Janet had always wanted to follow her dreams and increase her photography skills, even if it meant starting from the beginning. She had been an art major in college but never pursued photography because the trajectory of her career shifted her into several different creative roles. They didn’t include photography, but she was always taking photos that piqued her interest. Now that she was retired and could focus on what she wanted, Janet decided to enroll in a photography class at the local community college.

At first, Janet felt overwhelmed by all the buttons and settings on her new camera and lenses. But with some guidance from her professor, as well as watching online tutorials late into the night, she slowly began to understand how to use them properly. After mastering basic techniques such as lighting balance and composition tricks, Janet started to take beautiful pictures of everything around her: flowers in bloom near her house; sunsets reflected off nearby lakes; even candid shots of people going about their daily lives in town.

The professor admired her talents and told her that she should enter some of her photographs into the State Fair competition and she was excited when she won her first ribbons. She had doubted if she was good at photography or if she just enjoyed it as a hobby. The more exposure she had and feedback from the community, the more she realized that she truly had talent and she should continue pursuing her passion.

When Janet felt lonely, she would grab her camera and head out for a walk or would sit in the local park and watch and listen to the sounds, snapping photos as they caught her eye. She loved to share her photos with her friends on FB and she received great feedback. One friend kept telling her that she should create a coffee table art book. She didn’t know the first thing about how to create an art book so she asked her professor for information and started learning online how she could make her own book.

It involved learning complex design software on the computer, so she signed up for a class at the community college to learn how to use the design software. She started working with her photos and organizing them into the book. It looked amazing and she was excited about it. She made so many friends while taking her classes that she was able to start a Saturday morning walking group that walked to take photos. She showed them the start of her book and they all raved about it.

She was so thankful to have friends and be involved in a creative activity, knowing that these connections would help her stay engaged and not staying in her apartment all alone. Taking up her hobby was a certain way to make sure that she had friends, a creative outlet, and a sense of community.

Please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at info@gcmsolutions.net, and let us help you or your aging loved ones create meaningful communities through new outlets.