Another blog in my series about what photography means to different people in their lives! This post comes courtesy of a dear friend, Katy, graduate of Radford University with BFA in Graphic Design. She spent 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa designing for the IMB and sharing the love of Jesus. If you need her to do something, the best form of bribery is through a cup of coffee or a cone of ice cream. Currently, Katy is serving with a campus ministry in Northern Kentucky.
I remember the day I realized I could make a picture look artistic. My roommate showed me the “micro” setting on my point-and-shoot and I fell in love. That was 5 years ago. Since then I’ve grown so much as a photographer, as an artist, and as someone who just appreciates capturing life in any format.
In 2010 I attended the PASSION Conference in Atlanta, Georgia for the first time. If you’re familiar with it, you know it is nothing short of an incredible experience. One of their projects is the Do Something Now area. This massive setup is available for attendees to walk through and become aware of the world’s injustices (lack of clean water, human trafficking, aids, etc.). I specifically remember walking up on a section dedicated to Clean Water and seeing an image similar to this:
It altered the way I thought of photographs. They no longer consisted of my everyday moments, but it now included everyday moments for someone who is experiencing clean water for the first time. I soon thereafter learned of Esther Havens and her incredible work with humanitarian organizations. She captures people so realistically and in such a hopeful light, I couldn’t help but long for her eye behind the lens.
The fact that anyone could capture this moment so beautifully shifted my ambitions for photography. I wanted to always photograph things that gave a face and name to the stories, people, injustices, or celebrations, of whomever, whatever I encountered. Photographs became my novels, written by an amateur author.