I have to admit that I am falling prey to a mix of emotions. Everything from pure excitement, anxiety, nausea and a little fear. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown. The notion of leaving everyone and everything I love behind for three and a half months to pursue a dream. Traveling across the globe to a place I’ve never been 2,000 miles from home. Fear that however good I might think I am, I might pale in comparison to some rock star student who I’ll openly admire and secretly loathe with envy. Will I ever be that good? Will these foreign concepts resonate quickly and hold captive deep in my grey matter? Self doubt trickles despite my biggest efforts to keep it at bay. (I owned and sold a business for God sakes!) But then I think about the absolute joy I get when I put the camera up to my face and start shooting. How I love capturing the perfect emotion on someone’s face or that special way the light travels through the trees and casts gold upon the grass. Oh and color! How it vividly bursts out at you, demanding, no, commanding your attention in brilliant shades and in the most unpredictable places. That’s when I realize that this is what I was meant to do.
It’s been a dream in the making for the last ten years after my first photography workshop with my father in Austin, Texas. All this time that’s what it was; just a dream. There was always an excuse as to why it couldn’t be a reality. I don’t have enough money. How would I survive without a paycheck? It’s in Montana, am I crazy? (It’s bear country up there and freakin’ cold!) And my favorite excuse, maybe in a different life with different circumstances. But I find is that what we regret most are the chances we never took. Reminds me of a quote: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” by Abraham Lincoln. Aptly put. Life is way too short to stay in one place and not do what we love. So I say, better late than never.
Now choosing to think on the bright side and focus on that excitement I hope to accomplish a great many things. I want to know my camera and all my equipment inside and out. I want to master the art of output and creating beautiful prints because as I see it, the computer hijacking and holding all digital images hostage is the greatest travesty to this kind of creative expression. I want to learn how to see. See creatively. See light. See the littlest details. See what others take for granted. See moments. I hope to come away with a clearer idea of the kind of photography I’d like to focus on professionally and be open-minded enough to accept that it might be different than what I originally anticipated. And most importantly, I want to be able to look at a scene, know in my head exactly how I want it to look and instinctively pick up my camera and create that image. I want it to be second nature. Like driving my manual transmission. I also hope that after it’s all said and done, that I have a network of new friends that I can call upon for ideas and inspiration. That after we’ve put all our blood, sweat, and tears into this experience, that we’ll forever be tied by this life changing adventure.
This is all a leap of faith into the unknown. But I can see that wave of light beckoning from a distance and it’s time to dance in it, with arms spread and eyes wide open.
Much love to my husband, my family and friends.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot.