2011 was a pretty hard year. I hear there was plenty of good and lots of bad for other people. For me, it was the same. Plenty of good. Lots of bad. Yet another year of making it work.
I kept up my perpetual effort to broaden my skills while getting more social. I know I tend to dig in and disappear… so, I worked on changing that and continued trying to balance life better.
I lost my dad to dementia in July, three days after my 25th high school reunion. I got the call the same morning I randomly woke up at 4am, for some strange reason, and started working. I never ever wake up that early to work but I sure did that day. I went straight to my computer and started editing reunion pictures, warming up for a busy day ahead. I was going through the images of people I’ve known forever and marveling at how great they all looked. Then that phone rang and my brother broke the news. The first thing I asked was, “Are you sure?” I couldn’t believe it. I had childishly believed throughout my dad’s illness that he would overcome the dementia and everything would be fine.
It is a strange serendipity that I was editing photos at that moment. My dad loved photography. He took a bajillion pictures of me when I was little. Later in life, in my 20s, he gave me his well-worn Pentax. I had wanted to take photography while in college but never had enough money to buy the needed equipment. I had no idea what to do with this camera although I did know it was an amazing gift. So, I tucked it away for some point later in life. Someday.
After the funeral, his wife started sending pictures that my dad had taken. As I looked through them I would think about how these pictures are all that is left of our time together and later realized what a precious gift, to receive these photos. There is no way to thank her enough!
I’ve spent this last week of 2011 watching online photography workshops and finding myself inspired and energized to learn more. I plan to dig into the technical details of camerawork, develop my style and continue building my brand this coming year. I am not sure whether I want to take portraits, shoot weddings or aim for commercial work, but along the journey of figuring it out I hope to take photos that will one day be as meaningful to someone else as these photos my dad took are to me.
It is finally time to take out that Pentax and use it. Someday is finally now!
Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012… Cheers!