What matters

I bought a photography course from Creativelive of famous photographer, Zack Arias.  During his introduction he said somethings that stood out to me.

We want to be the photographers that master the medium, not let it master over us.

Photography will take everything from you, it will take your time, money, family, your credit score, if you let it. Its’ a wild beats.

The Balance: We have families, we have lives. Photography is everything but no it isn’t, photography is stupid. At the end of the day, its just a job, we’re not curing cancer, but its the only thing I know how to do.

When my nephews visit they light up my world. There have been times where I am working on my computer and David the oldest says, “Monica, come play with me.” Or my mom ask, “Do you wanna put Jacob to sleep?” At those moments, what ever I am doing becomes meaningless. The past few weeks I have only been taking photos with my film camera of life. I felt like I needed a break from “photography”. I know a creative break will help improve my professional work.

Life is full of joy, we just have to stop and notice it.

A clip of Jacob. I love his reaction to the sunlight.It’s as if he is seeing it for the first time.

The First Photo

In 2004, my friend Michael and I went on a short mission trip to Mexico with a church group. We took Christmas gifts to an orphanage and spent two days hanging out with the kids.

There was this little girl who became my favorite. Something about her reminded me of myself. She was the smallest and yet the life of the party. Since I don’t know much Spanish, we mainly tried to make each other laugh. The last day of our visit I took a photo of her playing on the swings.

When I came home and saw the photo, I knew I had captured something special. Here she was poor, no parents and yet still full of joy. This was a moment of pure happiness and my little digital camera captured it.

I printed it and framed it. This was the first picture I had taken that said something powerful. It was the beginning of my journey as a photographer. Though it’s not perfect, its one of my favorites.

She gave more than she will ever know. I often wonder where she is at now. She would be 12. Crazy. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me but I’ll never forget her.

I see this photo every day and get inspired. She reminds me to be thankful for what I have and most importantly, to laugh.