All my life I've been a writer. It's always come easy for me, articulating my thoughts and feelings on paper. I've off and on kept a journal since I learned the alphabet (that's only a slight exaggeration) and I've always excelled at anything reading and writing related in school. I remember writing an essay about my favorite place, Green Lake, BC when I was in 4th grade and my teacher liking the details and descriptions so much that she gave it to the schools middle school language arts teacher to use as an example for her students. Writing just comes natural for me. But I think in words, not pictures, and anything that requires visualization I struggle with. When I was in middle school I was asked to solve a math problem that most of the class finished in 10 minutes or so. I, trying to use algebra, couldn't get it until the teacher finally showed me the simple solution-- draw a picture. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind.
Fast forward to my last semester in college- I was taking a poetry class and wrote a poem from the perspective of an army wife whose husband is deployed. It talked about everything that is different around the house- "your army boots left/ there is no longer dirty digi-camo on the dining/ room floor." and ended with something along the lines of, "I try to picture your face but/ I can't remember our nose." Everyone in my class had basically the same reaction when I read the poem aloud-- a laugh accompanied by a question, "Is that supposed to be sincere or funny?" My answer was both. Even if my husband is just in a different room than me I can't picture the details of his face. I can describe him, but I can't picture him.
So at the beginning of the year when I picked up my first DSLR camera, I was introduced to a way of thinking very different from my own. Sure, you have to think in words and numbers to understand the exposure triangle and get proper settings, but none of that matters if the image on the screen isn't interesting and well composed. Photographers have to see the world in terms of light, color, and shape. Theres a big difference between looking at a sunset and seeing beams of yellow light slicing through the pink clouds, and actually composing that into a picture that you hang on your wall. I like photography because it's a challenge and a new way of seeing. Even when I watch a movie now I see film techniques and shapes of bokeh where I used to see plot holes and underdeveloped characters. It's so different.
The other thing that draws me into photography is the ability to save a moment. Because I don't have the ability to picture a person's face, a photo is that much more valuable to me. I may not be able to imagine how my husband and I looked today ten years down the road, but with a photo I can always remember. I think that's pretty great.