Happy Friday, wonderful readers, and welcome to the Open Mic! Today I am so happy to introduce Ariane Hunter. She’ll tell you more about her journey to photography.
My Eyes of the World
Text and images by Ariane Hunter
The day I found photography is the day my life changed. It sealed my fate and flipped around my limited perspective of the world around me. I clung onto this newfound passion so tightly because for years I wanted to discover my unique talents and reveal what made me special. I was born into a family of hard workers. It was always instilled in me to get a college education and a good paying job so that I wouldn’t have to struggle. I carried that mentality with me throughout college and graduate school, which left little room for exploring life outside of the lines. That sort of tunnel vision created two versions of me: the person others expected me to be and the person I wanted to be.
Two business degrees later and countless office jobs since, sadly those things weren’t enough for me. They didn’t sustain or fulfill me in the way I thought they would. There was always this elusive feeling that there was something more that hadn’t been revealed to me. It was unknown to me at the time what this feeling was but it led me towards a strong desire to search with an openness to try what felt right to me.
In 2004, Kodak had just released the Kodak Easy Share line and that year it was my birthday present to myself. I fell in love with this big bulky grey device that produced four megapixels of photo goodness. I would go out and shoot anything and everything that drew my eye, and then have the images printed immediately after. I was intrigued by nature and landscapes which led me to photograph the red flowers in my mother’s garden and the blanket of snow covering rows of trees during a winter storm. I soon developed a love for portraiture. I became inspired by the way a photo could reveal the many layers that help define our individuality and create our life story.
I felt a profound connection to every subject in my photographs. They are a reflection of me and help to communicate my vision. From that moment, my interest in photography, especially portraiture, grew stronger. It was like seeing the world with a fresh pair of eyes; everything seemed lively and new.
Discovering my joy in creating a photograph was like my ah-ha moment. Through my art, I’ve learned more about myself and the inherent beauty of this world in more ways than any 9-5 office job could’ve showed me. Suddenly a lifetime of possibilities opened up and I became reacquainted with the real Ariane. When you form such a personal attachment to something that is created by you, an understanding of your inner self begins to develop and deepen.
During this journey, I realized that we live in such a vast universe where we are equipped with unique skills and talents to follow our passions. These are our gifts that are needed in the world to create, teach, build, sing, and do in the way that only you know how. When we can do the very things that bring us joy and purpose the real version of ourselves will be revealed.
When you act (even in the smallest of ways) upon your passions, the universe opens up to you and gives you everything you need on your journey.
What is something you always wanted to try doing? What small step could you take today towards doing that thing?
Ariane Hunter is a professional portrait and wedding photographer by day. When she is not shooting, she is either blogging her musings about conscious living, practicing yoga, or adventuring the streets of New York City. She firmly believes that everyone has unique talents that should be shared with the world. Her motto is See Beauty…
Thank you, Ariane! And now — the comments are open. See you there!