I have always been into photography. Since I was little, before I even knew what exactly photography was, I already had an ‘eye’ for it, whatever that meant. My parents always asked me when my birthday or Christmas came along, “what if you got a really nice camera?” of course the thought intrigued me, but I always felt like there were better things I could get… The latest cell phone or iPod, money, clothes, you name it. I didn’t want to get a 1,000 dollar camera because I thought my cheap, hand-me-down camera was just great. Then in the summer of 2011, my parents signed me up for a photography camp at an amazing boarding school in Massachusetts called Lawrence Academy. Students come from all over the country to be at this school, which explains why tuition there costs more than the tuition for my college. I was infuriated with my mom when she dropped this news on me. How could she? Aren’t kids supposed to choose fun camps that THEY want to do? I know my parents were always so proud and so taken aback by the pictures I took, always showing them off to friends and family… They even made a little booklet of my photographs and gave everyone close to us a booklet as a Christmas present… Embarrassing right? And now they were forcing me to go to this camp for two weeks. Those were two weeks that I could have been spending with my friends or my horse. My parents made my enjoyment of taking pictures seem more like a chore. Before camp, my grandmother gave me her super nice, Nikon camera to use during the two weeks; and holy cow, what a difference it made. I never quite realized the potential my photographs had. I always ran around using my phone or dinky little camera and I thought those were good enough. The content I learned from that camp at Lawrence Academy helped me improve so much. I believe pictures help grab peoples’ eyes. They see a certain picture and feel gravitated towards it (or at least you would hope they do). That is my goal, to have people want to look through my pictures, not to force them. I believe photographs can speak for themselves, and some can tell one hell of a story, if you know just how to look for it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that you can never take too many pictures. If you’re in a moment of pure joy and happiness, don’t you want to do all you can to remember it? Or if someone you loved has passed away, wouldn’t you want to have as many memories as you could with them? You can always have these pictures to look at and re-live those moments. Without pictures, all you have is your memory, and sadly, no matter how hard or how often you try to re-live it, memories can still fade away. Photographs are unbelievably powerful, with one look they can make you smile, they can make you laugh, they can make you cry, and they can comfort you. Who cares if people make fun of you for taking “too many pictures.” There is no such thing. Never let anyone convince you otherwise.