A crafted outlet
For as long as I can remember, visual arts has always been an interest of mine. Once I finally got to high school, I realized I should get a little more serious (or so to speak). I began doing photography with my phone, because the best camera is the one you have with you. I thought I was the shit for my ability to take and edit the pictures the way I did. I remember the ways an app called "Rays" where I could add realistic looking rays from the sun to my pictures. I would take pictures with my iPhone 4 and edit them with some apps more advanced than the standard editing features. To be honest, I think you had to have an editing app back then. I can't remember. Point is: I took pictures and tried to make them look sexy!
Time for the sob story. I believe I had mental issues, a chemical imbalance if you will, throughout my life, but it seemed to be manageable up until I was ~17. At that age, I would be diagnosed with moderate depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I continued to be at my worst, mentally. I continued to make poor choices that involved the local drug trade. Nothing crazy, I wasn't Walter White, I was just a reckless teenager dealing with other reckless teenagers. My trust for people would be burnt during this time and I really had one true friend. He ended up going down for 2 years and I had become numb to my life. My only joy would be Netflix and smoking weed until the parents found out and literally smashed my bong to pieces! A few months later I would take too much synthetic LSD and experience a panic attack that lasted for hours during it. Life really sucked, to say the least. The pain continued past my 18th birthday, but I began taking pictures with my phone again. This time, I would learn more advanced editing techniques, both with color AND manipulation. It was truly a release from the stress which I had been dealing with.
Let's fast forward a few months! My dad had an old Rebel t2i which I decided to shoot the skyline of Dallas with. The picture sucked, and no I don't have it to share with you because it sucks. Again, it was a release to go out and make use of my craft.
Over the next year I would take pictures occasionally both with my phone and that old Canon crop-frame camera and my bad choices would fade. During that year it would also grow on me that I need to get serious and dedicated as I loved doing it. I bought Lightroom and a new camera, a Canon 6D, and the rest is history.