But am I photographer, too?

facebook_promoToday is a very exciting day. One that has left me blinking in shock and wonder. Crackling.

Last night I hung my first photography show. I stood with the restaurant owner and hanger, directing them to place my photographs on the wall. My photographs. For people to see. Perchance to buy.

It was a thrilling moment, standing there in the quiet, moving my eyes along both walls. Seeing images that I captured. Remembering each of those moments — the light, the weather — and seeing them suspended. Framed and spread along the length of the brick walls, the narrative unfolding.

And in this weird, slow-motion moment I’m not quite sure who I am anymore. I’m a writer. I’m a creative person. I like spending time alone wandering alleys and streets thinking about what I see, turning these tableaus into stories. And until recently this has been only in words.

Photography: it’s both new and old to me. I’ve always enjoyed taking photos but never thought of them beyond holiday snaps. Last year, when I lost my job and suddenly had a lot more time on my hands, I started capturing everyday moments and focusing my now-no-longer-needed Photoshop skills on a different path. And didn’t notice the hours passing as I experimented with filters and post-processing. Tweaking and coaxing, and generally liking the end result.

In January, on a whim, I applied to a local restaurant to have a show. Quite unexpectedly, they accepted me.

And my life changed. This sounds cliché and dramatic. But it’s the truth.

I will write about the process, about the tremendous amount of work that ensued and the frenetic emotions that followed me around each day. Until this day: the moment where I looked up and saw my photographs on the wall.

Writing has been who I am for so long. I cannot remember not writing, not wanting to record or tell a story with words. Photography is new and curious. There is so much to learn. It has so much to give to me. It’s overwhelming.

Having this show doesn’t make me a photographer. And if I manage to sell one print — that doesn’t make me a photographer. But right now, in this moment, it doesn’t matter.

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