I remember buying my camera back in 2013, it literally sat in my house for months before I really picked it up. People didn't know me as a photographer, I didn't even think of myself as a creative... So who was I to pick up this foreign hobby and try to be somebody? I couldn't cope with the idea, yet I couldn't get rid of my camera. For months, it sat in what was my production room at the time, mounted beautifully on this Manfrotto tripod, however, no form of art was being produced.
I wasn't a photographer. I didn't know who I was, or who I was trying to be. I couldn't have been impersonating anyone, as I didn't know too many people with a camera. This lack of confidence to change the perception of who I was to myself and to others was so hard. I wanted to be a photographer so bad, but I didn't believe it, so how could I expect others to?
A year went by, and my camera was still mounted to that beautiful tripod. I had all these ideas, I had done all this research, yet I still couldn't come to grips with the idea of calling myself a creative, at least not in person. I was on the internet, I participated in all of the popular forums, mostly lurking, but commenting and asking questions occasionally. I joined sites like 500px and Flickr, I even joined Vimeo with the hopes of one-day making cinema quality type movies. I upgraded my camera gear, picking up L lenses and prosumer geared camera bodies, I had everything a photographer needed, but I lacked confidence. It was so hard for me to tell people about my new hobby, during this time everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was becoming a photographer. It was synonymous with the time that everyone started to become a rapper. It was a bubble and for the longest period I felt like being a photographer was now this cool thing and it was too late for any newcomers.
Except I wasn't a newcomer, I had my camera long before it was cool. I had my camera when it was the unpopular hobby (it was never unpopular, but so to the masses). I owned my camera before the Instagram hype, before urban exploring and roof topping... I began to question my doubts. Why did I care what these people thought? Why is it okay for everyone else to be a part of this amazing craft, but not me?
This is where May 24th came into play. May 24th was the first time I went outside with another person and took photographs. It was the day I became Keenan the photographer. I felt like some well-educated cave man. I was so experienced, yet I had no actual experience. I had read so much, and now it was time to finally put it all to test. It was such an amazing experience, I must've stayed outside for almost 8-10 hours that day just shooting photographs of whatever. Looking back at it, my style hasn't changed too much... I'm honestly not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. One thing I did notice was that when I took photographs of people it was from great distance, most of the times using the long end of my 24-105L.
Since then I've become this confident dare-devil. I use to be this shy person capturing candid moments and now I'm this person who embraces the idea of up close & personal human interaction. I use to be this person who was so afraid to tell his friends and family that I liked the idea of creating something in fear that I would fail and look stupid and now not only am I sharing my work with those around me, but to those all around the world. This blog post is about growth, rather it be slow or rapid. Growth is possible. And if you're someone who is in the shoes I once wore then swap them out for a new pair. Be loud, be liberal, try new things and most importantly share your work.
For fun, I included a few pictures from this day. The pictures themselves are kind of boring, and the new edits aren't very grand either, but I thought it would be fun to travel back in time and look at these. I hope you enjoy them and I hope this article inspired someone to make today their anniversary as well.