2 years ago, before I knew what I was doing

Two years ago to date, I purchased my first camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR. And a year ago to date, I wrote the following:

A year ago today, I purchased my first camera. I remember reading that Ava DuVernay didn’t pick up a camera until she was 32. And there I was at 30, about to learn a brand new art form after designing for over 10 years. Not saying that I’m going to be a big time movie director like Ava or a world renowned photographer or anything, but a girl can dream, right? Quite honestly though, I wasn’t really sure until recently if I even wanted to pursue photography or if it was just a hobby for me. Even now, I’m still trying to figure out my purpose as an artist, the mark I want to leave on this world. I think that in the midst of creating, I’ll find it. But for now, I’ll just continue to enjoy the journey.

A single decision can completely change your life without you even knowing until that change has occurred. Purchasing that camera was that single decision for me. My original reason for the purchase was to take photos of some large scale marketing posters and signage I had designed for Artomatic, a local art festival. I had asked a friend of mine to borrow her camera, but she couldn't find her battery charger. At first, I was just going to buy a new charger, so I could still use her's, but I figured it would probably be best for me to purchase my own. After all, I had a ton of printed design work that needed to be photographed for my portfolio. It just made sense. I literally went to Best Buy that Friday evening and came home with a brand new camera kit.

Why Canon? Well, I went to art school. We used Canon in art school. Plain and simple. Besides, I had absolutely no intentions of making photography "a thing". I had graphic design... that was my thing. That camera was only supposed to be a tool for me to help showcase "my thing" and build my design business. Nothing more. Nothing less. Stuck in "jack of all trades, master of none" ideal.

I often stress the fact that I am very stubborn, like stubborn to the core. That is probably one of my worst characteristics. Thankfully, the universe has managed to find ways around this flaw of mine because the very next day after purchasing my camera, I met a photograpHER. She was hired by my job to photograph the event I was helping at. Now it's true what they say. "Like energy attracts like energy" because we hit it off immediately. She told me that she had only been doing photography for a year or so, which was a pretty big deal to me because the work event she was hired to photograph was my company's largest event of the year. I told her I was a graphic designer and that I had just purchased a camera the day before to photograph my work. She then informed me of a local photography class that was about to start the first week of April. So I registered. And it's been on ever since.

Now here's the thing about coincidences. That work event is usually held mid to late April. That year, in 2017 however, it was pushed up to late March. One month prior to that in February, I met with an admission representative for SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). I was thinking about going back to school for my masters. SCAD was one of the only grad programs that offered a full online curriculum for a MFA in graphic design. It was perfect. But I didn't want to add on to my student loans, so I went back to my original plan of trying to build my design business, only to purchase a camera a month later. I'm not quite sure what made me register for the photography classes. Maybe it was the itch for learning that I was missing. Or the subconscious desire I had to find another creative outlet. Or the need to finally escape that silly "jack of all trades, master of none" mantra that had control my art for so long.

Me shooting video in Cuba | Photo by Derrel R. Todd

These last two years have been nothing short of amazing. I am literally creating every single day. Be it designing, taking photos, shooting and editing videos, writing poetry, parenting, I am creating, and it is by choice. I can wholeheartedly say that I have never felt more full in my life. Wonderful, hopeful, meaningful, even stressful and doubtful at times. And through it all, I know that I'm on the right path. Through it all, I am -ful.

So, I'll leave you all with this.

"Coincidences exist only to assist." -Miesha Dennis

I am proof of this. One day, I will be completely transparent and tell my full story, but until then, I will continue upon this journey that has be placed before for me, thank the Universe for being always being patient with me, and learn how to work this used film camera I just got.

Happy Two Year Anniversary to me!

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