Why I hide behind my camera

When I began this journey behind the camera, I wasn't sure how things would turn out. All I knew is that I loved what I was doing. I wanted to capture the beauty that I was soaking in. I wanted to show myself, and others, that even though the world is crazy right now, there is beauty all around us (I know that sounds sooo "American Beauty," but I think the weird dude had a point. The movement of that bag during that scene was poetic).

While I have always loved taking pictures, it wasn't a passion until this year. Before this year, I was a selfie queen. I always took pictures of myself, especially when I was at my lowest weight (which was 138lbs). I have battled my weight most of my life, and when I began losing weight, I started to "feel myself," as the kids say. Despite the fact that I was loving being a size 4, I had the masses telling me that I was "too fugly to live," and that I was still "massively obese." Being on my journey became a negative experience. I felt like, no matter what I did, I would always be the 260lb "monster" that everyone sees. My world was chaos. I was hungry for beauty.

I went through a lot last year, not just because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I went through a lot of personal trials. These trials were so extreme, that they rattled every fabric of my being. I changed because of what I went through. I began learning more about myself. I started to love myself for the first time ever. I also began realizing my life's passions. Photography fell into my lap accidentally. I started taking pics with my iPhone, which came out pretty good. A lot of my friends were telling me that photography was my calling. My grandfather sent me his old camera, and I became addicted to every aspect of that camera. I was capturing the beauty that was in front of me. I was able to see complete textures of leaves, flowers, insects, trees, animals, etc.

Beauty is everywhere! The way the sun hits the leaves, the flowers, the grass after a dewy morning. The way a bee begins its descent onto a flower. The way a duck enjoys a swim in a pond. The way a Great Blue Heron flies through the sky over a lake. It's all breathtaking. Why would I ever go back to selfies, when beauty is out there to behold? Don't get me wrong, I think I'm beautiful inside and out, but I spent so much time worrying about how people saw me, that I missed all the beauty around me. There's something about the beauty of nature that makes you feel alive. I get an adrenaline rush whenever I am able to capture beauty with my camera. In a way, taking pictures is a sort of therapy for me. This world is full of man-made chaos. If I can bring beauty to someone's life with my photos, then there is nothing more I could ask for. I will hide behind my camera, and bring the wonders of nature to you with my photos.

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