I Had Utterly No Intention of Doing This

{India Jane Winslow today, sick with a virus but still seeing the end of my lens. Shot with a Nikon D700 and a 50mm 1.4 lens.  Natural sunhaze only and just a touch of Photoshop to alter the colors.}


The story is cliche; I had a child, things changed.

Less than one year ago, my professional profile included my university teaching experience as an English instructor and a list of literay journals where my short stories had appeared.  I even included a link to my reviews on Rate My Professors, where my students at the University of Cincinnati and UNC Greensboro really, actually seemed to like me, despite the fact that they said I was a toughie.  I was working on a novel, even a non-fiction book.  I thought I knew where I was going; I was organized, and have always been.  In grade school, even, I was known to splay my next-day's clothes out on the floor in the shape of an imaginary child, with even the earrings in their own little place where this imaginary child's ears--mine, I guess--would be.  And so, when it was time to wake up (and I always woke up on time), I knew what I was wearing and who I would look like.

Now, I don't really know what to put in my professional profile...I'm just an artsy girl who had a baby in November of 2009 and decided to run with something I love: photography.  I was lucky enough to be mentored by celebrity photographer Tim Courtney when my daughter was 9 months old.  I took a workshop he taught that was titled something like, "Making Photography a Business," but I HAD UTTERLY NO INTENTION OF DOING JUST THAT. 

Some force of fate or magic or nature must have pulled me there, right?  The class description told me that I would learn the basics of shooting manual with any camera, and I was game.  And, quite frankly, it was summer, school hadn't started yet, and my husband was telling me at the time to wipe the baby schmutz off and just get out of the house. And so I did. 

Two or three nights before my last class with Tim Courtney, I found myself chained to my computer, designing a logo for, what? My new photography business.  I wasn't really sure what I was doing or why I was doing it, but I couldn't stop.  On the day I walked out of that last class, I had it in my head: I was doing this, and I would see what happened.

I'm still surprised.  I feel on my toes at all times.  Photography does that for me, though.  It wakes me up and makes me alive to each moment,.  It makes me see things new, and reflect.  And so, after a very short time, I've booked gobs more sessions than I ever believed I could and am now booked far enought into the future to make me even feel a little boxed in.  But I still feel like I did that night I was creating my logo; I have no idea what I'm doing, really, or why I'm doing it, and I know I have so much to learn, but I just can't stop.

So cheers to all the little girls and boys who inspire their parents, and cheers to being compelled and living awake in each moment, and cheers to knowing you don't really know anything at all...