I have been studying and training, on and off, in martial arts since I was about 15. Most martial arts use coloured belts to help identify the level the student has mastered. Everyone I knew aimed for the highest level. The black belt. I trained for years and years until I was ready to grade for my black belt. The week before my grading I injured my knee and could not grade. 6 months later I was ready again and this time two days before my grading I injured my shoulder. The 3rd time, 12 months later, I was ready again. Would you believe it, I blew my knee again getting out of my car. I was devastated. Then my master took me aside and shared something with me, that to this day keeps my going. He explained that the black belt is not the end of my martial arts training, it is just the start of my journey. All of the years of training to achieve the black belt was just teaching me the fundamentals. The rules of the art. He said you are ready to now create the art. Improve it. Grow the knowledge, Create new rules and make a difference for the art. The black belt is just a piece of material that represents what's inside you.
For the last 5 years I have been working towards a photography goal. Recently that goal was realised. I was awarded a Master of Photography by the AIPP. I consider this award a black belt in photography. Now that I have reached this personal goal, I questioned "is this it for me and photography?". I felt disheartened and was lost for quite a while. I then remembered my sensei and how this is not the end of my journey, but just the start. I feel that I have mastered the fundamentals and now can start creating new rules for my beloved art. Create imagery to make a difference and grow the knowledge for me and for my students.
I thought I would share a few images from the last few months that I have captured and in turn they have really captured something in me. They are not my design or concept, however I always stop and look at them when I am browsing my catalogue.
I was quite sad for a fair while because I thought I had nowhere to go with my photography, however now I am excited to start contributing to this art I love.
Until next time my friends, please enjoy life.