Sometime during my senior year of high school, photography piqued my interest, I’d spend my free time in class researching everything photography. I read countless articles outlining how to become a traveling photographer, what kind of camera to buy, different techniques, and of course, I spent hours staring at locations that everyone dreams of seeing with their own eyes. Zion National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Santorini Greece, Iceland, and so many others.
I was inspired. But I all I had was an iPhone and a dream.
My first piece of equipment was a 3 pack of those little lenses that clip on over your phone lens and offer different advantages (although I’m pretty sure the difference they made was barely noticeable). But I didn’t care, in my eyes, I had a camera, and I was ready to become a photographer.
Not long after that, my dad had to make a day trip to the Dallas area and back, about 9 hours roundtrip. He was aware of my newfound passion, and desire to shoot as much as possible, and he asked if I wanted to tag along, offering to stop at as many state parks as we could along the route. I eagerly accepted.
During those 600 miles, we stopped to take pictures of lakes, birds, creeks, scenic overlooks and everything in between. What should have been a 9 hour trip I’m pretty sure ended up taking us over 12, but we had a blast, and I had my first group of photographs that I looked at and felt pride in. They were simple and sightly overedited, but I was proud of them.
Looking back, I think that day was one of the most important in my growth as a photographer. Before that, I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone by stopping to take pictures, or bore them, but that day, that was the goal, and I’m grateful for that. Thanks for that, Dad.
Christmas of my senior year, my family got me my first real camera, a Nikon Coolpix L830, a simple camera, but to me, it was gold, and in my mind, I was set to become the greatest photographer on Earth.