Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guest Post - Jen Kiaba

Hello everyone! I'm so thrilled that Laura asked me to guest post and share my inspirations with you!

Laura and I "met" through the Female Photographers of Etsy (FPoE), which is an incredible group of women who offer support and advice to one another. Before finals rolled around last semester I was interviewing one talented woman a week and sharing her story on the FPoE blog. Laura was the first brave soul to volunteer, and that process helped to create a friendship of sharing and support.

My story is pretty simple: I struggled with photography for years, feeling frustrated and artistically unsatisfied. There were days where I was literally huddled in a closet, sobbing, trying to load film into a camera - little did I know that the camera was actually broken!!

Then one day it clicked. Haha, camera pun much?

Everyone finds inspiration in different ways. Luckily I live in the gorgeous Hudson Valley in New York, and so inspiration is around every corner. It can actually be a challenge to take a step back and not take the vistas, the old buildings and the quaint towns for granted.

Because I run a business and work full-time in trying to get it off the ground, sometimes it can be difficult to indulge in the things that are inspiring. So there are days that I have to take off, go for a walk in the woods, and let the beauty of the world wash over me.

There are so many things that can stress you out, break your heart, and overwhelm you that I think it is incredibly important to find those places, whether internal or external, that you can be inspired in.

If you got a chance to read Hannah's guest post, you know that she reminded us the world has a darker side. Maybe it's not the butterflies and rainbows in the world that inspire you. Personally, I think that's ok. If the suffering in the world, whether global or personal, is what inspires you to pick up a camera (or a paint brush, or a guitar, or your pen) then follow that inspiration.

I really do believe that we can effect change with our art. My work isn't the kind that will be plastered all over international news publications, but I hope that someday my photos make people feel understood or less alone.

What is it that inspires you, and how do you hope to inspire others with your work?

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