Story by Brandyce
During a brief time in my life, I naively thought I’d be racing up the corporate ladder in a large media corporation in my hometown of NYC—making my way through the cut-throat world of marketing, public relations, and advertising. Then I realized that lifestyle wasn’t conducive to my spirit. I needed to find a way to be more creative without all of the restrictions.
Outside of work, I love spending time in parks and beaches. Being in nature has always been a way for me to clear my head, to find peace from the day’s demands. So, almost as an inadvertent response to all of the masculine energy of “doing” and “achieving,” I’d find myself wanting to reconnect with nature. To embrace the feminine energy of just being present. I also found more outlets for my own creativity. I would draw and write, then started dabbling in photography around 2015 when I got my first DSLR camera.
About a year later, I started going through some major life transitions and appreciated the freedom that came with photography. It brought me solace. I could escape my worries, get lost in my own world, and tell a visual story exactly as I pleased. No client demands. I just shot where and how I felt called in my spirit. Photography also presented new opportunities to simply get out of the house and explore.
Seeing the World Through a New Lens
First, I used photography as a way to further explore Brooklyn and Manhattan—visiting sites that were new and ones that were familiar. But then, I’d bring it with me on my frequent trips to Prospect Park (Brooklyn), where I go to rest and recharge my spirit. Soon, I found myself using the camera as binoculars, becoming a hobbyist birdwatcher; I’m always on the lookout for birds and other signs of wildlife. Naturally, I’ve been able to combine my love for nature with my creative pursuit of photography. These practices have helped to ground me and in a sense, rewire my brain. I’ve truly gotten to know myself better through this process.
Now that I’ve become so used to visually taking in my environment, I can notice subtle changes in the seasons a little quicker. I find myself looking at my previous photos and using context clues in the images to tell what season it was. When I look at my sunset shots, I can generally tell what time of year it is. Even by the way the shadows are cast on the ground.
Photography has shown me just how far I’ve come in my personal life, in my artwork, and it’s helped me understand more about nature and the role I want to play in it.
I’d love to know what hobbies have helped you get to know yourself or the world around you better. Share in the comments!