So what was it about a camera that even made you/me/us pick it up in the first place?

Seriously.  Think about it.

That simple question has been running through my head all day.  It made me think about this old Canon body that my dad used to have in our closet.  I couldn’t tell you how old this thing was, or the last time it had been used before I found it.  It was old enough that the smell of the leather case it had been kept in for all those years had permeated the entire camera.  When I was probably 9 years old I would go around the house winding that thing up and taking shots without any film in it just because I knew  it had to be the coolest thing in our house – it really was a cool camera and I really loved the noise of the mirror flapping up and down.  I liked the sheer look of the thing – It was rugged as all get out but I knew it was for making something beautiful.  At that time I’m not sure it had much to do with creating beautiful images – though I do wish I had the shots from when my father would sneak film into it to surprise me.

As a kid I’m sure my love for the camera mostly came from my perception of it as being a high-tech toy that made one of the most beautiful noises I’d ever heard.  As an adult, through a long process, it obviously came much more than that.  The backstory is for another day.

So here’s the question again.

Why photography?  What made us pick up a camera for the first time and then keep picking it up time and time again?

I know for me its a combination of art and science.  I’ve always been “artsy” and if I think about it, the camera was really never far away my whole life.   I was always drawn to creating beauty but at the same time this scientific, numbers-driven, concrete stuff.  I’ll always remember creating those first intentional images and feeling the rush when you saw them – wanting to know what would happen if you tried this or that – what numbers needed to be changed to make this more beautiful.  The shape, the feel, and the technology of the whole thing obviously attracted me and I bet if many of us were honest, we picked up a camera for the first time because the technology is just plain cool.  It’s a sexy machine.

The sticking power of photography came from the experiences I had behind it – freezing emotions, events, and people.  I keep picking up the camera because I know that each and every time I do, it teaches me something new about it, humbles me, amazes me, and all the while encourages me to keep going.  I absolutly love the images – the moments – a picture allows me to create.  There is no doubt that we all could fill an entire blogs with the question “Why.”

So with that I open this question up to you.  Let us know why you started and what makes it more than just pointing a lens and pushing a button for you?  Why not something else?  We have a million things that we could occupy ourselves with, but why do we keep coming back to this?  Every story is different and I’m sure we all have our reasons – so lets here them!

And just fyi, as an adult, I still think the mirror flap and shutter are among the most beautiful noises I’ve ever heard.