Lemme Snap A Pic Guuuurrrllll

Now that I got my camera I’m going to go crazy.

Of course, the one day I get it, the one day when the sun is out and I have energy and I want to go and hike and walk and snap shots of shit, it has to be windy and cold as hell.

But I’m not going to complain. I’m going to get up early tomorrow morning, see what there is to see, and snap some shots and have some fun.

Meet Charlie:

wpid-img_20151104_161722.jpg

Casually ignore the GTA 5 game down there.

As you can see by the bullshit quality in this horribly positioned photo, I do not own another DSLR. That’s my 8mp phone camera. Can you feel my pain now?

I know the D3300 is not the best DSLR (don’t tear me apart with all your impressive camera knowledge), but for right now it works perfect. Besides, does it look like I have the money to pay for a three thousand dollar camera? I’m even stuck with a 18-55mm lens right now. I’m not rich. But I feel completed. I’ve wanted a camera like this since I was in middle school. Photography isn’t just about taking pictures. There’s lighting, there’s angles, there’s objects, there’s effects . . . there’s so much creativity and so much eye for natural beauty that goes into it. Not to mention all the interesting things you can manipulate with Photoshop. Now, I’m not into making people’s faces look more “beautiful” or taking a shit ton of cuts of random women and putting them into one face photo to make a woman who doesn’t exist and put her in a magazine to sell my Falafel mix. But I am interested in what you can create with your photos or illustrations.

There’s more money in it than you think. If you’re lucky and talented.

Money isn’t my focus, as you can guess. It’s highly unlikely anyway. I enjoy doing what I enjoy, but if mobs of other people happen to enjoy it as well, then hey, pay up. Happiness isn’t free motherfucker. Some people have to pay for Medical school.

Looking at this computer screen, listening to this sub-woofer by my feet shaking the apartment complex, and now petting my new buddy Charlie (Eh, lame name, I gotta think of another one. No offense if your name is Charlie) makes me extremely thankful that I’m able to buy what I want, what I need to fuel my passions, and thankful that I have the time to nurture my talents. Days like these I think about all the children fighting just to survive, whether it be against disease or starvation, the ones who won’t live to my age to find their passion. I think about the adults who also fight to survive and won’t live to continue their passion or see their children grow. It’s for their memory and their spirits that I don’t ever submit to the darkness, and I don’t ever forget about how resilient I’ve been up to this point. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about being strong for those who’ve lost the fight. Not just your mother, not just your nephew or your sister, but for everyone, for the ones you don’t know and you’ll never meet.

Many of us have lost a lot in our lives and as much as people like to claim they’ve gotten closure, that loss will always be with you. It doesn’t have to drag you down, but it will be there. Therefore to recreate and capture the beauty in life, to describe it in words, to strum it on a guitar, to play it in video, to snap a shot of one moment out of a million others, is making art out of our loss. Making art is appreciating and appreciating is remembering the value of who we are. To remember the value of who we are is to align ourselves with our soul and to find the ultimate truth. It’s not a coincidence art is so prevalent and valued in our society.

I notice a lot of people focus on the negative. That sounds cliche, but it’s not. I mean they spew it out of their mouths at a constant rate. But let me tell you something that should be fairly obvious: what you put out is what you get back. If all you ever talk about is negativity, that’s all you’re going to receive. From yourself mostly, but from others as well. You’re going to attract other people who are constantly negative and you’re going to see a mirror image of yourself and you’re not going to like it.

Sorry, I had to.

Yes, I’m talking about depression too. Don’t blame depression for your negativity, that’s playing a victim card. I’m depressed more often than not but I don’t always write about it. If I do, I try to avoid saying “Ug, life is so horrible, no one cares about me” and all that kind of stuff. It’s one thing to get supportive feedback. It’s another thing to constantly remind yourself that no one cares about you. If you’re constantly saying that than you must not care much for yourself and if you don’t well, there’s your main problem. Fuck depression, you have an issue with yourself.

If you’re thinking like that, you’re in some deep pain. Focus on loving yourself before you start wishing other people cared about you. Other people do care about you, it’s just hard to care for someone who doesn’t ever care for themselves and who blatantly expresses that fact.

Life is so amazing it makes you feel as bad as it’s made you feel good, and not many things have that power. Appreciate mental health issues, they make you stronger than your neighbor without mental health issues will ever be. They make you see life through a different lens (a 70-300mm perhaps?) and that makes your views spectacularly valuable. As much as it beats you down, it teaches you how to stand tall, and the harder you fight it that harder you fight against yourself. Just like there’s a particular way to fall to avoid serious injury, there’s a particular way to struggle to avoid serious injury; learn how to struggle, not how to not struggle.

I’ll just leave you with a few words from Paula Gunn-Allen:

“We all know who lives near the railroad tracks: the cast-offs, the unmodern, the traditionals, the ones who cannot belong to a society that has no time for things of the spirit, and whose attitude toward human and animal life is one of exploitation. But a warrior does not forget, even in the midst of devastation, where she comes from. She does not forget that beauty is what we have, what we share, what gives human beings diginity.”

Be a warrior, not a victim.

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