Have you ever felt stuck? Like you want to be creative but a giant block is in your mind? Don’t worry, I have been there too. After a year in college, I felt that I was lacking some creativity skills partly because I was mainly focused on my major and classes. I did not bother to explore other disciplines that also required foundational knowledge, discipline, and mastering a new way of thinking. And in trying to find a balance between my academic life and finding a safe affordable hobby, I somehow found my way into the world of photography.
I’m fortunate because my college, Berea College, has a work-study program, where students are encouraged to choose a labor department they would love to work at. I decided to join the College’s Marketing and Communication Team and it was here that I found my love for the camera, and my photography journey began.
Berea College’s Marketing & Communications office mission is to capture and produce still and moving images that support the promotion of the college to targeted external audiences. To advance this mission as a student photographer, I had the chance to do photo shoots with seniors, friends and the magazines, as well as many other tasks where alumni, patrons, friends and students of the college saw my work, and eventually I began to book shoots on a personal level, not just with the department.
Prior to joining my college’s photography team, I had no knowledge on how to use a camera. The only experience I had with cameras was a smart phone camera just like most people. Somehow, I had to learn the basics about photography. My photography supervisor, Crystal Wylie, basically took me under her wing and taught me all that I now know. I remember my first photography assignment was to capture some images of the squirrels around my college’s campus. Can you imagine how that was? Squirrels are not the best subjects to capture because they are “squirrelly little beasts.” Most of my images I captured that day were blurry because I did not understand the basic camera settings that I needed to set to deal with the motion of the squirrels.This squirrel situation became a learning experience for my future shoots. Since then, I have learned more and more about photography and created my own style of photography.
I ventured into photography with the sole goal to embrace and improve my inner creativity. But here I am, more than a year later, still passionately practicing photography and it doesn’t seem to end anytime soon. Personally, by practicing the art of photography every day, I’ve come to see the world differently. It has also changed my perception of what in life is important and worthwhile. There is beauty in the little things. I am glad that I took that leap to explore the field of photography because by recording the happiest moments of my audience, I spend more time thinking about the good things. Never limit yourself to what life is seemingly offering to you. There is more in this world to find a solace. Photography has given me that solace!