…Siarra. GA Native.
Writer. Poet. Photographer. Planner. Introvert. Control Freak. Stability Queen. Planner. Netflix Enthusiast. Genuine Taurus. Christian. Did I mention Planner? I mean it. I plan everything…
When I started, I read so many travel blogs it made my head spin–all the colors and light and pop in each photo. Some shots were so stunning all I could do was sit at my laptop in awe and envy…and think, “I want to do that.”
I can’t say I’ve always wanted to travel. I mean, travel has always interested me, but the next, immediate thought after is, “Um, I don’t have any money.” And then that’s the end of the though process for me. There are so many great travel photographers that just up and quit their jobs and flew into their current positions (literally!). And I admire them.
But ladies and gents, I am not quitting my day job. I can’t. The idea of it terrifies me and sends a panic attack up my spine–the idea that I won’t have a steady stream of income? Nope. The idea that I won’t exactly know where or when my money is coming–if it comes at all? Nope. I can’t. Remember, control freak, stability queen. I mean that. So I’m still working full-time. Thank God my job is flexible though…
I like my day job. I won’t specify exactly what that job is (sorry in advance!), but I enjoy it. I really love that they keep paying me to do my job. And I promise you, I couldn’t do what I’m embarking on without it. At the suggestion of a friend, I made a BIG decision, at the age of 28 to move back in with my parents. Not for a financial hardship or any kind of obligation, but in preparation (told you, Planner!) for a promotion that I’d prayed for.
Who does that? Who moves to prepare for a promotion she isn’t guaranteed to get? This girl–because I got that promotion. And damn am I happy I didn’t have to break lease and pay a ridiculous amount of fees.
The promotion lasted one year, enabled me to do some local travel (within GA), and, I did it for FREE. AND! The powers that be paid me to travel. Talk about a year of saving money! So now, I can come and go as I please–although I do pay my parents to live here, I mean, come on they gave me life–and I don’t worry about charges if I have to move permanently.
Where does domestic travel fit into this? Well, the promotion was only a year (I knew that going in). And then I had to slide back into my previous position. And…I’m “stuck” for a little while. I didn’t plan for that. Of course, God is in control, so I’m sure He laughed at my plan…but I felt restless nonetheless. So, a friend suggested (yes, same friend from earlier) that I travel, I said no. Introvert, remember? Control Freak. I didn’t plan for travel. I haven’t researched or budgeted and when would find the time to go? Well, after a few hours, heavenly light shone over that suggestion like a sign. And instead of telling myself I couldn’t do it, I started asking, Why not?
But I’m still me, so of course, I had to made a plan. 13 months to start. One state each month. Some I’ve seen before, but I still haven’t touched down in 30 states (save a layover or driving through) and some I’m really excited about seeing! I’ve read so many articles and blogs about travel, photography, traveling as a photographer, blogs about blogging, blogs about writing–oh, I should also mention, I’m a READER. I love it–the words still run together in my mind. But here I am, trying something completely foreign to me in an attempt to find some kind of control in my life…because I’m insane and apparently forgot that I’m not impulsive. Except when I need change. Like right now.
And I don’t plan to stop after 13 months…
I’ve been an active photographer for about 7 years. I’ve been taking pictures of myself since well before the concept of “selfies” came about–missed opportunity there! I remember the small, silver Kodak point and shoot I used for my first pictures. The first exhibit that featured my work had shots from that camera. I didn’t call myself official until 2010 and, once I began to earn money for my work, I finally upgraded my equipment. Nikon is the only way for me. I specialized in portraits: maternity, engagements, family. And weddings. I’ve also done some boudoir work. I even have a few landscapes and architecture.
And now, I dare to dabble in travel! I must admit, I’m more than a little terrified about starting this. Despite people calling me a pro, I’ve always felt like I’m just a woman with a Nikon in her hand. When people have asked me to for tips, I’m turning around trying to see if a real photographer was behind me. My main tip? Love what you do. You have to love it. Because it’s not easy. And, in my personal opinion, skill can be learned, talent cannot. Talent comes with passion and love and devotion…
…and over the last year, I’ve lost mine. I didn’t plan for that either. I go into far more detail in my first post, “Truth or Consequences,” but it’s not the same anymore. I can remember when I would hold my camera and we fit the way a good outfit slides onto the body. We fit like perfect composition. Now? I feel like an awkward dancer fumbling my way through a routine I used to know. It hit all the right moves, but it’s not as entertaining to watch.
But with this new venture, I feel that familiar tingle in my fingertips, the hum in the blood that’s eager to capture a moment, the sweet thrill of listening to the shutter snap, open, and reveal. I’m excited to see what’s next.
Because this is important, right?
Former freelance writer for Urban Empire News.
Former editor for New Madrid literary magazine
B.A. in Psychology/English from THE Fort Valley State University
MFA with poetry concentration (yes, you can earn major degrees in poetry!) from Murray State University
Photography featured in April 2014 Black Bride and Groom
Fourth Place of 2012 Georgia National Fair Photography Competition, “Vortex” (as seen below)