A Passioned Renewed: A Story About Going From Zero to Publishing a Photography Book in Less than a Year

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One year ago – August 2013, I dropped my Nikon dSLR and it smashed beyond repair.

The sad thing was – I didn't really care.

I mean, I knew it was about $2000 worth of equipment that I just lost. But when I found out it couldn't be fixed, I seriously considered not replacing it.

I was going through a pretty prolonged period of having very little passion for photography. I stopped taking on new wedding and family portrait clients. I usually just used my iPhone to shoot photos and videos of my kids.

I was thinking of just….retiring from photography as a side business, and as a serious hobby.

But something in me was sad about losing this thing that I once loved. And what I realized was I didn't want to give it up without a fight.

So I took the loss of my big dSLR as a gift to take on a new direction in my craft.

I researched and was convinced that my new camera would be a more compact and attractive micro four-thirds system. The Olympus OM-D EM-5, to be exact.

My passion didn't spark back up the instant I got the new camera.

But I did start to bring Olympus everywhere I went. I got used to it being around my neck and it felt so much better than my dSLR system. Not only was my old Nikon physically big – but it was also emotionally big. I always felt like I needed to be “on” – getting clients and being a “pro”. It just wasn't fun anymore.

My new camera was fun. People commented on it. I enjoyed having it up to my eye.

I started to shoot abstract stuff, and stil-life. Things I hadn't cared about for years.

Then one day a friend of mine introduced me to the Humans of New York.

Eureka.

I found it.

I found the type of photography project I had been waiting for.

This combination of street portrait photography and mini-interview captions was captivating and I knew I could bring the concept to my ecclectic little city in the mountains of British Columbia.

Within an hour I had registered the domain www.humansofnelsonbc.ca and the Facebook page and I was out on the streets getting my first rejections from strangers when I would stop and ask, “Excuse me, may I take your picture?”

Over the next 10 months (from October 2013 until now) I've taken over 230+ portraits and have grown my Facebook page to over 6000 fans (in a city of 10,000).

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