About two weeks ago, I encountered my first nasty comments written about my online by another photographer. It has happened before, quite a few times over the course of this year, but my name had never been brought into it, so I let it go. But this time my name was right there, out in the open for the world to see. At first, I was embarrassed and angry and worried about ridiculous things. I wanted to flat out quit. A 9-5 job doesn’t sound half bad when poop hits the fan in this industry. I wanted to just delete Facebook and my entire blog and get rid of things that I have worked so hard to put together. And then I remembered I need to calm down (and re-read this).
The last time I felt the way I did a few weeks ago, was in high school when I was being bullied. It was brutal. As a teenager you don’t know what to think or handle that kind of stress. Often times, you think of extremes like taking your own life or dropping out of school. Neither of those are the right answer. For me now, I utilize what I have. Photography for me used to be a stress reliever, a job I did on the weekends because it was fun and wasn’t my depressing job. But at the same time, let’s get real – some of her comments are damn near correct – I was no where near as good as I am now. I have attended enough workshops and classes and learned everything there is to know about my camera to know that maybe I didn’t have any business doing photography at all 5-6 years ago. I overexposed like crazy and my coloring in editing and my white balance….let’s not even talk about that, because it doesn’t really matter. What matters is, when things get rough, I like to remember that photography can still be that outlet for me. That the power to create something bigger than the thing that is bothering me is incredible. And the power to be able to write about it, is even more incredible.
This shoot might not seem like much, but I took my beautiful little sister, who is the age I was when I was being tortured in high school, off to a path and took photos. It was the best idea we have had together in a long time. Just two artists, hanging out in the woods, creating something beautiful.