The D40 ended up being a present for my 16th birthday, but my story with photography started about 10 years earlier, on film with blurry smudges and light streaks for images. Somewhere in that time I found my love of images, fashion, art and all things visual and my sweet sixteen brought on the desire to learn everything there was to learn about digital imagery.
Today I shoot with a D7000 and I'm still learning. But now my hands feel empty without the weight of my Nikon's magnesium alloy body, flicking through its functions has become second nature, the soft click of that shutter plays a comforting, ever present rhythm. My memories are broken into stills and my stills melt together into memories.
Sometimes it feels strange to be paid to photograph, to be rewarded for doing something so natural. Is that what it is to be "a photographer"? I dare only use that word lightly, but to me it's not a crown to wear only once you've reached some undefined level of seniority. I love photography. I've studied it, explored it, worked hard at it, failed at it, succeeded at it. And even though I'm headed down a dramatically different career path, I will say that I am a photographer at heart with quiet confidence.