Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oops! & Combining Passions

Since my first blog entry, I have written about various projects (adoption, abstracts, Brazil, suicide) with something less than consistency. Since my renewed commitment to posting on my blog a few weeks ago, my plan has been to make at least one update to this blog each week. I even added this task to my calendar each Monday. Oops! I missed last week and it's already Thursday this week! I don't think I've let anyone down except myself, but sorry to any of you who have been waiting on pins and needles for my next exciting update. Just kidding...I have no idea how many (if any) people actually read my posts after I make them public. I think that's the bane of most bloggers, isn't it? We all want to think that someone out there cares about the words we share with the world. Many give up. For me, I just need to remind myself that my commitment to blogging is as much for myself - to weekly renew my commitment to photography - as it is for anyone else. If you happen to be someone who clicked on a link to read this, however, thank you! As I mentioned in my very first post for this blog, part of the reason I continue is to also allow you, the reader, to get to know me better as a person and a photographer.

Even though photography was my first love, I spent several years as a middle school science teacher. When my husband and I moved nearly 2000 miles, I had the opportunity to pursue photography. Even though I LOVE photography and the ways it has changed me and the means of expression it provides, I have never completely forgotten my love for teaching.

Now that I have finished my photography degree, I'm unsure of how to get involved, by using photography, with the things I'm most passionate about. One such opportunity came up last summer when my husband & I traveled to Brazil to teach at a youth mission. I taught photography and he taught a computer class. No matter where I end up using photography, I think I'll continue to find ways to combine it with my passion for education. In fact, I am starting a photography class for home school students next Tuesday and I hope to continue offering classes in the future. My hope is that I will be able to offer classes to both kids in the US and abroad who may not otherwise have the opportunity. Unfortunately, this requires funds. I recently came across the AOL 25 for 25 grant opportunity and I'm in the process of getting my submission together for the second stage of the application process. I have no idea what my chances are to be one of the 25, but my idea of offering photography to kids in under-served areas is something I'm passionate about and a grant like this would make my dream a reality.

One of my Brazilian photography students took this photograph of me and another student during class last summer.

As blogger Chris Townley recently wrote in his blog about actually doing something with the things that get your blood pumping, "The first thing you need to do is IDENTIFY what you want to be involved in." I have been passionate about both education and photography for a long time, and what better way to serve others than to offer them something that I love and that just might make a difference in their life? Combining two of my passions is one way for me to take a small step towards living a better story

What are you passionate about and how do you get involved?


Ronnie Ruiz said...

Love your post. I too am constantly grinding the same thoughts through my brain figuring out how to combine the two. I love teaching photography and find my happiest moments when doing so, especially like you, to the young ones and those who may not be fortunate enough to have the tools at their disposal.
Thanks for sharing! And, looking forward to more posts!! :)

Leslie McDaniel said...

Thanks! I'm just trying to make it happen...but it's difficult to offer something like that without the funds to do so. So, I'll keep looking for grants and such. Let me know if you come up with any amazing ideas! :)

Tessa said...

After watching you teach and having a great talk with you on our photo walk, you have encouraged me to work on my passions for the sake of doing what makes me happy. Thank you! Thanks to you, I will be throwing myself into my love of baking and excitedly into my photography as well. I think it is great that you have pushed yourself to combine what you enjoy and share it with others. Keep updating that blog, you are doing great, and I plan to continue reading and supporting your efforts. You go girl!

Leslie McDaniel said...

Hey Tessa. Thanks for saying that! I'm happy to have encouraged you...I need some of that sometimes, too. Yay! Thanks for the comment(it made my day!)