What is your Lensbaby journey, Ute?
I will write you today as a friend. Let’s pretend we sit together over a cup of coffee. It always makes talking a lot easier, doesn’t it?
My love for photography was born when I was given my first camera at the age of 10. I quickly shot one roll of film with my cheap point and shoot, and was nothing but disappointed when I later received the prints. Even though I had a vision about the outcome, I could not get my pictures to look anything like I wanted. That could have been the end of the story. But somehow I continued to use that camera, eventually replaced it by a better one and – surprise – continued to create awful pictures.
Fast forward to 2012 I picked up my husband’s DSLR. At that time, my youngest had started preschool and my husband a new job at the other end of the country. I was feeling totally isolated and realized I needed something to distract me from my misery. This time I did not give up when I looked at my miserable pictures, but started asking questions, reading books, and discovered a whole new world behind the viewfinder.
During the first few years, the progress came quickly. I learned all about the rules of photography and for a while it felt like an equation in math. If you put in enough effort, the outcome will be better pictures. But then my journey stalled. Even though I knew so much more about the rule of thirds, the right composition, the light, aperture and shutter speed, I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted something else in my pictures. I wanted emotions.
In 2015, I came across a Lensbaby booth at a convention for photographers. Of course, I had heard about these lenses before, but I had never touched or tried one. It only took me one afternoon of a free trial to fall in love with the Lensbaby world. Your slogan, “See in a New Way,” hit home with me. No other lens can give me that feeling. Somehow your lenses made me feel like a child again. All of a sudden, the rigid structure that I had used before in framing my pictures was gone. It was replaced by an immense joy and outbreak of creativity. My daughter (who is my favorite model) and I spent an entire year with a whole variety of Lensbaby lenses.
In a way, the lenses seem to broaden my view. I am a person who is easily intrigued by adventures. Colors, fragrances, music, people, all that is my source of inspiration. I really love the challenge that each Lensbaby offers. Never knowing what I will get made me let go of all my expectations and instead flow with my emotions. So I came full circle. The emotions that I feel while using your lenses now translate into my pictures and make me happy.
Over the years of exploration I learned that photography is a journey. In the beginning that scared me, because I really love to travel, but I don’t like a journey to come to an end. But photography for me turned into a never-ending trip. It helps me to leave the house and explore. I guess these feelings also translate into my photography. There is no single subject that interests me. As much as I love to shoot people, I’m also really fascinated by nature and cityscapes.
I often compare the impact that photography has on me to the impact that yoga has on others. No matter how I feel before I grab my camera, the pictures never cease to relax my mind. To be able to transfer my feelings, my worries, all my emotions into pictures helps me to be a better version of myself.
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