Baby Steps

IMGP6481By S. J. Brown

Recently I gave some advice to friend about recovery after surgery, my advice, baby steps, lots and lots of baby steps. No one can recover from surgery overnight. It’s the little improvements, those baby steps that count.

The same can be said about writing. As a writer I didn’t start out writing a book. I began writing essays in school then stepped up to magazine articles before approaching a full length manuscript. Taking baby steps allowed me to improve my writing and my confidence.

As a photographer I didn’t start out photographing large animals in faraway places. I began with birds and squirrels in my backyard

After gaining a bit of confidence I stepped out of my comfort zone, and traveled further in my pursuit of critter photos. I ventured into Maryland and photographed ducks, geese, and swans at a nearby park.

SJ Brown MallardThen it was time for another road trip. This time I headed to Pennsylvania. There I had my first experience getting up close and personal with some captive critters.

SJ Brown LemursSome little critters in New Jersey reminded me that taking baby steps when working around water could have helped you me avoid sinking in mud up to my calves.

SJ Brown DragonflyIn Virginia I learned wild ponies don’t take baby steps.

SJ Brown PoniesIn Florida I learned taking baby steps backwards can get you safely away from an alligator.

SJ Brown AlligatorIn the 17 years I have been photographing wildlife I have traveled to 2 dozen states. Every time I encounter a new critter I have to remind myself baby steps. Take the shot and use baby steps to get a better angle or a closer vantage point of my subject.

SJ Brown BearWe all take baby steps to advance ourselves in various pursuits. Every once in a while a giant leap of faith may be necessary. The important thing to remember is to keep moving forward.

Thanks for stopping by.

Naturally,

S. J. Brown

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15 Responses to Baby Steps

  1. Mike Staton says:

    Baby steps are very, very wise when you’re photographing a bear, especially a grizzly bear. 😉 When I was going through at-home rehab after I damaged my right hip and upper leg in 2010, the therapist would set goals for me when we took outside walks, first with a walker, then a cane. I was the most determined I’d ever been. I would push myself to go farther — and I always did. Baby steps… lots and lots of them. Lol.

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  2. S. J. Brown says:

    I don’t do grizzlies, at least not from the ground. The are generally bad tempered and rather sneaky and have been known to double back and attack people. So they aren’t on my list.

    My hubby learned about Baby Steps when he had a hip replaced. Back then we were in an old Victorian house. His hip replacement and the eventual replacement of the other one prompted us to sell the old place. We opted for a one story house that now has a driveway right up to the front porch.

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  3. Wranglers says:

    As always, beautiful photos. Nice article. We do need to take baby steps and be happy with those steps until we can learn to walk better and eventually to run. Thanks. Cher’ley

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    • S. J. Brown says:

      The key seems to be patience. We have to be satisfied with those baby steps and realize they do add up. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Neva Bodin says:

    Your blog is so true. Knowing when to take the baby steps and the giant leap of faith can be important! Also, having patience when one has to take baby steps is my problem!

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    • S. J. Brown says:

      Patience sometime doesn’t come naturally, so it is a learned skill. Like any other skill may take practice.

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  5. renawomyn says:

    Great photos and great advice. Doris

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  6. S. J. Brown says:

    Thanks Doris glad you enjoyed the post and the photos.

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  7. Gayle Irwin says:

    Wonderful post, S.J. — great reminder, no matter our pursuit. I’m enjoying taking more and more nature photos, and like you, learning each time I do. I always enjoy your pictures — thanks so much for sharing them and your thoughts; you offer wise words!

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  8. Barb says:

    This is exactly how things go after surgery. Baby steps, slow and steady which takes you on a journey of self. Very good blog! Thanks

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    • S. J. Brown says:

      Those baby steps are easier for some, and pretty tough for those who are use to being independent. Glad you enjoyed reading my thoughts.

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  9. Wranglers says:

    What a good post idea, SJ and excellent images. I’d be hard put to move at all if an alligator was in front of me! I feel I’ve been taking a lot of baby steps these last couple of years in my writing and in other aspects of life but it’s now time to make some incremental increases!

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  10. M. K. Waller says:

    Baby steps and keep going forward. That’s the best advice I’ve seen lately. As Anne Lamott says, you take it bird by bird.

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