Shoot what you love. Edit how you feel.

 –Jamie Konarski Davidson

Before I dig in, I thought that giving context to “trust the process” would be helpful. Here’s what I found that speaks best to what I’m meaning.

When you trust the process at the right time, you’ll get where you intend to go without rushing or pressuring yourself. It can take you to places you never imagined, and it comes down to patience, trust and faith. It means that even if things may look bad in your current path, it’s not your final destination. (From

This series happened one day when I was experimenting and playing with creating different looks and feels from the same image.

Today, this one is my favorite. On another day it is likely to be different.


Here we go. When I began my journey I photographed primarily nature – which encompasses a wide range of subjects. I didn’t really have a sense of what truly “tripped my trigger.” I learned that the birds didn’t like me and that they knew exactly how long my lens was and made sure they were at least 100mm further away than my lens could reach. They guaranteed that my bird images were not so good … at all; and, if they were, I had gotten lucky. That’s not exactly true, really. In fact, when I finally got a lens that made it possible to be successful at bird photography, I used it three times in a year and a half. I ended up selling it to a hardcore bird photographer.

I photographed many different subjects, including landscapes from the “sort of” grand to smaller stories down to the intimate scenes. I discovered a love for the rural landscape as well as everything connected to it. That means farms, crops, barns, old fences covered with wildflowers, rusty tractors and other tools. Oh, and cows. Yup, cows. Who can resist a cow or making that long moooooo sound to get their attention? Even when not photographing, I am “that person.” Cows are big and often smelly, but also cute and very curious. Get one cow’s attention, you have the whole herd.

And then, in a field of wildflowers, I was awakened to the macro world – not just flowers, either, but everything connected with them. I discovered grasshoppers, spiders and webs, butterflies, frogs, praying mantids, leaves and tree bark and all the tiny details that make up our natural world’s tapestry. The possibilities are endless. At that time, I was shooting film. I had a lot to learn, but was hooked.  My range of subjects and tools and techniques has expanded greatly over the years.

Exploring the flower with more sharp focus gave me this.

Shifting gears to focus softly gave me this.

Then, this happened when I said, “What if?” AND, I had learned and knew how to take it here. (Combining two images, blending and masking, along with a darker richness in color and tone)


For about ten years I shot slides and wasn’t very skilled in editing (or scanning). I made much greater efforts at learning and executing the technical aspects of my photography than making the connections that would ultimately change the spirit of my images. You see, as a new photographer, a large part of my attention was focused on the “getting it right” zone. And, while it is, no doubt, important to be technically adept, I thankfully learned that If I connected with my subjects and found the balance between technical and creative, my images are stronger and more meaningful. They edged their way from being solid documentary statements to personal expressions of what I was drawn to. They spoke to how I interpreted the world I saw and experienced.

My photography evolved as I learned what I needed to know. I learned what I needed to know about my camera, exposure and composition. A better understanding of the fundamentals gave me more confidence. Connecting with other photographers whose work leaned strongly toward or deeper into the artistic side gave me the “courage” to do me. That said, the two greatest influencers in that vein for me were Nancy Rotenberg and Freeman Patterson. No doubt, there were plenty of others who taught and encouraged me, directly and indirectly, but those two pointed me in the direction of being open and willing to look, find, express and own my own vision – not theirs or anyone else’s. It took a while for me to immersively leap into that pool, but once I did there was no turning back. I found myself, my passion and an ever-evolving direction.

My first interpretation of this image from a “retired” denim mill. It’s “okay.”

Revisiting the same image with new eyes, this interpretation FEELS more like I want it to.

What I learned is that as long as I’m true to myself, yet always open to learning from others, the growth continues. Even more than that, I photograph for me first. I am my first and most important audience. (You are yours.) I don’t shoot with competitions or judges or approval in mind. Photography is my soul feeder, my therapy, my place of rest, peace, excitement and wonder. Everything else is secondary in that area of my life.

It takes time to get to this place. In fact, for a long time I found it hard to say, “I am a photographer.” I didn’t feel I knew enough or was good enough to claim that title. So, I said that I love taking pictures. True enough, but not exactly accurate. Today, I go a step further and can say, “I am a photographer and visual artist. Truth? I never had being a professional photographer on my radar. I didn’t see myself teaching or giving presentations or sharing my work. I didn’t see being a part of art exhibits or shows, either. Really, I just wanted to be a better photographer. That’s it. On top of that, I was absolutely petrified of public speaking. I had no desire to open myself up to that experience, risk or exposure. Yet, little by little, image by image, influencer by influencer, the well of creativity and confidence began to fill, and the leaping began. And, now, here I am, writing and sharing and speaking and so much more. Something to be said for “trusting the process.”

The mural by itself was cool, but waiting for the boy to land in just the right place was even better. An artistic interpretation makes it even stronger in my mind.