Note of intent: This story is an attempt to capture the emotion of facing fear and insecurity and document it as a part of my human experience. This feels important to do in order to maintain a sense of authenticity.

It was originally just a coffee excursion. I almost didn’t take my camera, because I wasn’t feeling great. I told myself I’d take it with me just in case, and made myself put it in my bag.

After my coffee, I decided I was going to confront my usual discomfort with carrying a camera and shooting in public, and took it out.

First, I strapped it on and simply walked around, just to get used to the feeling. Then, I started taking photos of random buildings, just to get used to the feeling.

Slowly, I started to feel comfortable, and became more relaxed as I walked. I let myself just wander, taking in the sights around me.

Once I relaxed and started really seeing the world, I regained some inspiration. I found myself drawn to certain scenes. I sat at a particular spot without many people around, and took a few shots. Experimented.

The more I pushed my boundaries, the more comfortable I became. I started walking through some darker streets and alleys, taking my time with shots.

Even so, I found myself tense when people walked by. Tense that I didn’t have a wrist strap, worried my camera could get knocked out of my hand if I wasn’t careful. Tense that someone would feel their space was being violated and take offense.

All of this brings me to today’s reason I love photography. It, like any art form, is a way to assert and validate my vision, my world view. My right to see the world and capture it in yet another fragile human attempt to preserve any part of this beautiful, fleeting existence that I can. And share it with the hope that it may connect with someone, that I am not alone.

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