Prompt B of ApplyTexas: Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

The shutter button is released, causing a chain reaction: the lens opens and closes in the span of microseconds, and, for a moment, the world stands still to allow genius or despair to be captured.

When I was eleven years old, fresh out of elementary school, I was given the opportunity to travel in Europe for two weeks with a student group. To document my experiences, my parents gave me a small point-and-shoot camera, of the non-destructible variety. That camera’s abilities pale in comparison to even mobile phone cameras of today, but it was my tool to capture the world around me, even if the pictures were a bit grainy.

For me, photography is a way to slow down and find the individual frames of beauty in everyday life. Before I became a photography addict, life flashed by in a blur. Now, my days are filled with the images of a cottonwood blossom gently floating outside after a desert storm, or a perfect El Paso sunset that sets the sky on fire. Through a camera lens, everybody and everything looks more interesting.

Like any worthwhile pursuit, photography comes with its own brand of frustrations and disappointments. A mistake in photography is irreversible: once the moment passes it cannot be imitated or recreated. When I was...

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