Sunday, April 28, 2013

Marcus, Omar, and Carlos... and some musings on dreams

Yesterday, on my way back from taking photos at a Ludacris concert (photos coming soon!), I met Marcus, Omar, and Carlos (from left). They were on their way home from a comic convention at McCormick Place. As we chatted, I learned a little about their interest in comics, but also about Carlos's interest in photography, which got me thinking... 
Carlos, like many people I interview, asked me about my camera. The funny thing is, as much as I love my camera, it's really not what I need to be a photographer. I am a firm believer that photography is about your view of the world. Having an eye for photography is what matters. 
When I first started shooting, I was eight, and I had my dad's old film (!) camera from the 80s. Though my pictures were kind of awful, it wasn't because of my camera, it was because I hadn't developed my eye. It took a lot of time. And honestly, some of my best photos were taken with my phone or a point-and-shoot camera! REALLY! I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. I didn't get my latest camera until about two years ago. All that time, I used a small camera I bought with my babysitting money - and it did an awesome job. 
So my point is this: If you want to do something, you can! Use what you have and practice practice practice. And one day you'll find that your pictures are as phenomenal as you'd hoped. 
During our conversation, Marcus was telling me that he hopes to be an engineer some day, though he hasn't had the chance to study it yet. I was pretty excited that he was interested in engineering because my dad is an engineer. I wanted to share my dad's story, but didn't have the chance because they had to leave the train. I hope this story encourages you to reach for your dreams, no matter how big they may seem, Marcus.
So! My dad was born in Cairo, Egypt, and lived there until he was in his twenties. When he was growing up, his dad was a truck driver, and his family did not have a lot of money, but his parents really encouraged him to study and do well in school. After high school, it paid off. My dad was accepted into an engineering school, and ended up coming to America a few years later to continue his studies. Though he was a first generation college student, and an immigrant to America, and though he faced many obstacles that kept him in graduate school for many years (7!), he persevered and achieved his goals. It sounds cheesy, but it really is true - If you follow your dreams, and stick it out even when times are tough, you can achieve anything. 
It was wonderful to meet you, Marcus, Omar and Carlos!  Best wishes on achieving your goals for the future. Until then, I hope we'll meet again soon.

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