February 22, 2018
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, my name is Steven Newsom.
If allowed, I would like to take a moment of your time to tell you a story of a young African-American man who faces immense odds in fulfilling his dreams of becoming an industry standard photographer.
This man has grown up in a time and country that alienates people of a certain class and color. This man has tried to fulfill what is called the “American Dream” but has been met much strife in his journey. This man’s name is Steven Newsom.
I grew in an urban area that was plagued by poverty and low ambition. Due to the fact that I am a truck driver’s son I developed a since of world at a very early age. My father, quite often, took me and my brother on trips across the country in his truck when we were out of school for the summer. This instilled in me a great sense boundless aspiration. I grew up with a since of discontent because I did not know which direction my life was going to go as I got older. I have suffered many tragedies in my short life time but I have always keep a positive outlook on what the future may hold for me. Through my teenage years up to early adulthood I have tried many things but could not quite find the niche that I felt was going to be the catalyst for my legacy.
During my tenure in college I learned that I could not learn at a normal pace to progress through college course studies. I was the guy who would sit in the middle of the floor in my room with my legs crossed with numerous books around me studying until I would get a headache. This would cause slight depression and anxiety due to the fact that I had set such high goals for myself during this time. Unfortunately, my time in school was riddled with opposition and struggle do to the fact that my father could not work due to his disability (disabled Vietnam veteran) and working while in school and sending some money home to support my parents took its toll on my efforts to graduate. Now I am suffering from mounds of student loan debt and not so good credit because my efforts to implement a better life.
One-day I drove through a very affluent neighborhood in a city named Nashville, Tennessee, this neighborhood was filled with homes that averaged a million dollars or more and would easily be considered a location for the upper echelon of the city. While driving through this neighborhood I was amazed at the beautifully adorned structures and landscapes that were flawless in nature and couldn’t help but to wonder how a place so beautiful is not known to the world. As I exited this neighborhood I could not help but to relish in the idea of how wonderful it would be to have portraits of some of these wonderfully constructed homes. It was felt as though I could take on the challenge of creating beautiful imagery of these structures to produce something miraculous. My next move was to go to the local retail store and purchase a Fugi disposable camera in the beliefs that I could capture something amazing. During this period, I had purchased many disposable cameras and had taken hundreds of pictures of locations in this city and had developed an addiction to the art of photography.
Two years after I implemented this photography journey I traveled home to the local city that I grew up in for the Christmas holidays. By this time my family was aware of my immense love for photography. This particular year, my brother saved up his money to purchase me my very first Canon PowerShot camera. This was something that brought a flux of tears streaming down my face and gave me such a moment of hope and admiration to the potential opportunities that the future held for me. Upon returning home I was excited beyond words to use my new camera and I took pictures of everything in sight. I accumulated a great portfolio of landscape photography for the times and standards of the industry. My passion for photography grew beyond leaps and bounds.
As time passed I developed a scholastic approach to gaining the true knowledge of photography and all things known to the industry so that I may become a leader in the local field. This included numerous workshops, photography event attendance, books and online research. Once I had developed a substantial knowledge of the modern-day art I soon realized that I needed a higher end camera. This was something that plagued me for the next couple of years as I could not afford one. The turn of events happened in the year of 2012 when I went home for Christmas again and much to my surprise my brother, parents, and friend put their money together to purchase me a brand-new Canon Rebel T3. As mentioned before I was so overwhelmed to that fact that I had family and friends that believed in me enough to purchase me this wonderful DSLR camera.
Mr. Dolby, I spent the following years developing my sole photography company and taking opportunities to perfect my craft. I have done many photoshoots, quite often with little to no pay, in the attempt of developing a descent portfolio of my work.
The ever-changing genre of photography is quite demanding in terms of cost. This was met with many ups and downs but I persevered for that fact that photography has been and always will be in my heart.
Unfortunately, I am falling behind the requirements of fulfilling all the aspects needed to pursue this career in its entirety. I have been using my Canon Rebel T3 for years now and have done some amazing things but to my dismay I have learned the limitations of my camera and they are limitations that prevent me from taking this all the way.
Every morning that I wake up and every night that I lay down to go to sleep I am thinking about how to be the best. Quite often I sit around in thought wondering what intricate actions could I take to obtain a full-frame camera so that I may progress my company. I have applied for loans that were not approved, I have entered numerous photography contest and I recently applied to the FedEx Small Business Grant contest that I did not win. There are virtually no options for a person like me to obtain something like a full frame camera and lighting gear to improve the quality of my work. This is disheartening to think that I may never have the chance to do something amazing in what I love so dearly. I am not a man with a lot of means but I have had opportunities to prove myself in a field that is saturated with consumers that believe they are photographers but do not have the knowledge I possess in this field.
I, Steven Newsom, am hoping that you can find it in your heart and in your time to help this young man fulfill his dream of becoming a worldly recognized photographer using the outstandingly wonderful Canon brand to get me there. Mr. Dolby, I plead of you, with divine hope and aspiration, to help or assist an individual like me in my journey to become one of the world’s foremost photographers. If there is anything you could suggest or any direction that you can point me in to help me obtain the photography gear that can increase the quality of my work then I would be ETERNALLY grateful and in your debt…
I must thank you for lending me an open mind and heart by reading this letter and I hope it finds you well and in good health.