Okay, maybe I got you a little bit with that modern click bait title but, in all sincerity, I dusted off an old super zoom Canon camera this week for an inspiring photo session. Sadly, it’s been years since I immersed myself in even a half hour dedicated to fun photography. It all started with being on a call and getting distracted by a little California Scrub Jay outside the window. Despite the rain, it was gathering items for its nest and staring me down. I was on the call but kept saying to myself, “the old me would need to snag this photo, while the current me is totally caught up in calls and trying to resurrect the business at all costs.” I wonder how much neglecting this and other creative parts of myself is really costing me? This time, however, that inner voice, the call of the wild, a stirring in my spirit said, “Jeremy, politely end the call, find your camera and get the shot before this Scrub flies off.” So I did
Photography was one of my core loves in life, digital photography more specifically. I remember buying my first digital camera in college in the late 90s and it was love at first click. My first digital camera wasn’t the greatest but I took pictures of everything I could. I bought a macro lens and explored flowers and insects. A wide angle lens for landscapes. I jumped on the Canon train rather quickly as they really did a great job leading in innovation.
By the early 2000s, I was in the deep end of the digital SLR space and Cannon L-Series lenses and all that jazz. My camera bag was 2nd only to my laptop bag and often first, if I’m honest. Everywhere in the world I traveled it came with me. Here are some old prints I dug up since we still printed the digital photos back then. Those old self-print machines and SD cards, lol.
This is my first international digital photography photo that I fell in love with. It was the summer of 2001 and I was in Wales on a summer long mission trip. While others were chatting and getting to know each other in the van ride to our training week I had my digital camera out trying to capture as many memories as I could. We were travelling through this beautiful Welsh countryside and I practically begged the driver to stop and let me get out and get a proper shot and one not out of the window. I'm grateful he obliged.
These flower photos were actually all from personal gardens in homes in London. I was amazed at how many people had wonderful gardens in the city. I couldn't help but lean over a few fences to snap these.
The wasp shot is one of my favorites from those early days. It was on my front porch screen door back when people actually had screen doors.
I had no idea how iconic the 2003 All Star and NBA Game in LA would turn out to be years later. Lebron's Rookie year and catching Kobe in person is something I'll never forget.
This guy was nice enough to allow us to photograph him on the streets in Italy, love this one.
Joshua Tree National Park no words needed.
Chinese New Year in Shanghai!
But those days are long gone. By 2010, I had traded the heavy equipment for more portable enthusiast Canon G-Series and SX super zooms. Though I’ve been all over the world for work the past five years, not even my portable cameras have made many of those journeys. It’s been mostly iPhone photos here and there. I take a few but rarely even post them. Did my love for photography fade or have I misplaced it for loves that don’t satisfy as deeply? Have I lost a little of my creativity? These and many similar questions have circled in my mind for months as I’m dealing with so much loss personally, family, and business wise. I’m so busy trying to repair and restore what’s broken that maybe I’ve forgotten what was working in the first place. It’s not just photography. It’s journaling, spoken word, and other outlets that sparked creativity and just moved my soul.
One way forward is to go back and re-kindle those old loves. So here I am adding my first blog post since early in the pandemic. All because I had 30 minutes before church and knew I couldn’t squeeze in anymore productive work time. Also, I saw that California Scrub Jay again. The one I couldn’t quite get a great photo of when my day started and didn’t get one in this session but I did stop to embrace the beauty that was all around me. All of the photos below were taken at 30-50x zoom in my own yard with my old Canon SX50HS. I hope you enjoy, I know I did.
There's been so much rain here lately that it makes you appreciate the sunshine and little things a lot more.
I’ve always loved taking photos of flowers. Just something so beautiful, intricate, and captivating.
Luka loves picking these flowers up off the ground and spreading the leaves around.
Not quite as dangerous or intricate as the wasp lol...
Oh the views when it's sunny...
The California Scrub Jay won the battle today. I wasn't able to get a great pic but I'll be on the lookout...