Recently, I transferred my photos from my camera to my computer. As I look at some of the photos I took from a sports competition, I suddenly found myself taking a trip down memory lane and reminisced how my photography career started and what I have learned as time passes by.

It was when I was younger, I recalled. My mom took me to a newly-opened mall near our house. As we roam around, I saw a lot of teens who were wearing their DSLR cameras on their neck as if it is just a necklace or a fashion statement. Of course, as a 13-year-old kid who only knows that time that wearing a camera on your neck makes you look good, I asked my mom to buy me one sometime just to join the bandwagon. A year after, she gave me a camera as a present because I did well in class. Little did I know that it is complicated to use and that I should not have asked my mom to buy it because I do not even know where to use it.

So I started taking photography classes. At first, I only took the course because I just wanted to know how to operate my then newly-bought camera. I did not know that it will make me fall in love with such type of art.

There, I learned that being a photographer is not just about pointing a camera on a subject and clicking the shutter button. And, more importantly, owning a camera is not just for fashion or to be popular among your friends. There is more to it than that. After quite some time, I have learned that photography is not just an art as well. Like painting in a canvass, photographers also paint through their cameras – but not with brushes and paints rather with light and emotions. It can also serve as a time machine as it can tell a lot of stories.

You see, as you take photos, you also capture the emotions of your subjects. You capture the moment’s mood as well. And you immortalize it with your photos. Photographers are not historians but taking photos of an occasion makes an impact on our lives. Through photos, it can help us remember our past – be it happy or not.

But capturing a moment in time is not just about obtaining memories. As I practice photography over time, I also observed and learned that it can strengthen our bond with the people around us because it can remind us of the good times we had in the past. Most of us like taking photos of the good experiences we have had – when we enjoy a party, we take a picture; when we achieve a milestone, we take a picture, etc. Thus, with such photos, we tilt our memories and only immortalize the good times. So, when we look back, we can only remember the good ones and tend to forget the bad experiences.

In the end, jumping on the bandwagon made me realize what I really want in life – and that is photography. I am not saying that it a good thing to do, though, but it kind of accidentally made me learn and realize new things.

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