• Sam Wilson

How Photography Helped To Start My Second Life

Updated: Oct 30


From Taking Photos To Writing About Taking Photos



My photography journey really began in 2016 when my husband David passed away. He had bought me my first camera for our wedding anniversary the year before, but I didn’t really get hooked until afterwards due to his illness.

So at the age of 48 I became a widow. While my life will never be the same, and I will always miss him, I have said from the beginning that only one of us died, so why lose two lives? I decided that I would do the best I could to get back out and create a new life.

A couple of months after David died, I headed on my first solo road trip and I decided that this is how I would start my 'second life'. I took the camera with me as i didn't feel quite so 'alone' wandering around in new places with it.


(My First Camera - Canon 700D, and I still have it)

(Our wedding day - just us, the celebrant and witnesses in our own backyard. It was just what we wanted)


"Sometimes life takes you on a new path because it wants to lead you to the place where you are needed the most" ~ Unknown

(My first solo road trip - 1800km in 10 days. I've never been accused of travelling light)



Slowly, Slowly I practised, learnt and improved

I started by photographing everything around me - beaches, trees, buildings, flowers, waterdrops, my cats - you name it, I photographed it.


With no real idea what I was doing I bought everything in sight that I read about - all the gear and no idea!


(One of my first outings with the 700D - have learned a lot since then)


After joining a local sunrise group I discovered it was landscape and nature photography that I really loved. There is just something about being out in nature watching the day come alive, being in front of a beautiful waterfall, or trekking through the bush – it just helps me to enjoy life and our beautiful world.

I also attended as many workshops I could find, joined a plethora of Facebook groups, soaked up hundreds of YouTube videos and online courses, and of course got out and practiced as much as I could.

In between then and now I left the secure employment of working the area of supporting carers of older persons and people with disabilities, and owned a boutique and gift shop. I am now working towards setting up a business to share my photos by selling prints and other products (if this works out). This is very much a work in progress and I'm certainly not in a rush.


(One of the beautiful mornings with my local sunrise group)


Along with my solo road trips, I’ve also attended many photography tours where I have learned so so much.

There’s nothing quite like a trip with like minded people that are as crazy as you are. It’s not only valuable in finding new locations, but some of the friendships I have made I know will be for life.

I’ve met some incredible tutors and fellow photographers who have helped me endlessly, as well as encouraged and inspired me to keep going.



(Never say no when someone offers to take a photo when travelling solo)


Why A Blog

Along with enjoying being out and taking photos, I also wanted to share what I had captured, and inspire others to get out and see the beauty in our world.

I now feel drawn to write about these experiences and provide information about the places that I have been to, and share what I have learned along the way.

The aim of this blog is to educate, inspire and entertain along the way so you can experience what I do, not make the same mistakes I have, and have a laugh at my (or others) expense along the way.


(One of my favourite photos of our local locations - Terrigal, NSW)


Where To From Here


As I head out on new adventures, or revisit past ones, I aim to post something valuable each week.


Topics and themes I'll be covering include -


Keeping It Local - Central Coast, NSW. This is where I have lived for most of my life so it will feature regularly - we really do have much more to offer than the postcard Terrigal and The Entrance




Road Trips - wherever I end up. Although these have been curtailed for a little while, I have plenty to share that I have already been on, and a lot more planned.




Photo Tours that I've been on and would recommend. These have seriously improved my photography exponentially. I will be sharing those that I've been on, those that I drool about still attending, and those that I do get to go on as they happen.



Research, Research - how I plan and do the trips I do. I totally believe in sharing resources, and am a bit of an overthinker so probably plan a bit to the extreme. I'm not one bit ashamed of this and happy to share whatever I do research.


Education and Inspiration - sharing those photographers and editors that I learn from and that keep me inspired. There really is so much incredible talent and photographers (a few I am lucky to be able to call my friends) to share.



All The Gear & No Idea - I am the self-titled queen of buying everything that promises it will give me the perfect photo, edit my photos to the absolute WOW factor, plan the sky within a millimetre. You name it I have bought it, and I will be sharing what has and hasn't worked for me.


Fun - life is too short to be miserable or take ourselves too seriously so be assured I will be sharing my mistakes, stuff up's and generally bad memes that I find amusing. If you can't laugh at yourself you absolutely can't laugh at anyone else.



(Always find a way to have a wine, and a good laugh)


That's all for now


Next up is why I called this blog 'Camera, Coffee and Cabernet - My 3 Essentials


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