Yesterday I got thinking about life from the past, life in the present, and just a bit about life in the future. Mostly what I was thinking about was photography.
When I was 16, I went and visited my dad, and while I was there, I took some pics. They weren't terrifically amazing, but I thought that they were pretty, and I tucked them away in a scrapbook. That year, one of my friends started taking a photography class. I deemed him a guru and brought a few pics from that summer to show to him and see what he thought. He looked at them and said that they were "nice". I didn't join photography.
In my high school's photography classes, well, heck, in my entire high school, were kids with vast amounts of money and lots of talent. My family didn't have the money, and I doubted my talent. I didn't want to join and fail. But my love for photography was there, and my longing for an SLR was there too.
Soon out of high school I got married, had babies, and had more things to worry about than photography, though I loved going to art museums and seeing the paintings and photos there.
Over the years, I have played with many point-and-shoot cameras for recording milestones and memories, but it has only been in the last three or so that I started playing with landscapes again
Last March, I visited the DSLRs in in the electronics department of Walmart like I'd been doing for several months and found that the one I was looking at (Canon's Rebel EOS XS) was GONE!! I went to the photo department and the lady said that they had discontinued carrying them. My heart sank. I had saved up half of the money several times in the past few years just to have emergencies come up and use the money I had saved. The other Rebel EOS's (XSi, XTi's) were much more expensive than the XS, and Walmart had the least expensive XS's of everywhere I'd looked. She asked if I wanted her to call other stores and see if they had any left, and I said yes please, so she did. (The story of the hunt for my camera is here In a nutshell, I found a display XS for a reduced price at a close by store and snagged it.
I am *so* glad that I bought that camera, and I have learned a few important lessons about photography, too, but the most important lesson of all is to never underestimate myself. I knew I loved photography, but it was fear that held me back.
I got thinking of all of this when I went and shot portraits for my kids' dance teacher, shooting individuals and groups. I realized then that I had wasted a lot of time by being afraid. 25 years in fact. My friend who took the photography class went on to get his degree, become a photojournalist, and do his own photography on the side.
And here I am, finally doing what I love. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
The moral of the story is: believe in yourself and don't let fear of failing stand in your way.
I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas day yesterday, and I hope that you can find rest and peace today.