Coming into track I knew that I would be majorly challenged and have spent my last year looking forward to being a student once again. I've found that when I take a break from learning, I always end up craving more schooling (I'm sure most of my college-going friends will find that a crazy thought) so when we arrived here in Brantford two months ago I was fully prepared to jump straight into classes and exercise my brain! It's been my dream for several years now to study photography and I'm loving it. Mostly. If I'm being really honest I have to admit that I've been really challenged throughout the entire time that we've been here. On one hand I'm living out my dream and finally learning how to take control over my camera, starting to see how it's possible that someday I could produce the photos that I have only been able to dream about so far. Yet on the other hand I have been struggling with pretty much every.single.step along the way.
Obviously learning a new skill isn't going to happen immediately. I'm not going to be a skilled, professional photographer after only two months of tuition and I didn't/don't expect that to happen.
What I wasn't expecting was that I would stop enjoying taking photos.
For those of you who have known me previously you probably picture me with a camera in hand at all times and most likely have at least one memory of me insisting that you would thank me later for taking the photo that I wanted in that moment. I treasure so many photos, even the absolutely terrible ones, because they have captured precious moments of my life.
But ever since arriving in Brantford I've found that I rarely have the desire to just carry my camera around like I used to. It should be opposite, right? I'm travelling with other photographers, in a new place, with new friends, enjoying changing seasons and experiencing life from a new perspective - I should be more keen than ever to document what's going on around me!
The only problem is that I have been letting my fear of failure get in the way. Ever since the first class that we had (when Jon made us switch our cameras to manual and promise never to shoot in auto again) I've been really disappointed with all of my photos. At first I really embraced the challenge and forced myself to take more photos than I wanted, just for practise, but found that as time progressed I would only ever take photos for our assignments because I just couldn't get the results that I was desiring for any of them!
(Wow - I promise this really isn't as depressing of a post as it sounds!)
Over the last few weeks I've slowly been building up my confidence and actually enjoying bringing out my camera even when I'm not required to for an assignment. Even though I'm not happy with the quality of the photos that I'm taking at the moment - I'm not going to be getting any better when I leave my camera sitting in my bag, right?
I can't let my disappointment and the less-than-perfect photos that I've been taking stop me from doing something that I know that I love. I just need to re-discover the joy of learning and choose to focus on that rather than on my failures!
So to finish up - here's a couple of the photos that I've been taking over the last few weeks when I've been going through this process of starting to re-discover the joy that photography brings.