La Sara en México

Mexicali 2015During Spring break this year, I spent a week in Mexicali, Mexico, interpreting for a mission team from Michigan. I went on the same mission trip two years ago, after arranging a photo show in a venue attached to the church. (We flew into San Diego, and apparently the one full day I spent there was convincing enough to move later on!) Living in a large camp with many other youth groups from around the U.S., we shared daily meals and devotions before heading out to various assignments at churches and charitable organizations. I was with a group that was running a bible camp at a local church. It was the same church I worked with two years ago, so it was good to see familiar faces. We had daily bible stories that the kids acted out, crafts, memory verses, and lots of time just to play with them. Read more of this post

Dreams of DSLR cameras dancing in her head…

I had a dream last night about adjusting f-stops on the Nikon D90, which probably indicates the amount of thought and research I’ve put into DSLR shopping.

I’ve been eyeing DSLRs for a while, and figured that I could worry about saving up for one after I pull off the trip to Spain I’m planning on for next summer. Then last month I took a brief but informative class on digital photography, and went on a photo shoot with some professional photographer friends in Detroit. Now, armed with rudimentary technical knowledge and a photography itch, I’m looking at buying one before my trip to Spain – because it would be very logical to buy the snazzy camera before walking across the gorgeous mountains in Europe, right? And what better time to buy one than in summertime, when I have time to muck around with it?

Humor me, please?

I’m already feeling some pangs of guilt at the mere idea of spending that much money on anything. Spending money is a strange sensation to me. Even buying anything new makes me feel guilty. Up until this year I never even bought a pair of shoes that cost more than $20. So if I’m going to spend any money, you know it’s going to be on something geeky.

I have vague ideas tumbling around in my head, which might be just me trying to justify dropping nearly a grand on something frivolous. Photography is something that I am passionate about, but it is always going to be on the back burner in favor of my overall passion in life: being involved positively in the lives of others, which for me has played out as a teaching career, volunteer work with YFU, and so on. I never plan on making a living off of photography – I already am lucky enough to have a passion (teaching) that pays my bills, more or less. But I would love to use any photography skills (and expensive equipment?) that I acquire as a way to donate to charities, for lack of more monetary ways of making an impact.

A quick google search brought up some sites like Photo Philanthropy, which seem to offer a lot of combination travel + photography + volunteerism opportunities. Those combinations might be a good way to spend summertime, since by the time I finish my M.A. next year I will truly have some time “off” during the summer. In the meantime, if I do begin selling any prints, I would like to donate a percentage of any profit to some kind of charity.

We shall see how this pans out.

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