Put passion first, and money will always follow.

I love photography.

I love being able to express myself through the means of showing other people how I view the world, and the things that are beautiful to me. 

I got my first camera when I was 8, in Guatemala with my family, adopting my baby sister, Aven. Who is 8 now. We were there for 3 months.

We were there over the course of Christmas, 2008. I got my first camera then, because the idea of being able to document my life, and my story, in a visual way, fascinated me. Though I didn't view it as anything big or complicated at the time, I just wanted a camera because I thought it would be cool to have one.  I realize now why I thought it would be cool.

It wasn't until early 2012 when I started to tap further into that. I saw the beautiful things that my inspirations were designing and crafting. The idea of having a skilled craft began to fascinate me. The idea of being incredibly talented, at a single task, that appealed to people in a way that nothing else ever has, is what drove me to find what task that should be.

Late 2013. My brother wanted a camera so he could trace pictures to practice his drawing. I wanted a camera so I could become a photographer. I had realized at this point that I love the idea of honoring creation, honoring others, expressing your eye, and capturing the beauty that is our lives, so I wanted to pursue that passion that I was starting to feel. 

We decided to merge our money, and buy a Canon Rebel T3, with a kit 18-55 lens. 

And from there on out I became a gear hog and wasted all my money on new lenses and bodies went bankrupt.


And from there out, I began to slowly realize how tangible it is for me to really pursue photography as a form of expression. I couldn't remember a time of my life where I didn't have something to work on. Something to turn to. Whether it be music, friends, videogames even. I saw that photography could help fulfill my need to do, to create and design, and was also something that would have, though not immediate, very large payoff for my life.

Early 2015, I was looking for any job I could get. At this point, I had studied my heart out trying to figure out what ISO, Shutter speed, and aperture were. Lighting techniques, different types of light, how to function in different situations, how to get a smile, etc etc. Though now I know more than I ever did then, I was so ready to take on any job I could. I had at this point, a Rebel T3i, a 50mm f1.8, and an off market flash head. My 18-55 kit lens had been scratched during a family vacation. A very powerful setup if you know how to work it.

I heard that a family friend of ours was having a baby shower. I asked if she would like photos, and I got a yes. I asked if they'd like me to take them, and they said why not.

I had to keep my cool, obviously. But in my head I was freaking out.

The photos turned out amazing. So many moments captured, so many slight glimpses and laughs. The photos went up on Facebook, and straight away, another friend of my family commented on one saying "Get this kid to a wedding. He's got an eye." or something of the sort. 

Whether she was being silly or not was irrelevant to me, so I took her up on her offer. Turned out, she meant it, and was doing a wedding about two months later.

And now I'm here.

Though I got a tad sidetracked, here is the point of this post.. 

Many people jump into photography with money on their heart. There's nothing wrong with wanting money, but if it controls who you are, then that becomes greed. 

If you're a photographer out of greed, I urge you to rethink why you attempt to be an artist at all.

I see too many photographers, whom, when you speak with them about their "passion", they're short winded, vague, they haven't put much thought into anything other than the technical aspect. 

Photography, done right, is an extension out into the minds of others, showing them how you view the world. Showing others the beauty that they've missed.

How amazing it is how much slower I take life now.

And again, there's nothing wrong with a hard worker, but don't call yourself an artist if all you do is follow the crowd, follow the money, follow the payoff.

I take pictures because I love it. I take pictures because beauty flies by our eyes like nothing else. It's human nature. We're spoiled, we see beauty, and we ask what's next. 

I'm not completely sure how to end this post. If there's anything to take away from it, though, it would be the title.

Good luck being passionate about a skill, a service, and not being asked to work for someone else at some point. Hence, "Put passion first, and money will always follow."

God bless, everyone.