On Monday, July 22, we embarked on a trip that served as a “sort of trip” and vacation get-away. Doubling into a photography workshop at the Sitka Center where I (and the rest of the class) partook in a couple of hikes, all-the-while photographing the forests of the cascade.

The journey was exhilarating. It is something different to be hiking in the woods, instead of doing the typical photojournalism in the streets of Salem, Ore., and attempting to battle the common stereotypes of not being with a prominent news outlet.

The first day, we checked into a motel at the Ashley Inn and Suites, first introducing myself to the rest of the class. Not much got done the first day but got briefed to the types of things we would cover during the few days of attending the workshop (Monday-Thursday).

For the most part, it was still a fun experience even if it’s something that I can only do once. Being the only young person in the class, I was not really surprised; because most people my age is usually doing to full-time job in order to meet end needs.

On the second to last day, we hiked a trail that is more than a mile long—walking up to the vantage point, while taking photos on the way, and hiking all the way downhill towards the Sitka Center. After we arrived, the amount of pain and exhaustion experienced was overwhelming, and the ability to walk or stand spread throughout every inch of my body.

What I have learned through this experience is something way more important than anything I have in the past—learning about the very aspect of photography and using the time to learn patience. Teaching me to be grateful to the parents who have supported everything I do.

Showing me, whatever I do and wherever I go, there will be people who will always support the work I do even as a young photographer.

Overall, I am most certainly not the best, but my perseverance and motivation are enough to continue what I do. To never give up and try new things. Sure, there are still things that can be improved. Though, looking back, I am proud of the changes that were made.

Thanks for being here and supporting my journey. It’s never a goal to stop what I am doing, but it is to make others proud. I am glad I took this trip because it taught me something about myself that I did not expect to see.

If you’d like to support my work in the future, or would like to help full-fill my dream of becoming a photojournalist, please feel free to leave anything. Whether if it’s a share, like or comment; anything helps.