Three Lessons Photography has taught me / by Stephanie Canarte

Downsview Station, Toronto, ON

Downsview Station, Toronto, ON

You may wonder why do I title this post 'three lessons photography has taught me' and I start with a picture of a subway station?

The answer is quite simple, in order to take the picture above I had to learn 3 very important lessons.

1. Patience 

In a world of constant rush and tight deadlines, patience is often underrated. Unlike most people think, the perfect picture is not just a matter of having a fancy camera or catching a candid shot out of the blue, it takes time. For a perfect sunset, you have to know exactly when the sun is setting, what equipment do you need and how much time do you actually have to get the shot. Nature photographers spend hours at a time, waiting for wild animals to come out of their hiding spot. Food photographers sometimes spend hours working on one single dish just to get one photo.  Good pictures don't just happen, they are made.

2. Finding beauty in the simple things 

It's easy to forget that we are surrounded by beauty when our day to day seems so ordinary. Where you see an old watch, someone else might see an opportunity to tell a story about time. Photography has opened my eyes to that world of beauty, how a single ray of light can radically transform an image, how the right point of view can highlight symmetry and how expressions other than a smile can add so much more power to a portrait. Don't take your world for granted, because what you consider ordinary it's completely extraordinary in someone else's eyes.

3. Perseverance  

When I was starting out with photography I always wondered, what does it take to make my pictures look like that? I researched the story and the amount of work behind every photograph I liked. Tried techniques time and time again, most times failing, but the moment I go it right, it made the frustration vanish and made all that work worthwhile.  

Perseverance, patience and learning to see beauty in the simple things, did not only make me a better photographer, it also made me a better person. It helped me realize it takes time to create something really good and to always keep an eye out for the beautiful things around me.