Why I love photography?
This is difficult to put into words but I will try. I lost a large part of the vision in my right eye in 2007. I lost a lot of memories as well. I had an arterial bisection in my brain. I am lucky to be alive and functioning at all.
I don’t know why I decided to buy myself a camera. Maybe I was looking for a way to regain my ability to see and I was looking for a creative outlet to satisfy the artist in me. I cannot paint or draw anymore. The message gets scrambled from brain to hand. So I thought maybe I can use a camera. I researched on Amazon and I splurged on a Canon T3i. Hey, free shipping right?!
When it arrived, I put the battery in and away I went. I was enthralled and challenged. It was exactly what I needed. After two years now, photography has become my passion. There is always something to learn. Always something to strive for. Always a wonderful surprise when a photo comes out just right or better than you envisioned! Photography is my escape from stress and my pursuit of beauty all rolled into one. If I have a bad day, I go shoot and all is right with my world.
My favorite thing about MPA?
Traveling with a group of like minded people, (photographers), while being watched over by the McKay crew. Any question I have about photography, someone is available to help. I love to travel without stressing about the itinerary or where I will stay, etc. etc. etc. It is really quite nice. I need a support group and they keep me on track.
My favorite trip with MPA?
Cuba, Bavaria, Vermont were all fantastic experiences. But my favorite trip is still my first trip. Winter Yosemite 2015. Adam Furtado took me under his wing the first morning and showed me how to shoot Manual mode. I have not looked back since. The encouragement that I was given on that trip helped me to get through the initial frustration of learning something so new to me and gave me the understanding that this was worth the effort.
My aspirations as a photographer/artist?
I want to be as good as I can be. I would like to continue creating and capturing for the rest of my life. I set goals for myself. This year my goal is to learn portrait photography because I found myself to be very intimidated by it. Next year it may be to start charging people for those portraits! Not necessarily because I want to go into business but it would be lovely to retire and have an additional source of income from my photography that will pay for the gear and travel! Best of both worlds right?
Where do you look forward to traveling next?
Yellowstone in January 2017 is my next big trip with MPA. But I like to schedule something every 2-3 months on a smaller scale. In the fall I am attending the portrait academy for the second time. Visits to friends and family are always good. I would like to explore just about everywhere in the world but can only take the time for one international trip per year. Shorter trips to explore the US are easier to fit in and really enjoyable as well.
Any info I want to share about myself and work?
I share the fact that I am a traumatic brain injury survivor because one of the biggest issues for those with this challenge is that they feel isolated and alone. Symptoms are not visible to the average person and understanding of the challenges faced every day is almost non existent. Depression is a very real outcome for most because they do not see how they can lead a life of exploration and independence. I want them to know it is possible. I want them to see that I am doing it and so can they.