Last weekend, Manuel, I, and our good friend Mimi strolled through Pentagon City and Georgetown from noon to dusk, enjoying the crisp fall air, toasty hot Starbucks holiday drinks, delicious ramen and rice bowls, random hidden trails and fountains, classic waterfront scenery, and Georgetown’s famous shopping scene. I left my fancy equipment at home and brought my cheap, old Rebel XSi and a 24mm 2.8 pancake lens – less than $300 worth of equipment that let me breathe easy and forced me to think creatively at the same time.
Recently, I have been teaching Manuel some of the basics of photography (keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on that soon!), and doing so made me look back at my own early photos, when I first started developing a passion for photography in 2010. I carried my Canon PowerShot SX120 (described by some, quite accurately I may add, as a “point-and-shoot on steroids”) in my tote bag literally everywhere I went, and would stop to take pictures throughout the day: between classes at Cornell, on the way home from studio late at night, on family trips and travels during the school breaks. Some of the early photos were quite embarrassing to look at (although I’m sure I posted them with great pride on Facebook at the time!), but they made me remember the importance of taking photos day to day and never neglecting your personal work.
The photos in this post were taken with my cheapest equipment and yet they fill me with a sense of joy. My hope is that even as my professional work grows, I will never stop taking snippets of everyday scenes and elements and bringing my own vision to them. That is my joy and privilege as a photographer.