sweet spot

In Film, Inspiration
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I am not a huge fan of new beginnings. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. Sure, when something is new, I am excited but I am also terrified.   I am most comfortable once I have been at something for a bit of time and have found my groove.  My happy place is in the midst of something.

My sweet husband bought me an SX-70 for Christmas.  I have been playing with it for the last two months trying learn how to operate it. I think the first photo I took came out blank.  Nothing. Nada. Zilch.


Each photo felt more like a painful lesson than an adventure in art and expression. 


I continued to play with the camera and continued to learn something with each photo.


Finally, I started making some hedge way.  I started learning the ins and outs of my particular SX-70.  And when a photo doesn’t come out perfectly, I have learned that it isn’t necessarily me.  It can very well be the fact that I am using a 40-year old camera and film rightly named Impossible. 

Does the fear of new things mean I should never begin? That if I have never picked up a particular camera I should never try? Or that I stop shooting with this beauty? No.  Because I love what comes after the newness.  While I am not a fan of beginning, everything after it is my favorite.  When it comes to my SX-70 I have reached the wonderful place of comfortable and understanding.  The excitement and fear of just starting have waved.  Now, with each press of the shutter I don’t wonder what I did wrong, but wonder what I will learn.  And sometimes I am surprised with something beautiful. 

So as we begin to search through our viewfinders together, I want to remember what is coming.  The sweet spot.  The adventure.  The community.   The beauty. Whether you are beginning your photography journey or you are in your sweet spot, I hope you find this space an inspiration and support. 

Staci Lee


  1. Love your perspective here, Staci, because it’s true – beginnings of any sort can be very frightening!

    I remember when I first started experimenting with old cameras (and old film) I would just get so frustrated because the results weren’t on par with what I thought my results should look like. When I look at them now, though, I see them for what they are and they are so much more exciting than I gave them credit for five years ago!!!

    Here’s to starting new things!

  2. these are such wise and honest words. I am so glad you are “in it” with us!

  3. I love your honesty to express this feeling of being afraid of beginnings. I share the same fear and yes after we find our way It feels good that we weren’t afraid to give the first step. I put my Pentax k1000 on the side for being difficult to me…You just inspired me to get her again and try.

  4. I love how you begin new things, with much excitement and fear, yet you never let the fear stop you. I am excited to watch you BLOOM into this new adventure with Viewfinders. Your voice and perspective matters!

  5. Your words and images are always so beautiful together.

  6. I love this, Staci. Your images are gorgeous and your words resonate. For me it’s 35mm film shooting with my AE-1. I just haven’t connected with it yet.

    • That is a camera I have wanted. I hear you. The bummer with 35mm is you need to shoot 36 shots before you can see what mistakes you may be making. I wish they sold the 12 exposure packs for a cheaper price. It sure would help with that learning curve.

  7. my favorite “While I am not a fan of beginning, everything after it is my favorite.” great quote! So very true. I love that you kept trying because the results are so pretty. My oldest has been at his first and only job for almost 2 years now, he is unhappy and wants to find a new job….he is afraid of the new beginning…I’m going to quote Staci’s words of wisdom to him;)

    your friend

  8. Excitement & nerves go hand in hand whenever I try something new with my photography. I absolutely get this, Staci. But conquering those nerves, and mastering that new whatever, that’s golden, and of course, we can’t get there without beginning. xo

  9. Love this post. I didn’t have a lot of luck with my SX-70, and then it broke! It looks to me like you are well on your way to great results.

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