I was on the yearbook staff in high school. That is when I first picked up a DSLR camera. It was the nicest camera I had ever held. Of course, after using it I immediately wanted one. When I graduated, my mom got me one as a gift. For six years now, I’ve carried my Canon Rebel around like it is my baby.
Everywhere I went, whoever I was with would say, “Wow that’s a really nice camera, can you take my picture?” I would oblige, then point and shoot. My skills have never gone beyond that for the past six years. And let me tell you, this camera is well traveled yet it hasn’t reached it’s full potential. Heck it’s been Italy, Spain, Mexico, Los Angeles, New York City, and all over the United States.
Then, of course, I am always on the hunt for my next Instagram worthy photo. No, I’m not looking just to get likes. When social media and Instagram first rounded the horizon, I immediately was enthused with the idea of sharing my experiences through pictures. Let followers see life through my eyes. In no way, am I trying to make someone jealous with what I post. (Unless you count the picture of 15 year old me with The Jonas Brothers. Hello Nick Jonas.)
Granted, some experiences are meant to stay yours, within your memories, nestled deep in your heart. While, others are best when shared, brought to life through the gift of sharing. Given to others because you want them to be present in those moments with you. Or maybe I have traveled to a place someone will never have the opportunity to go and by me sharing a photo they’ll feel as though they were my travel companion. Needless to say, as much as it is possible to touch people through words, and speech, the same is possible through photography.
Recently a coworker of mine also purchased a similar camera to mine. Together we decided, let’s truly learn about our cameras capabilities. With perfect timing, a local photographer whom I greatly admire announced she was offering an “I got a new camera” class. What a great way to learn about an incredible piece of hardware we both own. With camera, manual, notebook, and an eagerness to learn, we crossed the threshold into Joelle Watt Studios last Tuesday.
First off, what a warm and inspiring space to walk into. I immediately felt welcomed. Before I go any further, I must admit that I am a tad bias. I love Joelle. Not only is her talent incredible; as a human she just down right rocks. She has photographed my brother and me in the past. Just wow, she truly knows how to capture a persons spirit through her lens. Not to mention she has a way with words. She writes in a very raw, honest, and open way. Anyway…we were handed bottled water and a class notes packet and instructed to pick any seat we like. Of course I was drawn to a high-back velvet chair with grey fuzzy pillow placed on it. (A chair I would greatly like my picture to be taken in.)
Promptly at 6pm the class began. The next two hours were filled with learning about Joelle’s passion. Photography has always been something I admired and enjoyed. Unlike most people, I love getting my picture taken. Taking photographs of others and of new places is fulfilling for me as well. It may have taken six years but I had finally taken a step forward in understanding my camera.
Now let’s be clear, just because I have this camera that does not mean I’ll be an automatic success. I learned many new things from Joelle. These are things I need to practice. Steer that knowledge in the right direction. Am I looking to make a career out of this? No. I want to hone a new skill to whatever level I feel appropriate. As long as I am pleased with the photographs I take, that is all the satisfaction I need.
I hope to capture things through my lens that I feel worthy to share on this blog with all of you. Capture moments that will be deemed Instagram worthy. Take ownership of a craft that can belong to so many. Make it mine in only a way I can. I am giving myself permission to learn, to try, to fail, to succeed.
Learn more about Joelle Watt: Joelle Watt Studios
Check out her blog: Joelle Watt Blog
Do you live in the DuBois area? Want to take one of Joelle’s classes? See what she has coming up! – Camera Classes Reservations