I'm going to tell you a story, Something that happened to me, 3 years ago as I was living in Airdrie, Alberta.
I used to go out at night, at least 6 or 7 times per month, but I was not drinking, or partying, I was shooting the Northern Lights. I started to do it in November 2010, when we were in the Yukon for a few day. I got hooked to night photography and I was chasing the northern lights. I've spent hours and hours in the cold nights of the Albertan winters, looking up in the sky, trying to be faster that the clouds, ahead of the fog, in my snow pants and -40 jacket ...... When I think about it, I must have been crazy at times, but it was awesome !! Seeing the dancing sky above my head, as I was alone in the middle of nowhere was so great ..... it was my own moment of "me time".
One day, in August 2012, I have had one of those moments where the doubts are taking over the passion, and I decided I wouldn't take anymore pictures. My camera was sitting on the dinning table, for days, and days turned into weeks, and weeks into months ..... until that night where my friend Olivier basically didn't give me any choice and told me to meet him somewhere, on the way to Edmonton. After complaining and saying no, I finally gave up and I went. It was 11 pm on October 12th 2012. I met him at the entrance of this field, his camera was already set on the tripod, and he was ready to give me the kick I needed to get back into photography.
I took my camera out of the bag, set it on the tripod, adjusted my settings and together we started to wait. It was a cold and a very dark night. We were waiting for the show to start, the stats were optimistic we will have a great display, and we started to talk about our own meaning of the lights, about our passion of shooting, Olivier explained me everything about the stats and how to understand them ..... and all the sudden .....BAM, the show started. The whole sky turned green, the dance of the light started slowly, and increased in speed and before our eyes, the whole sky was dancing. It was incredible,
My whole body could feel this energy coming from the sky, I ended up whipping a tear that was rolling on my cheek. The show went on until 4:00 am, non stop, and we stayed that late because we were like absorbed by the beauty of this sky.
When I went home that night, I went to bed and I realized that this special night helped me to see exactly why I was doing what I do. I love taking pictures, creating images and sharing them with like minded people.
The following day, I did what I was always doing after a night shooting the lights : I sent one of my images to the local newspaper. They usually published them within a week, but this one, they waited 3 weeks to publish it. I was very surprised, and I received an email from David, here is what he said to me :
"I would like to purchase this image of the Northern Lights, I live in Mazatlan, Mexico and I am visiting my daughter and grandchildren in Airdrie. My wife and I lived in Fort St. John for a long time and really loved the Northern lights. My wife passed away in Mazatlan on October 12 and my interest in your excellent photo is related to the coincidence of her passing and the light show."
A big wave of chills shook my whole body, and I cried, like a baby as I was reading this email. Of course I met with David, of course I printed this image and I framed it for him, and most importantly , I knew, at this point, that my photography had a purpose. A purpose way more important than fame or money : it was creating emotions to people who is looking at it, THIS IS MY PURPOSE, and thanks to Olivier and David, I was back on track and pushing my passion of creating images.