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A Living Journal Through Photography

Sarah shares her ongoing experience with her favorite addiction: amateur photography.

"Gulp." My son exploring driftwood on a beach at Fort Morgan. His animated exploration was delightful subject matter!

"Gulp." My son exploring driftwood on a beach at Fort Morgan. His animated exploration was delightful subject matter!

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.

"Autism." My goddaughter has Asperger Autism. She has a gift with animals. She loved holding the rooster and we both liked how the colors of the feathers were an abstract version of the Autism Awareness logo.

"Autism." My goddaughter has Asperger Autism. She has a gift with animals. She loved holding the rooster and we both liked how the colors of the feathers were an abstract version of the Autism Awareness logo.

"The Road." This is what happens when you see something breathtaking and remember that your camera is with you in the car. Believe it or not, this is my driveway in March, in Alabama! Whenever I view this scene, I am instantly transported.

"The Road." This is what happens when you see something breathtaking and remember that your camera is with you in the car. Believe it or not, this is my driveway in March, in Alabama! Whenever I view this scene, I am instantly transported.

"Octopus." Almost everyone I know has Photoshop, except me! The kids and I visited an aquarium and I captured this octopus. Once home, I simply changed the photo into a negative and voila! The kids loved it!

"Octopus." Almost everyone I know has Photoshop, except me! The kids and I visited an aquarium and I captured this octopus. Once home, I simply changed the photo into a negative and voila! The kids loved it!

"Coffee Talk." Everyday objects can be a great focal point. For example, I love coffee, I collect coffee cups, and I love the bizarre and humorous. Just in case my favorite cup breaks, I have a great memory.

"Coffee Talk." Everyday objects can be a great focal point. For example, I love coffee, I collect coffee cups, and I love the bizarre and humorous. Just in case my favorite cup breaks, I have a great memory.

"Autumn." Walking up the driveway, I looked at the gorgeous leaves lying all around and I had to grab the camera. I love photographs that show textures.

"Autumn." Walking up the driveway, I looked at the gorgeous leaves lying all around and I had to grab the camera. I love photographs that show textures.

"Alabama." I cannot control my photographic impulses when industrial locations are involved. This old train yard in Calera, Alabama, is a gold mine of imagery just waiting for a camera. This is a photo of a train car, complete with graffiti.

"Alabama." I cannot control my photographic impulses when industrial locations are involved. This old train yard in Calera, Alabama, is a gold mine of imagery just waiting for a camera. This is a photo of a train car, complete with graffiti.

"Radio Days." Textures can be fascinating when photographed. My husband was cleaning out an old workshop and discovered these glass tubes. There were hundreds of them littering the concrete floor.

"Radio Days." Textures can be fascinating when photographed. My husband was cleaning out an old workshop and discovered these glass tubes. There were hundreds of them littering the concrete floor.

"Comets." Like an impressionistic painting, this photograph was better a little out of focus. What would normally be considered a mistake turned into something interesting because to me, the color of the fish transcended any need for details.

"Comets." Like an impressionistic painting, this photograph was better a little out of focus. What would normally be considered a mistake turned into something interesting because to me, the color of the fish transcended any need for details.

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