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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Come! Be Part of a Community!

  • 4 min read

Community. The definition means many different things to many different people, but I think there is one common thread that runs through it all. Belonging. When you’re part of a community you belong to something bigger than yourself, whether you realize it or not. Your presence in that community affects others even if you keep to yourself. For example, even if you consider yourself a private person, most likely you still have get groceries which means going to the store or, maybe, getting them delivered. How though is delivery being part of a community. Think about it. Someone is picking them out, bagging them up and delivering them to you. So while you might not actively be involved, your presence affects others in your community. You’re still another car on the road, or a person in line. Or you’re allowing jobs for the people who facilitate the delivery. For most people though, community is a bigger part of their lives and they are involved in many different types of communities.


When I think about my life there have the towns or communities in which I have lived. The schools I attended. The jobs I have had. The activities in which I have participated in those areas. The church communities that have grounded me. Add my kids to this picture and now I’m part of their communities as well, in one way or another, depending on how I choose to support those activities. These are all ways of making social connections or being part of something bigger than yourself. Or shall I say…being part of the greater good. There are times when you can be an integral part of those communities you participate in and times when you’re on the periphery. Not everyone gets involved in communities in the same way or to the same extent. That’s totally okay. Within those communities you can give of your knowledge or time and/or take and learn from someone else. We all have our strengths and those are the skills we can, and possibly should, be sharing.


Most of us have a hobby, of some sort, we enjoy. One of my family members plays chess. I can remember when he was teenager or young adult he would
play by mail. Seriously. They would send post cards to each other with their next move. Yeah, I’m dating myself here. That’s back when long distance phone calls where really expensive and long distance meant more than 50 or 100 miles away and there was no internet. So those like minded people found a way to enjoy their common interest with people around the globe. Thankfully we have it much easier today!


That’s one thing I love about my hobby, which, if you weren’t aware, is photography. I love having a camera in my hands and while I don’t need to be
with anyone else to create or enjoy my work, I have those options available to me locally and around the world, thanks to the internet! Each of these groups have given me valuable experiences and connections. They allowed me to meet and interact with people, to share my story and to listen to theirs. These by far are some of my most inspirational communities.

Currently, I consider my Lensbaby communities among my all time favorites!I am in awe of how much support I feel from the wonderful people involved. The sharing of knowledge, the lack of competitiveness, and the inspiration all makes this a wonderful journey. As a Lensbaby Ambassador I am fortunate to have other ambassadors within a couple hours drive from me. Those online friendships we first developed are now in-person friendships. We meet up and shoot together and feed off of each other! I’m learning from people young enough to be my children. Yeah…there I go dating myself again, but I’m secure enough to know that I don’t know it all and they have experience I don’t, so why would I shy away? We all can continue to learn and grow from each other. I don’t want to grow old and become stagnant. I want to grow old and enjoy the ride! This hobby fills a part of my soul and being a part of this community of people who feel the same is important to me.


If you’re reading this, most likely, photography is one of your hobbies too. And maybe you’re even part of the Lensbaby community. Even if you’re not, I hope you find the same support and connections I have since finding my tribes! You might have to look around a bit to connect with the right people. They’re out there. Trust me. Look for those people whose interests are similar to what you enjoy or to what you aspire to do or be. Study, ask questions, and pass on the knowledge you’ve picked up! Give back in a way that is meaningful to you! Let what you do fill your soul and then allow it to overflow so someone else can benefit from your efforts as well! Be a part of a community! I’m betting you’ll find it rewarding!


Want your shots featured by Lensbaby?⁠
Be bold and shoot extraordinary! Make sure to tag your photos on IG with #Lensbaby, #ShootExtraordinary, and let us know what gear you’re using. 📸 ⁠


Cathy Kuhlman

Cathy Kuhlman is a self taught photographer who loves pushing the limits of light and focus. You’ll find her using nature as her subject, from the smallest details in her macro work through to the largest landscapes and everything in between. She loves finding ways to infuse light and
emotion into her work as a way to express how she sees the world.


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