Professional Growth & Development

I wanted a new camera.

After pouring over way too many consumer reviews, I decided that a Nikon D5300 was what I should get. It was reasonably priced and had more than the basics of other models. It would challenge me to learn more without totally intimidating me.

As luck would have it, it was my birthday and Sugar Daddy wanted to get me something. Off we went to the camera store…he in search of last minute gift and me fully taking advantage of the procrastinated situation.

As fate would have it, that particular model, however, was out of stock. And it was my birthday. Time was clearly of the essence so Sugar Daddy shelled out way more than I wanted him to and he bought the echelons above model, Nikon D7100 instead.

Happy birthday to me…

This was a total score but I have to honest about my technical abilities here. I do well to find the on/off button of anything that requires batteries and chargers.

Still, I have a gnawing desire to go a step or two beyond the basic point and click. The multi-function menus, graphs and other computer like bells and whistles should excite me, but they don’t.

What does excite me, however, is the end product.


Long shadows juxtaposed against light shining though a gothic stone window.


An intense cerulean blue sky accented by a rococo rooftop.


Everyday life on a busy canal.


Mismatched pots of blooming flowers on the front steps of a mountain home in France.

In short, what I like most about photography happens when a picture stops being a picture and becomes a feeling instead. A memory. A thing to hold close if only for a moment.

My birthday was seven months ago. Sadly, I’ve yet to master anything beyond charging the battery, turning the camera on and using the automatic setting.

Occasionally I end up with a photo that works for me but not often. I suppose it would help if I took the camera out of the bag more often and turned it on.

As a career counselor, I have advised clients to assume full responsibility for their own professional development. I’ve preached from the top of my own smug soapbox that no one cares more about your own growth and development than you do.

Time to follow my own advice.

I would like to enhance my photographic skill set and know that I need to take the steps, however small and consistent, to make that happen.

And you? Are there any skills in your life just waiting to be mastered?

Take the camera out of the bag.

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