Journey Claimer: Getting In Focus with Michael Tucker
"I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by the most incredible people on this dang planet, and they deserve all the credit for anything good I create. I constantly feel encouraged and comfortable enough to create, for the most part, what I want to. As an artist, that’s incredibly important. Thank God for them," says Michael Tucker (@mchltckr) a traveling photographer based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although Michael has accomplished a lot with his work in photography, including being featured as a Suggested User on Instagram, he feels that he’s still very much a rookie at it. "Photography, though, is sort of a new thing for me. It’s been in my life since my senior year of high school (about 5 years now), but I’m just now beginning to learn its place in my life.”
He recently returned from a three week trip to Scotland. In Scotland, he traveled the west coast and Edinborough, took pictures, met people, and explored the beautiful landscape. Currently, Michael is spending the majority of his time in Baton Rouge making more photos.
Here’s how Michael (@mchltckr) opened his life up to some incredible opportunities:
How did you discover your passion for photography?
This is a really good question. I think what led me to create was largely teenage angst, in a weird sort of way. I was selfish, like most teens, and because of that, I often found myself angry or sad or upset with someone - be it my parents, my girlfriend, or someone else I really cared about. I think, in general, very strong feelings lead people to create something to replace those thoughts or feelings and that leads them to eventually discover their passion. So - these feelings I was dealing with, that were really very normal, had to come out in some way. Then photography came into my life. I suddenly had an avenue to create things that might not have anything to do with my feelings, but still gave me an outlet to express myself, and maybe in a more positive light. Photography has become my passion because it’s become my outlet, my getaway, and my rock. It lifts me up in a way that other artistic expressions cannot.
How did you distinguish yourself as a photographer?
I don’t consider to myself to stand out, in the broad range of photographers, artists, creatives, etc. What I do think is important, though, is that I’m always pushing myself to make the best work that I can. And I’m still learning what that looks like. And still more importantly, I think it’s very important that you’re content with who you are, even if you desire to improve upon yourself or your work, or grow your influence. I’m a Christian, so my views are pretty deeply rooted in my faith and what I know about Jesus. If you look at Jesus, he was confident. He knew his purpose and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was the Son of God - and he acted like it. And because his foundation was sure, he birthed a movement that thrives still two-thousand years later. That’s the kind of person I want to be. It’s easy to be distracted by comparison or discontent - but I think that if you’re sure of your purpose, you then have a platform to create meaningful work that has the potential to stand the test of time.
How did you claim your journey as a photographer?
This is a funny question for me, because being so young means that I’m really still claiming my journey. Some things I’ve done to begin that process have included travelling more than my wallet allows me to, meeting more people than my introversion can handle, and taking more photos than I have space to carry. Going above and beyond your “limits” is very important. Do what you want and do it well. Pushing limits, testing the waters, breaking down the walls, etc. - these are all things to focus on. There will always be a million things in my way - resistance is the enemy and I want nothing to do with it!
For each Journey Claimer story, I ask people to share how they’re claiming their own unique journey in life. For more from Michael and his passion for photography, follow @mchltckr on Instagram.
Follow me on Instagram (@JourneyClaimer) and look for a new story every Monday.
(cc: staff, instagram)