What the Wizard of Oz taught me.
Last year about this time, I bought a used camera from a photography friend. It was quite an upgrade from the camera that I had been using, and it was a great deal. I thought I needed it to somehow improve my photography; maybe it would make my pictures more heartfelt or make people notice them more or make me a better photographer. I don't do photograph for a living. I do it as a passion because I always said when it became like work it wouldn't be a passion anymore, and it wouldn't be fun.
I kept that camera for a whole year, and I forced myself to use it every chance I got. On a recent trip to Hawaii I even ONLY took that camera because then I would only have that camera to use.....nothing to fall back on. I never fell in love with that camera, not the way I loved the one I've been using for years. I had sort of a Dorothy/Wizard of Oz epiphany. I realized I've had what I needed all the time; it's right here in my heart. You see, I don't want to be famous national geographic known photographer. I don't need to be. And all the fancy equipment in the world won't make me a better photographer if I don't have it in my heart. I know the day will come when this camera will give out on me and I will be forced to replace it with a newer, fancier model of some sort. But I just don't need to go searching for things to make me better when all I have to do is look inside myself for that challenge. That means I need to photograph more feelings. People want to look at a photograph and have it make them feel a certain way. When I was photographing inner city dogs in Atlanta years ago, some of the pictures I took of the animals would evoke tears. And that wasn't because of the lens I used or the camera I used, that was because when I took that picture, my soul connected to the animal. Listen I'm not tooting my own horn or trying to promote myself, I'm just saying that if it isn't in your heart it's gonna show.
If you're not a good football player, all the fancy football equipment in the world is not gonna change that; I could buy the most beautiful guitar in the world and although I've sang all my life, I would never be able to play that guitar because my heart wouldn't be in it.
I sold that newer fancier camera to a friend of mine this week. She was long over due for an upgrade, and she got even a better deal than I got! She will have fun becoming best friends with this camera. Then today I took my old camera friend out for a drive. We had fun getting reacquainted and we were looking for beautiful things to photograph; things that made my heart sing. Trust me when I tell you that God did not disappoint!
So folks-stop waiting for something bigger, newer, fancier, brighter, shinier or more expensive...... None of those things will really help you if what you're searching for isn't in your heart to begin with. Use what you have, where you are. As long as your heart's in it, everyone will know.
I love ya'll~