What is behind a name? Well it tells us who we are, tells us who anyone is really. It is the first bit of information many get of us in this age of technology. A name can mean everything, either good or bad, but whats behind the name is what defines it. So what is behind my name? what does Mason Myers Photography mean to me? Let’s explore that adventure and dive into the story.
When I was very young, my grandmother was a photographer. This is where my story begins. I recall going with her to her various shoots, even to one of the classes she took with a very prolific photographer from the Dallas area. Her photographs always hung on the walls of her home which she used as a studio and gallery of her work. I would sit and admire the many art shots and vast portfolio she had acquired over the years, the inspiration becoming a seed in my heart that would some day grow into a passion and love for the art. In those years the most used medium for photography was film. From professional to amateur to even home use, film was the standard by which many were tied. Even in today’s modern society where digital and technology rules our lives, film is a staple. College courses teach the use of film and the use of chemicals to develop those shots to reveal the beauty beneath. I’ll get to that in a moment.
The moment I walked into the dark room with wide eyed astonishment with my grandmother in her home I realized how cool this art form was, but it was much to advanced for my small mind to comprehend. She, as a grandmother always will, loved taking photos of me in various places. I loved going to visit her to share in the adventure and fun she would provide. Not only would it be photography but many things that a grandmother would do, movies, popcorn, shopping, really anything I wanted to do, she would do it with me. She was so generous to the point that anytime us grand kids went to her house and spent time with her, we would leave with full bellies, toys galore, and kisses to match. I spent a lot of time with her in the dark room as mentioned, watching her dip the film into the various chemicals to reveal what she had made.
Upon growing older and getting into more adult ventures, I would still spend time with her though she eventually retired from photography short of hobbyist type shots. Even though she didn’t participate in the professional field any longer, we still had fun spending time with one another. I grew on to go to college studying computer sciences in which I achieved my Associate’s Degree in Computer Sciences with a specialization in Cyber Security. A long title for a range of work under a science degree. This was something I saw a need for in certain areas, though, in youth, I chose to follow this path that didn’t pan out as I wanted it to. I began to explore my various other ideas about what I could do with my life. If anything this degree would be something to fall back on. The area in which we live, East Texas, specifically the small towns in which I have grown up in and lived in my entire life have no work in this field. This specific degree would be most useful in large cities such as Dallas, Houston, or Austin, but I do not live in these areas and have not moved there, though we still have a life in front of us.
Continuing to search within to find something that I could do to make money and love the work I do, I landed on the Idea of photography or even possibly piloting (hint to future blog posts!). I started this journey with simple smart phone. I began to fidget with the many settings inside the photo apps, taking photos of different subjects, nothing of note, but I liked what was happening nonetheless. I began to become interested more and more, researching cameras, drones, and videography. I ended up purchasing a small GoPro like device, definitely not the highest quality, but very useful. I took photos left and right, videos even. With the waterproof case that came with the camera I purchased (for only like $50 by the way) I took some interesting photos and video under water. Jumping in pools with my wife, horseback riding, sunsets. I took that thing everywhere. It fit in my pocket and I still have it today. I don’t use it, but when the time comes for it to be of use, it will definitely come in handy. This gave me the many skills that translated over to full blown photography. Even though this crappy little goPro ripoff wasn’t the best, it was the gateway into a life of obsession.
I began to delve deeper into both photography and videography and my passion soared. I researched DSLRs and lenses, trying to find the perfect camera for my next purchase. The prices were a bit scary though, this is one expensive hobby, especially if you want to eventually go pro. A camera body alone can cost up to six thousand dollars and not even come with a lens. So I took another approach. It may not have been the best one, but it was well worth it in the end. Shortly after my wife and I were married (possibly a future post as well, keep your eyes on this page), I started looking into photography classes as Kilgore College, and decided on a course. I began attending College for photography even though I had a rough if not above average knowledge and love of photography. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. I borrowed cameras and just started taking pictures shortly before this point as well, so I had real life, hands on information going into these classes. Due to my other degree, I already had my basics so I didn’t have to endure some of those classes once more (blegh).
I was working two jobs at this point, so I had to work around that schedule. Thankfully I was able and began my tutelage. My classes included Photojournalism, photo basics (which included basics on shooting and developing film), digital photography, and more. I loved the classes and we had a very known photographer by the name of O. Rufus Lovette, author of the book “Weeping Marry” and published in Texas magazine and various others. He taught us very well and i gained the knowledge I needed from these courses. There isn’t much to say about this time other than we did a lot of photography and went to a lot of events and I even had photos published in the Kilgore College Newspaper.
At the end of all of this I began my professional journey. My love for photography and the less mentioned anxiety that I deal with sparked the name. I pondered on what I should market myself as and I wanted something that would jump out at you and grab your attention. A name should have a personal touch, yet be something you remember. As The Anxious Photographer, I believe it does more than that as well. It reveals who I am and what I do, but it give you personal information about me. It tells you up front that I am an anxious person by nature, but that should not deter you from my photography. I believe my work speaks for itself and the attitude I go into any wedding or any event or even family and personal shoots is one of confidence. Even though I have anxiety and am uncomfortable in some situations, my love for photography and the beauty of precious and unplanned moments pushes me out of my comfort zone. That isn’t a bad thing either, it helps me to capture the most loving and beautiful moments.
In conclusion, I think what anyone should take away from this post is that, no matter who you are or what your story is, be proud of it. Take delight in what you have accomplished no matter how big or small. No matter what your past or current situations have been, go for the things that make you happy. You don’t have to be rich or have a lot of means to make your life happy. Take time with the ones you love and do the things you love, that is what will make you happy. If you face some sort of mental issue, that is ok too. Anxiety can only hinder you as much as you let it. When I speak to clients or when I go to ones in hopes of becoming their photographer I have a huge lump in my throat and stomach, but if you push past it and really stick yourself out there, it will be easier to do in the future. Expose yourself to the elements and you will be surprised with the results.
If you’ve read this far and still have nothing to take from this, then try and use it as inspiration. If you have a passion or a love for something, go for it. If you want happiness, don’t look for money or for stuff, look for the ones you love and the things you love doing, because what is a life without those things in it? If you go through your days and have nothing to look forward to, change it. I guess what I want to leave you with is that you aren’t alone. All of us have someone that loves us, go be with them…. Now! Go!