Every week, I get the opportunity to do something new with photography. Last Friday, a group of us went to Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia. We spent 2 hours under the earth shooting stalactites and stalagmites. The imagination goes wild when you look at pictures from these caves. One picture of mine was said to have a monster from Pirates of the Caribbean, a giant skeleton hand or a "shrunken head" on the wall. It was a lot of fun.
The next morning I found myself set up in a warehouse with 4 other photographers. We each had our own space and "models" paid an entrance fee to come in and went from photographer to photographer getting their picture taken. I learned more about portraits, posing and lighting in that one day than I learned in any 3 previous months combined. It was non-stop shooting for over 4 hours. One thing that I impressed myself with was my ability to get the models to "let loose" a little bit. The shaking of the hair, flowing of the dress as they danced, or the action of a ballerina doing a jump really helps tell a story in a photograph. It also helps get the models to loosen up and look more natural if they can shake some of their nervousness out.
I continue to tutor and mentor other photographers. I'm not remarkably talented, by any means, but I am fairly adept with the technical aspects of photography and I enjoy sharing that with other people.
The photography club I belong to has doubled in size in the last year due to a great, energetic and remarkably enthusiastic President and a more "strong and silent" type VP who does a huge amount behind the scenes. There are a lot of people who contribute to the club, but it wouldn't be what it is without Joe at the helm.
I quite simply love the journey I'm on as a photographer. It started with the book "Stunning Digital Photography" by Tony and Chelsea Northrup. And this journey will continue until the day I take my last breath. I just hope I properly express my gratitude, I keep myself humble, and I share what and when I can with others. And I hope that all of my words are positive.
As a very good friend of mine said one morning, at 5:30 am as he went to the gym before work "Here I go into the world, may I make it a better place."
I hope I make this world just a little bit better through photography. Because photography has made my world a whole lot better.
With gratitude, Jon.