A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (February 2003) I got a new digital camera. I thought at the time that I was mainly buying it to use at work, but that did not turn out to be the case. The camera was a Canon S45 and it literally changed my life (yes, literally).
At around the same time that I got the camera, I also started my first blog. I posted pictures, entered weekly photo memes, and began to go out specifically to take pictures. In September of that year I started my first photoblog. (I wish I was like my blogging friend Saroy who I have been following since back about that time and has kept all of her blogging in one place. I have jumped from platform to platform over the last 11 years). It was such a different time on the web and I loved the world that the camera introduced me to.
I feel deep into the photography hole. I started photoblog groups and began a five year journey with Assignment Houston on Flickr. I organized meet-ups and even brought people together who are still best friends today (yeah… you!). I became a different person as I was forced out of my shy shell into someone who talked to people. I stayed in the Canon family and moved up the ranks to a Rebel XT and then eventually to a Canon 50D. I had photos published in magazines (even on a cover), sold photos in an art gallery and earned money from companies wanting to use my images online.
And then, about four years ago, my interest started fading. I propped it up by experimenting with film photography (which is so much fun) and by releasing some of the obligations that had consumed so much of my time. I honestly was burned out. My output slowed to a trickle over the last few years. I disconnected from all of the whirlwind and my iPhone became my most used camera.
I needed a break. At times I felt guilty and at other times sad. What happened to all that fire and passion? Why was I losing steam while fellow photographers continued on? It was a very important part of my life, but it felt more like a chore than something to look forward to. It wasn’t fun anymore.
But you know, I never really stopped being a photographer. I never stopped fiddling with my iPhone. I never stopped thinking about ways to share photos. I never stopped seeing things around me that I wanted to photograph.
The fire was down to an ember, but the ember was still glowing and it is slowly, ever so slowly, coming back. I want to tread carefully. I don’t want to extinguish it. I don’t want to go back to where I was. The thought of that is stifling. I want to recapture some of that innocent love and excitement from those first years. Yes, I know you can never have another love like your first, but in this case I think you can return to a simpler time.
To that end, say hello to my new little friend.