Sarah shares her ongoing experience with her favorite addiction: amateur photography.
Documenting Everyday Life Through Photos
When I was 10, my parents taught me how to use their Minolta camera. I had spent years studying the glossy pages of National Geographic and I was also no stranger to the art museum. Learning how to use that camera enabled me to record a living journal of my life, as well as the lives of others.
Photography entered my bloodstream and changed my creative perspective of the world. Photography is still my hobby, my outlet, my voice and my addiction. Forget the tedious technical talk of apertures and settings; ask me about my secret life as an amateur photographer and I will tell you that each photograph is a story. My photographs say a lot about who I am and how I see the world. Whether I strive to capture the personality of a loved one or preserve the fleeting beauty of nature, photography is the means by which I create a vibrant journal of the world in which I live.
I fall into a silent category when it comes to photography. I shy away from the uber-professional camera mongers because my tech speak is sorely lacking. My professional friends strive to maintain the best equipment and achieve an excellent status in the eyes of their peers. I wish them the best.
Neither am I the occasional hobby photographer who totes her camera on vacations and documents her children's birthday parties. In such circles I am enthusiastic . . . perhaps a little too much so.
I find myself in-between—where the fervor of photography meets the penchant for a good time. My camera is almost always with me, either in my backpack or in my car. If it interests me, I capture it. If I feel like a moment is slipping away, I document it. If I stumble upon beauty, I keep it forever.
You do not have to be a professional photographer to take excellent photos. More importantly, you don't have to be intimidated by equipment and technology; there are so many user-friendly cameras on the market today. If you don't know where to begin, start by taking photos of those you love most! The more you use a camera, the more comfortable you will become. For folks like me, a camera is another extension of the mind and body. I do it because I love it. What more does a person need? Your imagination is the limit.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 06, 2013:
Very interesting and good. Different. I love photography too but you have an eye of a different view. Someone said fascinating...that fits.
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on October 09, 2012:
Thank you dear!!!!!!
Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on October 09, 2012:
Awesome post. Voted up and added to https://snip.it/collections/22510-Creative-Photogr...
indieswebs from Bhavnagar, India on May 30, 2012:
Just One word: WOW! Awesome photography.
Marites Mabugat-Simbajon from Toronto, Ontario on May 27, 2012:
Precious photographs! I just shoot anything too. It gives us a variety of beauty to capture. Great skill, Sarah! I love every single one.
Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on May 23, 2012:
I love your Style! You can easily be termed as professional!
Look at those pictures! Fine! Fine work! I deeply connected to the starting lines though.... being an amateur photographer myself...
Great work and well rewarded! :)
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on May 23, 2012:
I am absolutely blown away by your kind words.....WOW! After receiving several emails, here is a link to my online collection of photos....
Thank you over and over for the messages. I am overwhelmed. You guys have inspired me all over again!
KrisL from S. Florida on May 22, 2012:
Wonderful photos . . . I too would describe myself as a serious amateur photographer, and these inspire me!
han on May 22, 2012:
These are really good.
Subhas from New Delhi, India on May 22, 2012:
Fantastic photos and great imagination !!!!!! Kudos to your thoughts over how the clicked photos speak a lot in itself. Although all the photos posted by you here are unique in their own way but I specifically like the one of a 'Coffee Cup'-its amazing ! Even I am personally very fond of clicking photos and getting clicked.My wife says that "You are a great natural Photographer." It's a fact that photographs form an essential part of our lives.They allow us to relive and cherish the past memories.
tapasrecipe from Spanish tapas land on May 21, 2012:
Stunning, there must be a book here somewhere
sammimills from California, USA on May 21, 2012:
Sushmita from Kolkata, India on May 21, 2012:
Liked the idea of the out of focus fish. That really looks surreal. All other photographs are also wonderful. Must see more of your photographs. Congrats.
Annie Fenn from Australia on May 21, 2012:
Outstanding photography, I love your use of simple techniques to get the best out of a shot such as cropping or combining colour and B&W or turning an image to negative. The glorious autumn leaves against the rugged earth and gloves creates a wonderful contrast.
Your portraits are delightful, both human and doggy and the masses of glass bottles creates interesting texture, as does the rusty blacksmith tools.
