In order to semi-wisely use all my extra free time during the summers off from teaching, I tend to develop a “thing” each summer—last summer it was the “50 Weeks to Organized” thing, other summers it’s been reading books off of all my lists like mad or dating like it was my hobby (before I got married, obviously).
This summer, it’s photography.
Backtracking a bit, it should have been obvious to me years ago that photography was something I should pursue more seriously–I was always the one who seemed to be trying to catch all the best moments on film during all the parties and family gatherings and weeks at girls’ camp, and when I got my first digital camera, I was out taking pictures like crazy of everything: the snow, the flowers on the windowsill, my mom reading in her chair…
And that love for taking pictures never really died, but I thought I would never pursue it more than just being the official photographer at every family function.
Then blogging entered the picture.
You know, blogging’s a funny thing—I initially saw blogging as a faster way to keep a journal, and since I didn’t have many qualms about letting people peek into those journal entries, I kept it public. When I REALLY started getting into Blogging with a capital B, I noticed that the “big” blogs seemed to always have photos attached, and not just any photos—gorgeous, “pin”-able images that captured these beautiful small moments of each day, like eating a particularly picturesque bowl of fruit for breakfast or the way their feet looked after a pedicure.
The more into blogging I got (and the more I tried to become one of those “big bloggers”), the more I started to get into photography.
And that’s when the hobby kind of morphed into something else.
You see, it seemed that for awhile, photography was just a means to an end–if I upped the quality of my images on my blog, I would draw more views, and if I drew more views, I could finally maybe make some money off my writing.
But something changed along the way, and suddenly, I wasn’t just taking pictures to attract page views or blog about them—I was taking pictures and studying composition and lighting and trying to turn my photos into my own art form, since I seem to be the only one of my siblings who didn’t get any hand-to-paper art talent.
And now, it’s become such a dangerous passion that I’ve even started letting myself dream big about it—
I’ve even started my own little small photography business.
And even though I know it’s probably crazy, and even though I think to myself that it might not come out to much more than just a little side gig, sometimes I wonder–
What if it does turn into more? What if this—this obsession with composition, this devotion to chasing the next favorite image, this constant daydreaming of bigger and better cameras and lenses and photographs—becomes more than just a little side gig? What if it becomes, a few years down the road, one of those “things” that I felt like I was put here on earth to do?
Dreaming big is scary—failure is always just around the corner, and people with a “scarcity complex”–aka people who think that there is a limited amount of space and demand in the world for a certain product or service–often mock and jeer at you, especially if they’re a bit further down the path than you are.
But then I think to myself:
What do I have to lose?
How will this NOT be a valuable learning opportunity?
And I dive in.