded photos to DeviantArt in the Photography category. I may not be a 'photographer', but I can do photography. And that's enough, right?
Then, today, I took this picture:
Slightly Magical by ~PamGabriel on deviantART
(Please click to view the full size image)
...and now I officially consider myself a photographer.
To see more of my photography, please visit the photography section of my DeviantArt.