Your photography is truly inspiring to this 'wanna be' photographer. Congratulations on your success with this hub, well deserved.
daisynicolas from Alaska on May 21, 2012:
Absolute brilliance! Very inspiring.
iefox5 on May 21, 2012:
Great photos, master level. Love the FIRECRACKER best, voted as awesome !
iamaudraleigh on May 21, 2012:
Eric Calderwood from USA on May 21, 2012:
This is the standard for how a photograph hub should be. I love the descriptions along with the stunning and beautiful images. I also love that you are using your own images instead of just showing off a collection of other peoples hard work (what I've usually seen in photography hubs, although granted, I haven't looked at a lot of them.) Great Job!
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on May 21, 2012:
Such a great collection of photos. No wonder this is the hub of the day.
Mike Pugh from New York City on May 21, 2012:
I like the fact that you don't claim to be part of the mainstream and all, photography or any hobby & career for that matter should come naturally at at least that's how things use to be in the olden days.
Your images are truly spectacular indeed, wow is all I can say about them any further, your talent for taking pictures goes above an beyond the call of duty.
The one I love the best is the Octopus, since you caught it by chance as well at the aquarium, and the fact that it was the product of an experiment gone right as well, oh and besides the fact that it looks amazing!
Voted up and I used my special pin sharing button from off my toolbar to share that cool octopus too. I just have to follow you as well, because your freaking awesome! @Sarahredhead
precy anza from USA on May 21, 2012:
Enjoyed looking at these photos! Each has a story of their own. I felt like some minutes had stopped while I was looking at all these. Precious! ^-^'
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 21, 2012:
I really enjoyed these photos. Like going to an exhibit on my computer. Congratulations!
StellaSee from California on May 21, 2012:
Oh my goshness Sarah, I think this is the best photography I've seen on Hubpages so far! I especially like the photograph of your daughter on the beach..I like the nuance you captured there. This makes me want to get better at my photography/photoshopping skills! Thank you for sharing and congratulations!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2012:
Came back to once again view your gorgeous photos and congratulate you on your HOTD award. You are so talented! Like you, I love to take photos but do not always carry my camera with me as you do. Perhaps I should make more of an effort. Your photos are inspiring!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 21, 2012:
WOW...I am not artistic so to view the images of one who has this gift is awe inspiring to me. These should be framed. Thank you for sharing these...and congratulations on hub of the day.
Jeremy Wade from Tennessee on May 21, 2012:
Really enjoyed the words of encouragement. The photos are amazing you are a great artist. Glad you made the hub of the day or I would have missed this. Thank you for sharing your works with HP.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 21, 2012:
Congratulations on HOTD!! Very well-deserved, I must say!
I love how you are able to transform your images with just a few simple tricks.
My photography journey began at age 8 with a Brownie Box Camera I got for a Christmas gift. My dad was a photography buff, and even built his own darkroom.
I used to have a 35mm film camera--(still do, but I think it got stored with the batteries installed, so its probably 'dead')--now I just have a small digital, and my photos have de-volved into 'just snapshots' because I cannot afford the high-end digitals with the tele-zoom lens.
I do understand the 'tech speak,' and have written a few hubs on photo tutorials, but most of my photos these days are of our cats....or items I'm trying to unload on Craigslist or E-Bay. LOL
As for Photoshop--I do use it, but it is a Jekyll and Hyde program--easy to start and learn such things that I use all the time such as "adjust auto-levels" to get rid of odd colors from the lighting. But I have yet to master layers...which is that cut & paste/blend function you used with the rooster and the gloves photos.
You have a great eye, and those are wonderful photos--thanks for sharing!
James William on May 21, 2012:
Such beautiful pictures!! really love the octopus :D
lovesleftovers from Texas on May 21, 2012:
Your photos prove that photography is a true art form and there is beauty in everyday objects. Fantastic hub and lovely photographs!
a2aoptima from Bangalore, Karnataka on May 21, 2012:
You are a Genius... Congrats on bagging the "hub of the day"
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on May 21, 2012:
It is so rewarding to see a purely creative hub as Hub of the Day. And such a good one. How beautifully done.
