Do you have a side passion that keeps you going?
When my wife Val was pregnant with our first child, she went on a lengthy trip out to California for work, and then to visit her sister and her sister’s newborn in Oregon. This left me all alone at our home in Massachusetts, so I spent my waning childless free time taking lots of photos; thousands of photos. It was October 2006. In New England, October is just glorious, and the window for getting good foliage shots was limited.
I was so obsessed with getting photos that one morning, I was the first hiker to summit Mount Monadnock in Southern New Hampshire. This is no mean feat…Mount Monadnock is widely considered the second most climbed mountain in the world behind Mt. Fuji in Japan. I got to the parking lot before there was a guard on duty to collect the parking fee. I also spent some snapping foliage photos at Mt. Misery in Lincoln, MA. Just to be clear, Mt. Misery is not a mountain, it’s a hill with a peak elevation of 284 feet. Some “mountain.”
While I was at Mt. Misery, I noticed the leaves falling into the water, creating ripples. I set out to capture a leaf falling into the water and the ripple that came from it. I obsessed over catching a leaf at just the right moment. I was hampered by the camera shake from using a telephoto lens in relatively low light, and getting the camera to focus on the right spot at just the right time.
After several attempts, I got one that worked. My obsession with photography and capturing the right shot continued even after son was born that March, I took many shots of him both sleeping and awake. Val would say I was a bit obsessed. And I was. I also entered the leaf into a local photography competition for which I won a prize.
Fourteen years after hunting foliage shots in New England, I still love photography. Whenever we go on vacation, I usually spend a few hours with my trusty 15-year-old Canon DSLR, trying to get shots and playing with lighting and angles, and trying to find interesting patterns. I also take a lot of pictures of the kids: mostly action shots.
Having an outlet like photography is a way to focus on something other than my voiceover business. Photography is an outlet that I can then share on Instagram, or with family and friends. Every year I spend hours culling photos for calendars, Holiday cards, and a family photo book from our previous year’s adventures.
The photos are also a great reminder that, despite the pandemic and social unrest, I have a lot going for me in my life. Whatever your line of work, I hope you have a side passion that does the same for you.
For more photos, you can find my instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/chrisvallancourt/