In 2009 my husband and I left our home in Seattle to come live with his parents in Salt Lake City after his mom was diagnosed with cancer. She needed, and still needs, alot of care, and was even hospitalized for over eight months early on in the diagnosis. It has been a tough struggle for her. She is incredibly independent and hates to rely on anyone for things she used to be able to do herself but now cannot. She has already had one bone-marrow transplant and will require another one later this year. We do what we can to help them financially, but that means we have very little left over for much else.
For about a year I put my crochet skills to work making various things to sell on Etsy
, hoping to bring some extra funds into our household. During this time I dropped, and broke, our little Olympus 3mpx point and shoot camera that I had been using for my product shots. I had to find another camera. I did some research and decided the Kodak Easyshare MAX Z990 would be a good fit. It had alot of really nice features at a relatively low price. I put in the order online and waited (somewhat impatiently) for the Amazon box to arrive. Little did I know what a huge impact the arrival of that small box would eventually have on me.
When it finally came I pulled out the camera, popped in a fresh set of batteries and took a walk. After a bit of practice with some of the different settings I was hooked. I photographed EVERYTHING. Trees, flowers, cats, cracks in the sidewalk, you name it, I photographed it! But I still didn't realize the full scope of the door I had just opened. Yet.
For nearly a year, I worked really hard spending endless hours crocheting all manner of things for my Etsy shop, and spending even more time trying to make the best use of the social networks to bring traffic and sales to my little store. I would spend 5-6 hours in front of the computer everyday doing my best to increase my presence on the web, another 4-5 hours everyday crocheting, and about 5-6 hours per week on product photography and posting new products to my Etsy site. For the most part I didn't have a weekend. Etsy consumed my every waking moment, every day. Until one day I decided I couldn't do it anymore. It had completely burned me out and I had nearly nothing to show for all my effort.
It was pretty difficult, admitting defeat, and I really struggled with my inner feelings of self worth. I had failed. Miserably. I enjoyed taking pictures with my camera, but I didn't really know what I was doing, and so I didn't really see photography as a possible way to help my family besides the extent I had used it for Etsy.
My neighbor, Howard Jackman, who is an excellent amateur photographer, knew I enjoyed photography so he suggested I go on a photowalk. So I decided to tag along with him on a photowalk sponsored by Scott Jarvie here in Salt Lake City. Those of you who have their foot firmly in the photography community here on G+ will get a chuckle when you hear that my first photowalk was amid photography greats like Thomas Hawk, Karen Hutton, Colby Brown, Lotus Carroll, and of course, the host of the walk, Scott Jarvie, among many others...and I had absolutely no idea who they were. Nope, zero clue. It wasn't until well after the walk and becoming active on G+ that I realized my missed opportunity.
But another thing happened as well. Along with discovering who these amazing, down-to-earth people were, I dicovered an absolute love of photography. I have learned so much in such a short period of time, and met some really fantastic people, that it has made me realize what it is that I really want to do with my life. I want to be a professional photographer.
I will be making mistakes along the way and learning from them, but each one gets me one step closer to my dream. I sincerely hope that you will stick with me on this incredible journey that I have embarked upon.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" ~Chinese Proverb