Photograph what you love--wise words.

 
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A few months ago, I was at school, attempting to grade the 160 essays I have to grade on a near weekly basis (I teach only American Literature this year--which means that whenever any of my classes has a paper due, ALL of my classes have a paper due....you do the math, it's nearly impossible to grade that much!).

Annnnyyway, I had my headphones on to attempt to distract myself and, after listening to the Smash Cast sing "Reach for Me" 19 times, I needed a change and stumbled upon a great podcast by Mark from Leah and Mark.  For those of you in the wedding photography world, you already know that Mark and Leah totally rock.  And listening to Mark's podcast really reminded me of some critical points of my work as a photographer (and, sort of, as a teacher too).  He spoke about how he and Leah refuse to pigeonhole themselves as a certain type of photographer.  One thing he said really resonated: Photograph what you love.  I sat there in my dim little office, surrounded by my hundred of yet to be graded essays and I totally got it-when I started photography years ago, I photographed the stuff I loved--and that's what gave me the drive, both creatively and professionally, to continue my love for photography into a business.  So, I put down my grading pen and made a list of all the things I love--and all the things I love and what I intend to photograph over the next year, regardless of if they will get me any business or sell any prints.  Some of these aren't "normal" photography subjects--they are just things I love and I want to challenge myself to turn them into photography.  So, without further ado, the list:

1) Horse Shows by the Bay

2) Meadowview Polo

3) Allie's water polo tournaments

4) Northern Michigan sunsets

5) Small town life

6) Tasha + Ian + Ian trying to teach Tasha to play frisbee and Tasha choosing to rest instead.

7) My beautiful mother who just turned 70 years old

8) Santa Fe, New Mexico

9) Beaufort, South Carolina

10) Any time old people hold hands

11) State fairs

12) Port Oneida in all its beauty

13) The Traverse City State Asylum Children's Building (which IS still there and CAN be sneaked into.  And yes, "sneaked" is correct).

14) Ian's grandparents, Norm and Mary.

15) My neice and nephew, Annalee and Graham.

16) Grand Haven in the winter.

17) Half marathons, especially people who are finishing their first race ever.

18) Watassa--I will go back and not sob this time.

19) My cousins and uncles, whom I just reunited with last summer.

20) Birch tree forests.

21) My 7 year old sister, Anna.