I first held a camera when I was six years old and developed a liking for photography but never took it seriously. I just usually carry my camera most of the time, take pictures of anything that interest me and compile them. I never knew the technicalities of what makes a good camera or photographs. I just took pictures of people, scenes and things in angles that I will think will make them more interesting.
However, lately there has been a turn of events in my not so existent hobby. At the start of 2012, I joined WordPress’ weekly photo challenge in the hope that my blog would not be stagnant. I found the challenge very interesting. Every week there’s a new theme. I have to think of a photo as well as a story that would fit the theme. I got what I initially wanted. My blog is at least updated once a week.
As the year progresses, I realized that the challenge brought my blog and me so much more than I wished for. I was surprised by the jump in my viewership, subscribers and comments. I also met a lot of people: ordinary bloggers like me, professionals, travelers and many more. It’s the first time I realized the power of blogging, how it could transcend time and space, and how content can make a difference.
In the process of participating in the challenge, I also learned some things about myself:
One: I really enjoy photography and I am close to admitting I have an eye for it. I was surprised when week after week, people liked my shots. I said to myself, “I must be doing something right”.
Two: Being thoughtful is okay. One of the things I noticed here in Manila is when you post or say something thoughtful, you can be easily labeled as an “emo” (short for emotional). I wandered then what is so wrong with being able to comfortably express your thoughts and opinions? People who are afraid to do that are either naturally silent or emotionally/ mentally immature to handle conversations that go beyond the superficial.
From these realizations, I decided on two things:
One: I would still take pictures the way that I used to. Yes, I have now a better idea that I can take good pictures but I won’t still pursue photography seriously. I find joy in taking photographs for the fun of it—not bounded by thoughts of ISO, contrast, composition, etc. If I happen to take a good photograph, then I can say, “What a sheer chance”.
Two: I will always live up to the name of my blog: Thoughtful Paper. I often avoid talking about sensitive issues such as national situations and legislative things because I am afraid to be labeled as “Always presenting the problems but never the solutions”. But then I realized the people who might call me that might be no different from me. So from now on, I will post with more comfort (of course still responsibly) and more variety. After all, this site is supposed to be the repository of my random musings.
In parting I’d like to share this: What they say about loving your craft is really true. Take something seriously and even without expecting it, your audience will also take you seriously and give you appreciation that is greater than what you hoped for.