Jennifer Stone from the Riverbank, England on May 21, 2012:
These photo's are amazing Sarah! I can't choose a favourite because I love them all...If I had to choose 4 they would be your son in the driftwood.. The snowy drive that looks like Narnia.. the bench tools (my husband is an engineer so I too like this sort of thing!) and your daughter on the beach. Thank you so much for sharing your work, and congratulations on HOTD (very well deserved). Voted up, beautiful and awesome!
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on May 21, 2012:
What a beautiful hub! Congratulations on HOTD!
Natasha from Hawaii on May 21, 2012:
Wow. These photos still are stunning! Voted up and beautiful. Again! Congrats on hub of the day!
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 21, 2012:
I love your message and your photos! You are definitely right that if you want to try photography, you just have to jump into it. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day! Well deserved.
Allison from San Diego, CA on May 21, 2012:
Absolutely gorgeous. Your article makes me want to grab my camera and go for a walk :). I especially love the picture of your snow-covered driveway - what an amazing winter scene!
CassyLu1981 from Spring Lake, NC on May 21, 2012:
Beautiful Pictures :) Voted up and Shared!
Kristin Trapp from Illinois on May 21, 2012:
I'm so glad to see this as Hub of the Day. Congratulations. I find your photos to be as captivating today as I did when I first saw them a few months ago when you won the contest. What treasures you create with your eye and camera!
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on May 21, 2012:
Breathtaking! Congrats on HOTD. These photos are incredible. More and more I've been wanting to become an "amateur photographer." I don't feel my photos are up to par right now. May I ask you what kind of camera you use? And what kind of photoshopping program to change colors and such? Great hub. Voted up and all the way across!
Lynn S. Murphy on May 21, 2012:
Wow! gorgeous images and I love your approach. Mine is almost the same way except I feel mine is lucky while yours is deliberate. I want your photographic eye when I grow up.
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on May 21, 2012:
These were wonderful photos. I especially liked the snowy scene of you drive. What day in March did you get all that snow in AL and why didn't you share it with us in GA? :-)
Beautiful work. Your parents were on target when they taught you to use their Minolta. Congrats on Hub of the Day!
Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on May 21, 2012:
These are wonderful. Thanks for slowing down the world a bit so that we can take a better look at the extraordinary that lives in the ordinary. The old radio tubes might be my favorite, with the autumn leaves accentuating the end of their time.
Mary Craig from New York on May 21, 2012:
I too love to take photographs but after looking at yours I've decided I need to be more creative. Your 'award' here is more than deserved. You may not be a professional but you have an incredible talent and should certainly continue. I agree you might want to make a book...one picture is more fascinating than the next. I love how you play with color. I could go on and on but I think you get the 'picture'. Voted all buttons except funny and of course SHARING.
Navneet Thakur from India on May 21, 2012:
its out standing....................
Dawnrichard on May 21, 2012:
Nice photos. I love the last photo " saving a stranded fish from a shrinking tidal pool." of your daughter.
Nice hub and congratulations for being the hub of the day.
Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on May 21, 2012:
Fabulicious photos . . great ideas and tips, look forward to trying your suggestions out!Congrats on HOTD you deserve it, voted up, awesome etc . . .
RTalloni on May 21, 2012:
Congrats on your Hub of the Day award--I enjoyed seeing this again!
Ibrahim Vet from Egypt on May 21, 2012:
I always wondered what it feels like to be living in photography world ... Your work is amazing :)
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on May 21, 2012:
You totally deserve to have this recognized as HOTD. Congratulations! Your pictures are STUNNING. I'm sitting here drinking tea and I am just drooling over all these incredible photos you have taken. I don't think you should use the word "amateur" - somewhere along the line I think you became professional. :)
Vanderleelie on May 21, 2012:
These are very expressive and creative photos. I like your use of black and white in combination with a colour highlight, as seen in the photo "Autism". An excellent image!
Phelcky on May 21, 2012:
Wow this is really beautiful.. Enjoyed every single one of your photos. Amazing!
alliemacb from Scotland on May 21, 2012:
Such beautiful photographs. A real inspiration. Awesome hub.
bkmuze from Northern California on April 02, 2012:
Your work is an inspiration. The range of your photos is just amazing . . . beautiful color, introspection and humor! Thank you for sharing these with us.
