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Loving What You Do

Intro by Skip Cohen

There are few things more important in life and business than doing something we love. In this guest post from Suzette Allen, she shares the backstory to how she got started in photography, and I’m betting it’s not much different for many of you.

I’ve written a few times about the importance of not letting the day in day out stress of running a business kill your passion for the craft. Or more directly put – you can’t create images that tug at people’s heartstrings if your own heart isn’t in it.

At the end of the post, Suzette shares the perfect description of her love for imaging:

“…an ongoing love affair with life, capturing its beauty and precious moments.”

With the exception of modern medicine, there’s no career field that’s given the world more than professional photography. You’re the magicians who stop time and turn intangible moments into tangible memories people can hold and look at for a lifetime.

And, like Suzette, most of can’t imagine anything we could be doing that we love more than everything under the imaging umbrella!

By Suzette Allen

I bought an Olympus OM1-N in December 1982 when I was 18! An all-manual camera. I knew NOTHING about photography but bought it for my husband for Christmas. Thinking ahead, I figured I better learn how to use it before he opened it on Christmas eve, so we could take some pictures with it right away.

So, the week before Christmas 1982, I did my personal crash course in how to use a manual camera. From that day on, it became my love….although I did have to share the camera with him! A week later, I took a job at a local one-hour lab, Foto Quick, on Jan 1, 1983. I got free film processing for a year as an employee and learned a TON from all the film I processed and images I saw, good and bad.

A few weeks later, I signed up for a photography and darkroom class at the local community college and was bit by the Photo Bug in a big way. Addicted. Obsessed. It has been my true love language for the rest of my life since then! I have always said it is my passion and that “I will do photography until the day I die”. All true. 🙂 [hmmm…telling you that story just makes me happy! #dowhatyoulove]

It’s not surprising that 32 years later I’m still doing photography and teaching it and passionately pursuing it. And fortunately, I’m not afraid of technology, because wow, it is so different now! [but I still love the smell of fixer…. ] Now I love Photoshop as my digital darkroom and I’ve turned to moving pictures– videos that tell better stories with more passion and engagement. It’s an ongoing love affair with life, capturing its beauty and precious moments. I love interacting with my world through the eyes of my lens more than any other way. And I love remembering and creating and reliving the best parts of life through my prints.