Love at first capture

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It’s the click of a shot. The light of the flash. It’s the breathless moments that Luke Simon feels most at ease with his canon AE-1. After a few heartbreaks, his passion for photography has hidden his emotions that he desperately tries to hide.

At age 19, the second year Law and first-year journalism student, Luke Simon, expresses his passion for his new site given through his $300 camera. Sitting in the buzzing café store in North Wollongong, his lens zooms into the breaking waves of the harsh ocean.

“Photography started out as an experimental hobby a few years ago” he sighed as he continued, “My connection to my camera and the photo-taking process became a part of who I was. Not long after I first started taking photos, I had a long-term relationship end and I was really going down a dark path. I stopped doing the things I enjoyed for a few months and it wasn’t a sustainable way to live”

Following his large footsteps down the tiled stairs, his mind slowly drifts off and it quickly becomes silent. Once again, the click of a successful photo is all that’s heard. As Luke looks away from the breaking waves of the ocean and refocuses on continuing, I to, begin to feel the emotional attachment he has with his camera “Not taking photos makes me not feel like myself. I got back into it and I started re-emerging and finding happiness again, only to experience another relationship end, in far more dire circumstances, and that really messed me up. It’s only been over the last few months that I have been forcing myself to get back into my own skin like I did once before”

It was clear that Luke finds comfort in his camera. It’s not just an object to him, but it’s a way to express his life in a new way. A way to convey his emotions, not in words, but in memories.
I slowly began to realise that many of us, including myself, hide certain emotions through various activities. We constantly try to hide from the harsh world that clouds over us and, unfortunately, sometimes lose ourselves in the desperation to find happiness.

Luke quickly regains my attention by capturing another image as we make our final steps to the sand “In a way, photography is a coping mechanism for me. I love my camera and my camera loves me, and when I love something I love it with all the energy I have, so when those people turned their back on me and stepped on my heart, my camera was always there”

The way Luke’s eyes lit up when talking about photography and the memories he has collected will always be an image pasted in my head. Which in return gave me a sense of satisfaction knowing that the shy and quiet person I knew was able to express how emotionally attached he had become to his hobby.

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Photographer: Luke Simon

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