A Love Letter to Photographers

Dear Photographer,

I meet you everywhere now and it thrills me. We’re all in different stages and I love cheering on your growth and learning. Thank you for encouraging mine and what you’ve taught me. More than anything, I love seeing the world through your eyes – each a unique perspective, as individual as you are.

I also feel your restlessness. I wake up to it every day.

I wonder if photography is like a long winding road with no final destination. We’ve never arrived. When we first pick up the hobby and begin the journey we’re not really looking for a destination or watching the speed of other drivers. We feel limitless – such freedom! We may be totally off-roading it but we’re having a ton of fun just in the journey.

When the hobby becomes a passion we become internally motivated to speed up the journey (i.e. improve) and all the rules and techniques we’ve learned become the roadside curbs to keep us on course. The “curbs” are useful and necessary – they serve their purpose and the road opens up to us first as a single lane and finally a superhighway. We start to notice other “cars” on parallel roads. We note their speed and yearn to match it.

But when the passion becomes an obsession (been there) we begin to watch the road, forgetting to take in the scenery. We flail trying to create beauty rather than receive it. It’s still the same open road and we’re the same “driver” but our focus shifts. Sometimes we sense our own “speed” (i.e. growth, recognition etc.) and watch the road that much closer. We might even slam on our own brakes afraid of success and feel creatively blocked at a time we would least expect it.

Each road has different bends, peaks and valleys – even the scenery is uniquely ours. Keep looking up so as not to miss the moments. Shoot for purpose not approval. Fail and break a few rules along the way in pursuit of your own voice. Above all, remember that there’s no final destination – only the moment unfolding in front of your camera, begging to be immortalized.

Brave on you crazy, wonderful dreamer.

Amy

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  • Caryn Scanlan - Amy, what a beautiful letter, and a much-needed reminder of the pressure we put ourselves under to create beauty, to the point where we just don’t see it any more! We actually end up missing it!
    This truly spoke to my heart because we’re in a unique phase of our lives… but I’ll email you privately about that 🙂
    Blessings!ReplyCancel

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