How I got my start in landscape photography





I think some of the things that you gain as an adult could very well be planted inside you from your childhood. Take for instance, throughout my childhood, I remember numerous road trips covering thousands of miles, stopping at points of interest, viewing landscapes and even rock hunting for that special rock to take back as a memory of that trip. I don’t think I appreciated all these road trips as I unfortunately had severe case of car sickness most of the time. My parents would give me Dramamine at the start of the trip and I would sleep until it was time to get out and look at the monuments, the Landscapes, museums or even a small hike that our family could accomplish. But in the end, those are the things I look back on and remember. Those were my childhood memories. I can’t say it was all that bad in fact it planted the seed of enjoying being outside in nature and realize there’s more to life and being busy and living in a fast-paced world..

As a teenager, I grew up in Utah which is an outdoor playground with so many things to see from Red Rock Parks to the beautiful mountains and of course the best snow for skiing! I did do some outdoor excursions once in awhile as a teenager, from water skiing in Lake Powell, to hiking in the Ogden Canyon where I lived, and plenty of snow skiing in the mountains which were so close that there was no excuse to do that once in awhile. But as a teen, I think I was too preoccupied with teen life (boys) to really fully appreciate and enjoy all that Utah had to offer.

Fast forward to 2008 moving to Arizona from Alberta Canada which is quite the difference in weather and temperature, (and yes I would rather take the heat than the cold ), but I decided to take time to pay attention to my surroundings even more and enjoying being outside at least for most of the year. In 2012, we decided to take a trip to explore some of the Canyons in northern Arizona and Utah. I had just recently purchased an iPhone and was excited to see what kind of pictures my camera would capture. Little did I know, that this trip would inspire me to pursue landscape photography which is something I never would have even thought of doing as I hardly took pictures growing up as a kid, so this was all new to me.

As we hiked through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon, I loved every minute of it even though I had been to these places before. I started looking at things differently. I would look at a rock formation and visualize the picture in my head. As a former hair stylist I could do this very well when I looked at a client’s hair. I was able to visualize that finished product. I’ve been told that hair stylists make good photographer’s because they have the ability to do that. Then I would try different angles as in get low to the ground and even try some vertical shots which gives a person the feeling of actually being in the scene. I have to say for a phone camera, it did a fabulous job and I even surprised myself. My love for landscape photography was born and I knew that it would be a positive asset to my life. Being in nature is a stress relief, it feeds the soul and it clears the mind as well as gets your body moving!

Now I didn’t just rush back and buy my first DSLR camera right away. I knew that I wanted to get into that kind of camera but was somewhat nervous because I’m technically challenged when it comes to intricate details. The thought was a little intimidating and so I did a numerous amount of research into what kind of camera to buy, the different lenses to choose and what would be best suitable for me. In the meantime I also took a few online classes on Udemy and Craftsy to really know what I was getting into. And Voila ! I purchased my first DSLR camera which is a Nikon D 3200. It came with the kit lenses which I got to know how to use. I would take my camera out and try some photos and then go back and figure out what to do differently. I soon discovered that changing different lenses to be able to zoom in on a subject while hiking, took some time and a lot of fumbling. It took me a whole year to purchase my 18-300 lens which I take out most of the time when I’m hiking so I can quickly zoom in on a subject and I don’t have to stop for too long especially if I’m hiking with people who aren’t into photography too much.

I have to say over the last five years since I started this journey, I learned so much, I have challenged the left side of my brain and embraced more of the technical side. I’ve also learned how to edit photos, try a little portrait photography, and most of all I have learned a lot about myself and have come to appreciate my previous experiences as a child being outdoors as now it has comes so naturally in my life as an adult. I will never take for granted being able to go out to visit and see the beautiful wonders of the Earth and what it has to offer all of us. Keep calm and capture on!

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