This photo is probably the only photo on my website that was not taken by me. I set up all the settings for the shot and handed it over to my aunt to take. Before taking this photo, she asked me why I was so sad. I didn’t really talk about it with her as I couldn’t put into words the reasons why. But mostly, I was just surprised that someone saw what I really felt during that whole trip. It’s not like I didn’t enjoy that trip but I was just generally sad during that point in my life.
I had a couple years into community college and still didn’t know what to do with my career. Lack of a vision and a goal have always bothered me but I was facing a specific uncertainty that doesn’t allow me to dream big. I had a bigger problem to tackle before even considering the possibility of figuring out what I wanted to do.
I was 19 in this photo. Pimply, awkward, confused, and most comfortable being depressed than cheerful. I had a reason to be despondent, being jovial is a delusion and a survival tactic.
In my own silence, I looked at the view in front of me and contemplated the day I’ve been having. In this particular day, I’ve taken so many great shots. I was having a great time figuring out my composition, lighting, and depth of field.
So I asked myself this question: What if I wanted to do this for the rest of my life?
Interrupting my thoughts, my aunt offered to take a photo of me in this view so I set up the camera and handed it to her. I was taking photos in black and white before the whole conversation started so this photo you’re looking at here is unedited and untouched.
As I was waiting for her to take the shot, I started counting the reasons why I shouldn’t even consider the possibility of being able to be a photographer as a career choice. I concluded that I wasn’t good enough to dream of that before I even gave myself a shot at it. By the time my aunt took my picture, I moved on from those thoughts.
I am guilty of a crime.
A crime I committed towards myself.
With my Earlier Works Collection, I am trying to heal this part of myself. Because looking back to the photos I’ve taken that day — I was actually off to a good start. I see that now. I just wish I saw it back then.
Also published on Medium.