Natasha from Hawaii on March 30, 2012:
Amazing an inspirational photos! Voted up, awesome and beautiful.
ergenzinger from Raleigh, NC on January 01, 2012:
Amazing work. Thank you for sharing these.
limpetparasite from Canada on December 31, 2011:
watching the alabamian winter wonderland driveway of yours is breath taking... thank you for sharing sarah, you made me smile today, happy new year!
RebeccaWhitman on December 29, 2011:
Amazing photography and intriquing words. Good work!
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 20, 2011:
AnneHarrison; Thank you so much for your kind words. I believe any creative outlet is one of the best types of therapy in the world! I hope you do pick up that camera and start inventing a new version of our world!
Anne Harrison from Australia on December 17, 2011:
Absolutely amazing photos. In the last week I have picked up my camera for the first time in years - you have encouraged me to keep taking photos,f or the sheer enjoyment of celebrating the world around us.
Caroline Marie on December 14, 2011:
Wow. What gorgeous photos! Oota is so cute.
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 14, 2011:
Overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed. Thank you SanneL, malometer and missolive! Also Duchess, prairieprincess and (my favorite hubname!!) holdmycoffee!! RTalloni - after reading your comment I felt like it was MY birthday!Whatever your circumstances, I hope the best and wish you a happy birthday. For you to share how my hub inspired you is the best feeling in the world (*warm fuzzies everywhere*). Girl, get out that camera and start shooting!
RTalloni on December 14, 2011:
What more does a person need, indeed! Child, what ever that is, you've got it, and you've inspired me to keep working at the photography I enjoy so much (but know so little about). I feel I've learned more from this piece than all the others I've read put together! Thanks much! Today's my birthday but celebration must be delayed due to circumstances, however, I feel that you've given me a fabulous gift! Insight, inspiration, industry...all great thoughts as I look forward to future photography opportunities. :)
SanneL from Sweden on December 14, 2011:
You truly have a talent and a great eye for photography, it shows in these unique and amazing photos. Congratulations on your win!
Micheal from United Kingdom on December 14, 2011:
Wonderful pictures, the one with your daughter and the rooster is lovely.
Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on December 14, 2011:
Congratulations Sarahredhead !
Your images are amazing. It is difficult to choose a favorite. My son is also in the spectrum so AUTISM certainly stood out for me. All of the images are wonderful and each evoke a personality and/or thought. Thank you for sharing your work.
Duchess OBlunt on December 14, 2011:
A very interesting collection of photos, that speak for themselves. I'm glad you decided to enter the contest, and congratulations on the win! I enjoyed your work
Sharilee Swaity from Canada on December 13, 2011:
Congratulations on winning the contest. These are a stunning, heartfelt group of photos. Your win was well-deserved. Thanks for sharing with Hubpages!
holdmycoffee on December 13, 2011:
Beautiful pictures with great meanings! Congratulations on your win, you deserve it!
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 12, 2011:
You made my day! Thank you so much...All of this has inspired me to take on some new projects!
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on December 12, 2011:
What beautiful and original photographs! I enjoyed them all and each one is a favorite. Your creativity astounds me!
greatparenting from philadelphia, pa and corolla, nc on December 11, 2011:
Such wonderful work. A richly deserved award!
Donna Cosmato from USA on December 10, 2011:
Congratulations on your award! All the images are outstanding, but I loved the coffee cup the best. I never thought of immortalizing my favorite cup that way...
LivingNatural from Northeast Nebraska on December 09, 2011:
Congratulations, nice photos and comments!
Mazlan A from Malaysia on December 08, 2011:
Congrats, I envy you..your photos are creative and beautifully composed.
frogyfish from Central United States of America on December 06, 2011:
Unique, outstanding and amazing photos, and words too! You are a perfect winner, and I congratulate your magnificent work also, because you loved doing it!
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on December 06, 2011:
How beautiful,creative and diverse. Congrats on your win!
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 06, 2011:
Definitely award-winning material and could be a coffee table book.
My favorite - I am struck by the way the multicolor rooster pops alive at the touch of your goddaughter who has a gift with animals. This would make a beautiful poster and I gaze at it open-mouthed. I admire Dr. Temple Grandin who also has Aspbergers and specializes in animal husbandry.
Rated Up on as many buttons as possible. Thank you for your work.
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 06, 2011:
Many of my dog shop photos (phoDOGraphy) including before and after pics are located on the shop's facebook page! On FB we are Little Angels Pet Salon.
