Have you ever loved something so much, but then one day it’s not part of your everyday-life anymore? And it’s not because you stopped loving it. It’s just because there needed to be more room for other things.
That’s how I felt like with my dSLR camera Nick (yes I name my cameras). I loved Nick so much when I first got him from Costco nearly six years ago. I thought he was my most prized possession. I wanted to learn all about Nick and how to use him. I bought him accessories. I carried him with me everywhere I went (mostly because I was doing the photo-a-day challenge thing). I felt so cool carrying him with me, even though I always felt shy having him around my neck. But with him, I felt special. I felt important. I was taking photos with a professional camera – documenting my life while honing my photography taking skills. And with each shutter click, I was getting better.
And then I got an iPhone – my first smartphone with a decent camera. So I tried to learn all about my iPhone camera and how to take decent but good photos with it. It was so easy to learn and use – not to mention it was very easy to carry around. Then suddenly I stopped carrying Nick with me. Why carry a heavy, bulky dSLR when I got a decent one that easily fit in my pocket and would always already have it with me?
I still loved Nick. But I found myself loving him from the top shelf. And then from the camera bag. And then only on special occasions. And then only when I could make the effort.
Then my parents wanted to borrow Nick when they went on vacations, so I let them. He’s been to Peru and Europe without me. Of course I was jealous, but I was also glad he was getting loved outside his bag. But he’d always end up back there when the vacation was over. I was abandoning Nick, my good friend. I just didn’t have the time to take photos and the space to carry him around like I used to.
However, a few weeks ago I accompanied my brother and sister-in-law to a photoshoot taken by our friend Josh. Initially, I didn’t know but I was so glad I went. During the second part of the photoshoot, I became second shooter. Josh told me to hold one of his camera (he was using two) and said I could take photos and play around with it if I’d like. And I did like.
It felt so good to be behind the lens again. To play with the aperture and the f-stop. To get the settings just good enough to get a good enough shot. I felt important again. I felt happy. It felt like eating pho on a rainy day – warm and fulfilling.
I had forgotten how much I loved it. And I felt bad because I remembered Nick still on my shelf, in his bag, waiting for me.
The next day I got a text from Josh sending me a photo I took of my sister-in-law that he edited. He told me he thought it was the best photo of the session. Let me pause here to tell you that Josh is one of the best photographers I know, and I’m not just saying that because he’s a good friend. He’s really good.
If you’re curious, here is that photo I took (but edited by Josh):
So having him tell me that he thought the photo I took ~accidentally I might add~ was the “best” felt really good. Something in me clicked. Maybe it was the realization that I should get back into photography. That I should bring out Nick again and take photos just for fun because I still love it. Maybe it’s just what I need to get out of this slum that I think I’m having.