For my first post on my own photography website, it would make sense to explain why I picked up a camera in the first place. It started, or in a lot of ways simply permeated beneath the surface prior to my trip to Iceland when I graduated from high school. I didn't own a camera and decided to buy a used LUMIX LX-5 point-and-shoot camera.
The minute I first took it out of the box, I was excited. I finally had a tool to humble-brag about my life to my fellow graduating classmates! I was going to start a travel website and prove a million things to an audience that wasn't even watching! I wrote blog posts about Iceland, which are all laughably exaggerated and poorly structured, and continued the trend when I moved to Japan. I moved in on December 1st of 2014, and by February I had pulled the website down. I was doing everything I planned and more. I started climbing mountains every week, visiting stunning places. However, as my own stories grew, I realised I didn't really wan't anyone to hear them.
I felt out of place telling people about my life, and with that I lost track of where I put my camera between vacations. By December of my first year in Japan, I had been to half of the prefectures, and summited countless peaks. Come October, 2015. I went through a difficult break-up. My concept of self-image diminished in the weeks following. Winter break started and I stayed occupied. I went to Kagawa and Ehime Prefectures, and spend my nights walking around taking (mediocre) photos of the cities at night. That little point-and-shoot camera got me to climb up to Matsuyama Castle at midnight to take photos, to go for morning walks in the shopping streets. That little point-and-shoot camera became my invitation to life. The photos I took in that week were poorly composed, messy, boring... And some of the most important ones I have.
Classes started in January and I kept that little camera with me everywhere, but I was slipping back into a funk. I was doing the things I enjoyed, but I felt worse about myself then ever. Until one of the people I respect most took a photo of me. On some makeshift set-up in the corner of a classroom during a school's food festival, the photo that seemingly ended my negative self-image was taken.
It was March 16th when he sent me the photo on Facebook, and March 23rd when I snapped and decided to move up with the camera I was using. It was also only 3 weeks away from my trip to Nepal. My life was turned on it's head the day I ordered a Lumix LX-100. I started going to random cities and neighbourhoods to take photos, watching the sunset and a few times a week, the sunrise. I had be oblivious to how beautiful my own neighbourhood was until I decided to try find something worth photographing in it. Then came Nepal. I was taking portraits of the children I was meeting and processing them in a small room without running water and constant electricity, and for the first time in a very long time: Happiness became the norm.
That was nearly 6 months ago. Everything since then is still only being developed, no pun intended.