I purchased a camera at the beginning of my youngest son’s junior year. I used the excuse that I wanted to be able to capture his last two high school years of playing sports. I really didn’t do any research on cameras, I simply stepped in Best Buy and looked for the deals. At the time, they had a Nikon camera, two lenses and a bag on sale for approximately $500. Now, I am no camera specialist (if there is one) or a photographer, so I don’t really know if I got a good deal. I do know that without this so called ‘deal’, some of the other cameras were priced at $500 or more and with either limited or no accessories. So I purchased the Nikon D3200 with DX 18-55 and DX 55-200 lenses, a bag and yes I added a tripod.

Now fast forward a few years and my youngest son is now beginning his sophomore year of college and still have my camera.

Of course, I realized rather quickly, that I will need photos for my blog as well as other areas of my life. Yippee, I can use my camera. And I got right to it. I began carrying my camera with me most days. ‘I can capture my life throughout the day.’ I can be ‘that person’ stopping to take candid photos. I quickly remember Nina from Love Jones, yes that can be me.

Boy did I think taking photos was an easy task.

While I was taking high school sports photos and videos, I needed no experience. If photos weren’t blurry and you can hear the video, I considered myself successful. But now, this photography thing seems a little complex. How do I make these photos black and white? Wait, I am not sure which lens to use; close or far away. My photos are blurry. This photo is too large or too small for my post. Huh? When did taking photos become so complex.

Well, I asked myself, if it were so easy, why would they have classes dedicated to photography? Heck, photographers are miracle workers (not that I want the responsibility), but they do gorgeous work.

I quickly recognized that I do not want to make photography a career. But I would like to know when to use the features on my camera and which lens to use at the proper time. Oh, and I certainly need to identify a flash because some of my photos a super dark when it is light outside. Yup, I know, I am a ‘premie’.

So I decided to take some classes. I immediately sought out a crash course-lens selection, flash and 1st grade-like instructions on how and when to use the features of my camera. I have even signed of for a couple of hours of basic classes. Again, I do not want to build a career in photography. I don’t event intend to provide a service of taking photos. I just want to feel like ‘Nina in Love Jones’ for a small moment, one day, and be able to produce quality photos.

I am excited to embark of this new venture. It is nice to have a piece of my life that does not spark anxiety or fear. There is no expectation of success or failure. It just is. There is no one waiting and watching to see if I rise or fall. I will be just taking photos. I will be expressing myself through a lens. The very thought of being able to work my camera and play with photos makes me feel free. And who doesn’t want to be free.