From the moment I took my first half way decent (Ok...it eas less then half way decent. It was practically a Child's shaky image) photo, I knew I wanted to keep taking pictures. I loved it. The click of the camera, the cold, metal feeling in my hands that somehow radiated happy warmth, the Frozen image that pulled you into time travel. I wanted to keep doing that, simply skipping through the world, taking imagery.

 On my 13th birthday, my parents got me my first 'real' camera, a Canon G10 (named Camryn). And I decided to get good enough at the art to take portraits. I will admit, when I am simply given a very expensive gift, I mentally decide to make it up to the giver somehow. My parents (not meanly, they tought that was the direction I wanted...and I did to) started steering me into professional portrait photography.

I thought I wanted to get into photographing people professionally. After all, if you are going to be big in the photographer world, you have to do that, right? Olin Mills didn't get huge by taking pictures of dandelions. 

Slowly, I started realizing something...I began to hate photography. My camera was put up on a shelf, I had to make myself take any pictures at all. For someone who used to love doing it, it struck me as odd. I did a bunch of heart searching, and came out with, I wasn't doing what made me happy.  I wanted to dance and take pictures of Flowers, Butterflies, and hidden things. Not people.  Yeah, taking pictures of my siblings made me happy, but the few photoshoots I had, they made me feel empty, and stressed. And I didn't enjoy them in the least. And my photos weren't lying. They were getting worse, and worse...and worse. They had no heart, no 'umph' behind them.

Yet, even though I knew the reason why I was growing to dislike even picking up my camera, I didn't change the path I was on. "Mama and Daddy are so proud of me, and they really want me to do this. They bought the camera for me, I don't want to disappoint them" I reasoned.   Sometimes I could urge the slightest bit of passion into doing my craft, but most of the time, I just felt dead to it. I really didn't want to, but a strange sense that I had to kept me coming back to it grudgingly.

Last night, however, I decided to bring it to Mama. As I laid it all at her feet, the way I felt, what I really wanted, everything, she asked, "What do you really love doing?" I replied, "Photography, Writing, and singing". She simply nodded, and said, "What is making you dislike photography, however?".  I told her that it was having to do a genre I didn't like. My heart just wasn't in people photographing unless it was random. I told her I didn't want to do it, and she interupted me with some of the most beautiful words I have ever heard:
"Then Don't".
I started crying then, I bthought she wanted me to do this, and come to find out, she really didn't care. She had gotten me the camera since I loved photography, not becuase she wanted me to be good at it (Well, she is proud I'm decent in that art...lol), not because she wanted me to get famous and popular, and make buckets, and rival Olin Mills and Sears.
You guys might think it nonsense and silly that I cried, but honestly, it was so freeing hearing her say that. Like I had this big, massive chain keeping me down, and when she said that, it dropped off.  I was so light and happy. In fact, all I wanted to do was take pictures, and dance, and sing, and be happy.
I've got my focus straightened out. Which, is ironic, as a photographer, having the picture in focus is really important, yet, I didn't have my picture in focus. But I'm all tack sharp, and all the noise is removed from my image (Photographer talk). 
Will I still take pictures of people? Yeah, I don't mind doing it family/friend settings, and if someone out right asks me to take their pictures, I'll gladly do it. I wont be broadcasting my name, and advertising, however. I'm not searching for that sort of business.
And I'm a lot happier.

Thats what really matters, isn't It?

A Hobby isn't a hobby unless you enjoy it.


  1. I think that this really was a wonderful post, Ashley. The posts that always come straight from the heart are always the most intriguing. And I'm so thankful to hear that when you talked to your mom, all of the weight on your shoulders dropped right off. I find that when I talk to my mom about something that is bothering me, it really does help a lot. :) I have missed the blogging world a lot! I hope to start back again soon.

  2. That's awesome.
    I always feel so much more free when I realize I don't HAVE to do something!!
    (Oh, and I heartily approve of every song on your tracklist)


Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
- Blaise Pascal