My Journey to Photography
About 18 years ago while I was studying back in New Jersey, I had managed to put enough money aside to purchase my first serious camera. It was a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-P71. A full 3.2 megapixel camera and I felt like I was on top of the world. I’ve always owned a camera prior to that, but I felt like I was behind the times because I was loading film.
With excitement flowing through my body, I took my camera out to the mountains and began to shoot everything that caught my eye. The trees, the birds, the mountain view overlooking the town. Just everything that you would expect to capture from the top of a mountain. It was then that I started to develop a real love for landscape photography. Looking at life frame by frame in all its natural wonders had brought out something in me. A drive, a motivation, a passion for something that was hidden deep inside me.
I began to see, angles, leading lines and shapes all around me in everything I saw. Life seemed more beautiful after this point. It was as if I learned how to see again for the first time, or maybe how to view things in a more pleasing way. I’ve always understood that photographers enjoyed life more because they are trained to view things in a way that pleases them and the people around them. In fact it’s their job to show how beautiful their world is through their lens.
Whether it be a portrait photographer asking a youngboy to smile, a sports photographer capturing a winning goal or a landscape photographer overlooking a mountain as the sun beings to peak while waterfalls flow down the rocky side, each one captures a moment that brings joy, bliss and amazement to the lives of people.
But life has a way of taking its own course and pulling you in the direction that it wants you to take. So after graduating from school, I realized that my dream and passion had to take a back seat and my career in IT Networking needed to lead the way.
So I began to work for Corporate America. IBM, Big Blue is what they called them. I worked really hard at my career trying to climb all the way to the top. But I would pause and stare every time I see a photographer lining up for a shot. I would enter every electronic store that I would pass while walking through the malls to see what’s the latest cameras in the market at any given time. I would grab the camera on display and hold it tightly in my hands, point it at whatever is in front of me and gently press the shutter button, imagining every moment of capturing the image.
At that time, life has still not decided to give me a chance at what I was most passionate about. So I continued on to advancing my career to the point where I switched over to business and photography just seemed almost completely out of my life.
I got married and had three beautiful children and at this point, responsibility and parenting took over my life. Passions and dreams only existed in Hollywood and were not part of the reality that I lived in.
But again life has it’s ways. Technology began to change and advance at an incredible pace. Camera’s and Photography started to enter a new phase in history and shrunk down to the size of a finger nail to where they can be found in just about any type of small mobile device. So now carrying my mobile phone, meant I was carrying a camera at all times. This allowed me to capture images every time I saw something that was pleasing to the eye.
The passion and the dream began to surface and bobble around in my head, bugging and itching me just like it did when I was younger. I found myself looking at cameras and reexploring a world that I thought I had left behind. With the introduction of new social platforms and the explosion of Social Media, my priorities began to shift.
My family and theirwellbeing still came first, but I was determined to incorporate my love for Photography along with them by utilizing all these new advancements and enhancements in technology.
Now the time has come to up my game to another level. I purchased a Sony A6500. A 24.2 megapixel 4K powerhouse camera. I would go out for what I called Photo Missions almost daily. Sunrise Photo Missions and Sunset as well. I would go out and capture with a complete grin on my face every time.
I set out a one year goal to try and make this my life. What I looked over before and thought I had put away for good, was not going to happen this time around. I worked really hard trying to figure a way to leave my job and have the field of photography be a source to my livelihood, a way to feed my family and enjoy myself while doing it.
Today I am thankful and proud to say that I am doing just that. I am a full time Photographer pushing the limits with everything that technology has to offer me in this current day and age.
But the journey is long and the struggle is real and I just learned to live life frame by frame. My name is Ihsan Salhia and this is “My Journey to Photography”.