I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve grabbed my “real” camera to go on any type of photo shoot since the police came to seize my laptop so they could check it for evidence of child porn over a year and a half ago. I never did get the laptop back, even after ex husband died and their case against him was a moot point, the police refused to give me my laptop back or even a copy of my extensive picture collection I’d edited and stored on it for years.  *disclaimer for anyone who doesn’t know the back story…I do not and never have looked at child porn,  it was my now deceased ex husband who’d bookmarked some sites that contained (among other things) images of child porn and I about died of horror the day I found out.

I’ve told myself a lot of excuses since that day on why I don’t feel like taking my camera out. Grief over the death of my dad,  plus miscarriages,  plus finding out husband bookmarked those porn sites,  plus the divorce,  plus the rest of my immediate family falling apart…the list was endless. What I never considered was the effect losing a huge chunk of my work meant to me. I didn’t stop to think about the connection of that loss being tied to pictures in of itself. I had so many pictures of my niece on that laptop,  of my friends kids from all the family photo shoots I did…frozen moments of time where they were being silly or happy. Did some police officer spend hours of time searching through my neatly organized folders just itching to find one that would prove I had any intention of exploiting an innocent child? That concept actually did cause me trauma. I felt like my entire body of work was somehow sullied just by association. I think that,  more than the rest,  is why I can’t bring myself to pick up my camera and try to capture an interesting or beautiful moment. I love(d) photography,  it was a creative outlet but now I just use my phone for everything because I’ve never associated cell pics with being “real” photography. I don’t even own a laptop anymore and I keep putting off getting one. I think I need to find a way to try and get over this. Yes I lost everything, but I can’t let it stop me from building up a new collection. It’s crazy the things we hide from ourselves because of negative emotions and fear.


17 thoughts on “Realizations

  1. Such a traumatic experience, but you are a strong person just by surviving such a terrible time. I love to take pictures with my cell phone, I feel like a photographer, but of course I’m not. So continue taking those pictures and if you have the knowledge of how to use a camera don’t let it get away from you. Start all over and make sure you do backups. Stay strong!

  2. I think it’s fairly common for humans to hide from ourselves the real reasons for our changes, especially if the changes followed negative events that we’d rather forget. I guess the question is, now that you’ve realized the connection, are you ready to confront the bad memories so that you can go back to doing something you love(d)? There’s no right or wrong answer. There’s only the answer that’s right for you. For what my two cents is worth, from the pictures you post, I think you have a great eye for photography and I’d enjoy seeing what you’d “catch” with a better camera…

    • Thanks. I used to post my “real” photography a lot, but looking back the other day I realized it’s been way too long since there’s been anything that didn’t come from my phone. I think once I sell my house and start over in a new place I’ll be more inclined to get out there and embrace the camera again.

  3. I remember all the gorgeous shots you used to post. You have a real talent and it would be wonderful if you could eventually go back to using your camera again. I’m sure it won’t be an easy process but you have been courageous enough to uncover some of the reasons for giving up photography and this could be the beginning of something so much better. You have had a terrible time this past few years; a weaker person would not have coped at all but you are doing so well!
    With love, Clare

    • Thank you. I like to think I’m pretty transparent with myself about what’s going on so when I have these realizations they always surprise me so much. I’m hoping this is a more peaceful year (although with what’s going on in the world peace probably isn’t on the menu) in my personal life, with the opportunity to really start over and let go of past trauma.

      • I hope it is a better year for you too. I don’t think the world is in for a peaceful year either and there isn’t much we as individuals can do except try not to be compromised in our beliefs and do our best to help others. We can only do this effectively if we look after ourselves and keep as strong and healthy as we can. These realisations we have about ourselves are so surprising – almost like eureka moments. But as soon as we have them we know they are right and true and then we wonder why we didn’t realise them earlier. They come at the right time for us – just when we need them and they make for growth and maturity no matter how old we are.

  4. I think you should get your laptop back from the police. If they have finished with it, and there is no reason they need it (I don’t mean to be callous, but if your ex is dead they don’t need evidence against him) then you should get it back. And instead of thinking of your photos being tainted by this, instead you should look at them as the good and wholesome thing that exhonerated you. I imagine the police had a very different opinion of you after looking through all your pics, than they did before… one of a good person and (I assume) talented photographer. You’ve had terrible experiences (a lot of terrible, sad experiences) but they do not make you a terrible preson. Yay you!

    • I thought that too, why would they need the laptop once they got any evidence they needed off it? I tried several times to get the laptop back before he died and my requests were denied. After he died I even had a lawyer try twice but was still told “no” every time. I am hoping that by allowing this realization to surface it means I am getting back to a place where I can indulge my creativity through photography again. Most of my original RAW images are still on old memory cards. If I ever need them I can go back and get them, though the idea of re-editing thousands of images is daunting in of itself, plus I’ll have to re-purchase my editing software. You have an excellent point though, to look at the concept that was causing me anxiety in a different, more positive way. I am hoping that by shedding light on these fears I had that they will lose their ability to deter me.

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