Before graduating from high school I told my parents “I want to be a photographer.”
My father said “Photography is not a career, it’s just a hobby!”
So I kissed my dreams of becoming a photographer that time goodbye and took a management course at the University of the Philippines thinking it would be more appropriate to become a businesswoman to be successful in life.
All of us have different callings and not everything we plan might turn up the way we wanted it to be. I remember telling my friends in 5th grade that I want to become a lawyer and a professional tennis player. Funny when I think about it now; that the idea of going to law school actually scares me and I can’t even play tennis very well.
And so after 4 years in college and a year of experience in the corporate world, if I ask myself today what do I want to become I’d still tell myself the same thing –
I want to be a photographer.
But what does it take to become a photographer?
Of course you need to have a camera. This requires financial resources in order to buy the things you need to become a photographer. A DSLR, lens, tripod, flash, bag, reflector and the list would go on and on to the point of ripping your pockets just by the thought of it. You’ll also need to understand the basics of photography. Know the functions of shutter speed, aperture, ISO and familiarize yourself with the settings and modes of your camera. You also need to know how to post-process your pictures using software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom and so many others. You need to have the time to practice and get yourself taking pictures every now and then to enhance your skill. It’s just like going to war.
Some people might already get intimidated because of these requirements but as long as you are passionate about something, nothing can stop you.
And so I tried to learn photography through the tutorials that can be found in YouTube and met some photographers who taught me along the way. I didn’t have a formal training whatsoever. I just applied everything in the field; bringing my camera with me wherever I go.
Because of this, I was able to influence my Dad to learn and love photography as well. He realized how important it is to take a picture and record those moments that’ll just be part of our memory. Now, my Dad is photographer too and spends most of his time taking pictures of my Mom.
I am not yet the best in what I do, but I’m trying. Teaching people photography for free is my way of helping those who are dedicated to discover the art – just like a pay it forward kind of thing. I am not a saint but helping people learn photography is as equally rewarding as taking a really good picture.