Falling in Love with Photography

Kateřina Suková

When I first held a proper camera in my hands, I had zero ideas about how the thing worked. But when my girlfriend passed it to me, she said, “Go shoot,” and pointed at the garden by our house. Was I nervous? Kind of. Did I know what I was doing? Nope. Did I have any idea what I even wanted to shoot? Absolutely not. But I walked into the garden and started snapping pictures of things I found pretty. And as you probably expect, the photos were far from perfect. Well, one was alright. This one…

I’ve always had a creative mind and a feel for what is beautiful, so I had pretty decent concepts in my head. However, as you’d probably guess, I lacked the technical skills, and I had no notion of what all the buttons on the camera even did. Luckily, my friend, who had some experience of photography, gave me many tips and explained some tricks that could come in handy. One of the first ones was not to shoot flowers from above. Instead, I should crouch or even lie on the ground to get under the blossom, so that the sky makes the background. The fact that this technique completely changed the appearance of the photo and made it a lot cleaner blew my mind. I began to perceive the world around me in a different way. This was the moment I fell in love with photography.

Only a few weeks later, I did my first photoshoot with a model. Well, it was with my best friend at my grandparents’ cottage, but hey, it counts. I already had a few concepts in my mind, most of which I managed to turn into reality. But at the same time, I was shooting with my best friend of 15 years, and neither of us had any experience of photoshoots whatsoever. We had fun regardless. We were fooling around, snapping silly pictures among the serious ones and just taking it easy. Honestly, the best shots from that day happened by accident, but again, I learned that this is common in the photography industry. The opportunity to work with my best friend gave me some insight into how to work with other people, as I found myself in portrait photography. There is one picture from that photoshoot I still find beautiful even now that my skills have progressed.

From the moment I took up this new hobby, I knew I wanted my photographs to hold meaning. That’s why I’m so hesitant these days to just snap a picture of a pretty flower as I’m walking down the street. Unless I can make the flower look somehow unique or interesting it’s not exactly my style. My artistic soul prevents me from shooting “ordinary things” in an “ordinary way”. Now when I think about it… being a photographer is sort of a curse. But at the same time, it’s useful. It depends on your point of view, I guess.

My photography journey has been eventful but there’s still space for me to improve. I believe photographers are never done with getting better. I have yet to discover my photography style. Professionals say beginners should at first try different kinds of photography until they find themselves in something. Apart from that, I still have to figure out how to pose various kinds of people, because that tends to be an issue for me.

On my journey, I found myself with a wonderful idea but with no model in sight. For that reason, I tried self-photography, and it stuck with me. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore working with models, but there’s something unique about self-photography. The only person you have to work with is yourself, and it gives you so much more space to experiment. Thanks to this, I’ve discovered my unique features, and I try to emphasize them regularly. Here are some examples of my work from the past few months that should shed light on what kind of photography I do these days.

Photography is a way to unleash my inner artist and express how I see the world. It is a form of self-expression that speaks louder than words. Have I just hooked some of you so that you wish to try it for yourselves? If so, I wish you the best of luck and nerves of steel! (You’ll need them.)