Photography started as a hobby for me but once I started doing it for a living, I needed to find another hobby. Sometimes you just gotta do something that doesn’t feel like work, no matter how much you love your job. I didn’t know what that was, so I decided to do some exploring. I tried my hand at stuff like hiking (ended up bringing my camera and taking lots of pictures), shopping (only ended up buying camera equipment), reading (fell asleep reading anything other than photography guides), all of which defeated the purpose of trying to find something separate from photography. There was a bunch of other stuff that I just failed outright at. There are a lot of indoor and outdoor sports here in Maine, and it turns out I am not good at many of them.
Then a friend suggested gardening as a hobby to me. She has a gorgeous flower and herb garden of her own that she knows I love (to take pictures of, naturally). She gave me a few small terracotta pots and some herb seeds. She chose these particular herbs for me to start with because when they grow, they don’t look all that pretty. The only thing they do is make food taste better, and the one thing I really don’t do is food photography—I only do it in the studio under strict lighting conditions and prefer taking pictures of fake food over real food, which degrades under the necessary lighting. Knowing all of this, she figured I would be less likely to take photos of the herbs and resulting meals, and instead would be more interested in growing and eating them. As it turns out, she was right! Apparently, I am a good photographer and have a green thumb as well! This was all news to me.
And so, a new hobby was born. Now I grow a few different herbs. I keep the little pots up on the windowsill in my kitchen, which is right over my sink. This is incredibly convenient for me because I can take each pot down and water them using my kitchen faucet, and then just put them back. I usually do it while I am rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The special pull down kitchen faucet that I bought gives me just the right amount of water without having to fill anything and lug it around the house. It helps that everything is right there or else I might forget about it entirely! When I am away, I leave the plants in the sink and the dog sitter knows to water them for me.
I have also learned how to make some great meals using the herbs from my little above-the-sink garden, which makes it almost a two-for-one hobby. I love being able to say that I grew some of the ingredients! I would love to expand my garden, but I’ve run out of space on the windowsill. I’m afraid if I go out into the yard the dogs will “fertilize” the garden for me, eat everything before I get to use it, or I’ll be too tempted to make it pretty and take pictures.