Baileybear on December 06, 2011:
maybe you could do a hub of before and afters of your groomed dogs?
Moira Durano-Abesmo from Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines on December 06, 2011:
You truly deserve to win. I love allllll you photos.
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 05, 2011:
I have a dear friend who looked at Firecracker today. He had a brilliant description. He thought that it demonstrated the ability children have to not only maintain an incredible energy all the time, but to harness that energy, manipulate it and control it. He said, "Then, when you're an adult, such energy might just incinerate us!" Good stuff.
Baileybear: Yes! We dye dogs! Maybe I should take some pics of that!
hhunterr from Highway 24 on December 05, 2011:
What you have can't be taught: a good eye. All the equipment in the world can't replace a gift.
Baileybear on December 05, 2011:
I looked up some images of dogs with painted nails - rather bizarre, IMO (mine you, I think humans lining up to get their nails painted is odd too). Did clients ask you to dye their pets?
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 05, 2011:
Baileybear: Zoe is a doll. The client requested her nails be painted to match her bow. As a dog groomer, I paint lots of nails, but I have never gotten used to the look! It is bizarre isn't it?
Baileybear on December 04, 2011:
Zoe is beautiful - she'd be beautiful without the nail polish too - I haven't seen a dog with its nails painted before
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 04, 2011:
emichael: that is sweet how you defined some of the photos. I always welcome constructive criticism. Feedback is a valuable tool.
Baileybear: thanks!! My husband said I should make a poster out of that one, which is a pretty cool idea.
Marlin55: You made my day!!!!!
I'm off to read some more hubs!
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 04, 2011:
Thank you so much everyone for your kind words. I do hope any fellow hobby photographers out there will share their works - I always get so inspired when I see others' works! It is also much more comfortable to meet people who are photographers because they love what they do. Many times I have been caught in the undertow of those who know much more about the craft than do I... I say do what you love. My face still hurts from grinning. You guys are awesome.
emichael from New Orleans on December 03, 2011:
A very well deserved victory. These pictures are all great. I love your view that photography is not about perfect equipment and settings and blah blah. It's about documenting what you love. Composing and telling a story.
I love the personality you managed to capture in "GULP."
"THE ROAD" is breathtaking.
The description you include with "FIRECRACKER" is great. Very profound.
I love the composition of "DAUGHTER." The colors as well as the shapes created by her posture and shadow make for a very compelling photo.
All of these are fantastic and congratulations on the win!
Baileybear on December 03, 2011:
awesome images - that octopus is really effective
PaulaHenry1 from America on December 03, 2011:
Awesome and a well deserved winner!!!! Congrats!
des donnelly from Co Tyrone.... on December 03, 2011:
Congratulations on your grand Prize !!... stupendous & intriguing photographs... thanks very much :-)
Marlin 55 from USA on December 03, 2011:
You really have a wonderful eye for subject matter and framing. I literally went from one picture to the next saying, "This one is my favorite." Congratulations.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2011:
Congratulations on your well deserved win! I loved viewing these beautiful photos of yours. You definitely have great talent in capturing the special moments in life.
Sarah Jackson (author) from Southern United States on December 03, 2011:
With cup of coffee in hand, I checked my email this morning and was overwhelmed! WHOA! WHAT??! I cannot thank everyone enough for their kind words! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and savoring so many fellow hubs during this contest - many of which I believed were superb! It feels so good to be a part of such an incredible community. Thank you x 1000! (*face hurts from grinning*)
SilverGenes on December 03, 2011:
This is incredible work! Your creativity really shines in this gallery of art!
rosika on December 03, 2011:
Great pictures! They made me realize that everything that happens, or what we see in life always has meaning for the person been present in the scenario in many ways! Voted up! Congratulation for being a winner!
vasantha T k on December 03, 2011:
congratulations. The pictures are different and lovely. Have a great day.
Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on December 03, 2011:
Beautiful phots. Congratulations on a well-deserved win!
Movie Master from United Kingdom on December 03, 2011:
Outstanding photos, congratulations on your win, well deserved!
rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on December 02, 2011:
wow! I love these images and your intro. I can see clearly why this was the winning hub. Beautiful! Congrats on your win!