We have the ability to tell the narratives we aspire to tell whether it’s through a photograph, writing, painting or other creative forms that depict the compelling, raw and authentic fabric of our lives. As a kid, I knew that art was something that always inspired me to do more and create the things that I wanted to share with the rest of the world. From being the 5-year-old who drew on the walls of her childhood dining room with a blue Crayola crayon and a pencil to discovering digital art through an iPod 4. I would capture the fun and crazy fun family road trips and vacations, big family parties and get-togethers and the friendships that will last a lifetime. In 2016, the summer before my sophomore year of high school I had picked up a DSLR camera, Nikon D3400. Ever since then I’ve had my camera I pushed myself to continue pursuing this thing called photography. From watching countless hours of YouTube tutorials, collaborating with UW Madison students and connecting with freelance models & photographers around my area. The people I’ve met and the communities I am apart of has exposed me to new friendships, learning and growing as a photographer while receiving constant support from those who continue to encourage me.
I remember the times where I would feel discouraged to create because my family was not fully supportive of my photography. Having Asian parents were always tough because they expected more from you, wanting you to become the person they want you to be and pursuing the dreams you weren’t passionate about. It felt like pursuing dreams that my parents couldn’t do. I remember being told that my career choices of doing different things that make me happy were not options on the table no matter how much money I would make. My parents wanted me to be a Pharmacist all my life while I wanted to pursue computer science or being a Physician Assistant. It didn’t feel right for me to be something I did not think suit me for my future.
Although my parents were not fully supportive and told me I could be doing better things than photography. My parents believed I should always be studying constantly 24/7, getting smarter and educating myself on a daily basis even if it was summer break. It never felt like I could enjoy myself all the time because of my parents. It felt like I had to do something for them to satisfy their “perfect child” image and the “smartest kid” and get rich one day. It wasn’t something I agreed with.
Although I’ve had doubts through my journey as a photographer with my family’s opinion, to the constant stress that comes with being creative and trying to succeed and improve at my career. I want to do things that make me happy. So much as held me back because of my parents and other experiences I’ve had as a photographer has made me question things at times.
At the same time, nothing stops me from doing what I want to do. I’ve learned to ignore the numbers, followers, trying to be something I wasn’t because I cared about doing what makes me happy. I want to create art because it makes me happy and doing the things that inspire me constantly.
Till this day, I am so thankful for all the experiences that this camera has put me through from being a shy, quiet young girl who aspired to take pictures to receiving the opportunity to work with modeling agencies, brands and companies around Wisconsin and to developing friendships with those who shared similar passions as I did.
I have gotten to share my work on a platform called Instagram for the past amazing and crazy ride of 3 years of creating and sharing the art that I love. I have learned so much from others that have helped me in doing the things that matter to me.
Photography has taught me so much about myself as a creator, doing this for the past three years and receiving the opportunities to work with companies, brands, modeling agencies and getting published in my first magazine & other newspapers. This is only just the beginning and I know that I am ready for what comes next and what will help me achieve the goals, dreams and the things I hope to accomplish throughout my career.
Catch up with me @mishelleta on Instagram to see my work!
If you liked this piece, be sure to check out Suffering The Silent Storm