Get Outside And Explore
prAna Ambassador Savannah Cummins
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I still have vivid childhood memories from pictures painted by my imagination. My science teacher in 10th grade had us watch Planet Earth all the time. Consequently, that became the only class I could manage to stay awake for the entire hour since I would get SO wound up from all the amazing imagery in the show that I’d leave class every day dreaming big and somehow feeling more excited about my world. The moments and the places that had been captured and featured in Plant Earth started to open my heart to all the other amazingness that existed outside of my hometown in the ‘Nasty Nati’, aka Cincinnati, Ohio. A few years later, I started to realize how much power seeing a perfect moment, frozen in a photograph, could have on my psyche and my inspiration to make moves in my life.
After taking my first photos with my Cannon T2i, I wanted to know more about how to master this machine I now owned. The ability to capture light on an object in a way that tells a story or takes me away to somewhere deep inside my imagination reminded me of my childhood years when I would day dream about traveling back in time or teleporting around the world. After seeking out countless hours of help, many YouTube instructional videos, and learning from a colorful blend of my friends and a few of my highly respected photo mentors, I began to understand exactly why I love taking photos so much…without even realizing it, I was providing inspiration, and the opportunity to look back in time at the moments I was lucky enough to freeze to the people who connected with my images. It’s a hell of a way to share an experience, and since life is all about ‘the experience’, how could there be a better thing to share with the world?
Photography also provides another outlet for me to pursue while I’m in my sanctuary…the great outdoors is the only place I want to be. Nature is where I feel most comfortable and most motivated. Being part of a beautiful landscape by trekking through the mountains or climbing on a beautiful rock wall makes my heart happy and my smile big! All of my free time gets used up with outdoor adventures and the open road is where I feel most at home…well, I literally live in a van so that I can be outside more than inside so I suppose the outdoors really IS my home!
Working as a professional photographer has it’s challenges alongside the luster of living life on the road. As enjoyable as it is to be in constant search of another adventure, to have the chance to work alongside intriguing people, and to witness them tackling the impressive objectives they pour their soul’s energy into, living my life out of a backpack gets old. Sometimes I long to have an entire day off, free from the emails, the phone calls, and out of the office (aka coffee shop stocked with Wifi) where hours quickly turn into days of editing, planning for the next shoot, coordinating with the somewhat flighty ‘professional athletes’, mapping out travel, then turning my plans into written proposals which may or may not turn into dollars. It takes more work than I ever thought it would to turn a photo shoot into a profit…most of the time it’s worth it.
I may never have the luxury of clocking out for the day and leaving my work life behind for the rest of the night, but none of the challenges I face in my line of work are great enough to consider doing anything else. I love to travel and I find it rather boring to stay in one place for too long. It’s a real treat that no two days at work are the same for me either. Every job is something, someone, or somewhere different, and every work opportunity is another excuse to go explore a beautiful piece of our natural world. The light reflects differently on a single object every minute or two, as conditions and time of day change which forces me to change my perspective or angle or subject entirely. Photography constantly challenges me to grow as an individual. With a new place and a new face around every corner, and with technology evolving by the day, I’m always trying to keep up with my own ambitions and with what’s written on the next page of my life. I’m excited to see what tomorrow will bring; until then I’ll be hoping it’s something that allows me to play outside somewhere stunning on our pretty planet.
Learn more about Savannah Cummins – prAna Ambassador