My name is Fadi, I am 37 and I am from Beirut,Lebanon. I really like the idea of sharing and talking about our photography experiences and i am sure, there are plenty of incredible stories out there and it would be awesome to hear some of them but I’m afraid mine is boring :) i am definitely no pro and no hero...i still make mistakes and i am still learning.
Most of the time people see a photo on facebook or on a website like 500px or others, we hit that "Like" button and that's it, we continue scrolling down. I think its sad, its sad that today a whole world of photography is just sized down to a couple of "Likes" here and there. we hunt those likes, we crave them, we want them, we dream about them. So, that's it? that's what photography today is all about?
Not so long ago, I remember when my parents had a cheap film camera, you know the one that almost every family used to have. My parents never took award winning shots; well composed, well exposed and edited shots. That wasn't the point, they were absolutely not exceptional or good shots at all but they were awesome in their own way! We couldn't wait to get that film developed so we could see those photographs, it was a simpler time back then but at least, it was a real and honest happiness.
Today with the digital age of photography and the internet, a lot has changed. There are of course negative sides, the likes and the fake fame that a lot of people are looking for but on the other hand, some of us just love photography more than anything else.
Regular people now make and take incredible photos with just an entry level dslr, i think it's awesome and i believe that there is a story behind every incredible shot. I personally look at pictures with my heart and soul, the eye is just a tool, nothing more. Not everyone is looking for Fame but more for a tiny bit of recognition and appreciation.
I bought my first dslr back in...well, I actually don't remember what year it was but I think it was around 2010 or 2011. It was a simple, cheap Canon 550D. I knew absolutely nothing about photography at the time or even how to use the camera back then, I also bought the cheapest tripod i could find because I thought an expensive tripod was irrelevant (big mistake), but from there I started to practice and learn.
My biggest help was Youtube, if it wasn't for the awesome people on youtube who have a passion for photography and are generous enough to share their knowledge with everyone, i would have stopped a long time ago.
That brings me to Mike’s YouTube channel and what makes Mike different from everybody else is the way he talks about photography. Most other photography channels talk about gear, lenses, cameras, expensive stuff, then you have the processing photoshop/lightroom channels. Don't get me wrong, they're all awesome and very useful in their own way but they only talk about the technical stuff.
Mike on the other hand, talks about the "Passion" for photography as well, forget about the gear and concentrate more on your composition, the light, move, go left, right, look for different angles.
He'd likely say "calm down, take it easy, relax, take your time, breathe, think, compose and take that shot". I think it's very simple and yet awesome. You know with everything going on so fast around us, most of the time we forget to just take our time, that's some of the things that I learnt from Mike :)
Right now, my biggest problem and fear is not actually the fear of taking a bad shot but simply the act of going outside, going away from home for a long time (for me 2 hours outside can be too long).
Let’s just say that I am not really fond of large groups of people in one place at the same time, so I don’t tend to take photos outside where it’s full of people. I enjoy shooting landscapes but that requires going outside and that’s a difficult task for me… this has resulted in me rarely taking photos anymore. I then start to feel guilty about it of course...also add to that the heavy alcohol use and bad smoking habit and you soon get a deadly mix.
I know that i have to do something about this, I have to change, its dangerous and i won't last long if i keep going in this direction with my life. I am sure that deep down inside and if i decide to change my life soon, photography will be my number one source of help...i know that.
So will Photography save my life? I am gonna say, Yes…if I want to do it! Photography will definitely be my main reason to help myself and quite frankly my only and last hope.
Since i made this statement above I decided to do something about my situation. I am currently on day 3 of my new life, I've stopped the alcohol and reduced my smoking habit considerably, I am catching up on some unfinished work, spending less time in front of my computer screen and starting to put things back into order again. I’m also going to make time for personal things and my family.
I am making time once a week to go out and make some more photography, I thought about it and here is the thing; the way I think about photography is that i don't go out unless everything is the way i want it to be. Everything should be perfect and how i want it to be, there should be clouds in the sky, wind, waves.
I want something exceptional and I want drama! Otherwise I won't go out because it would be a waste of time, that's how i think when it comes to landscape photography, so at one point I ended up not going out at all because well...the weather outside wasn't the way I wanted it to be.
So, i was thinking about that and I don't want to do that anymore. I want to have fun so I thought I am going to make time for photography at least once a week, I am going to take my camera and go out without overthinking it.
I’ll see where this takes me and I am hopeful it’ll be somewhere exciting!
Anyway, that’s my story... told you it was boring :)
[Your story is an inspiration Fadi. There's nothing boring about it - MIKE ed]