© Cherish Yuke

How the Journey Began…

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© Cherish Yuke

~ Hello, my name is Cherish Yuke. Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my first blog! Photography has always been a passion of mine. However, as many know, photography usually becomes a hobby rather than a profession because it simply does not pay the bills. And so, many put photography in the background and begin to make a living in different directions. I was one of those people. I took a photography course at a community college back when you developed your own photographs in a black room, etc. Wow…how much photography has changed huh?! Anyways, I was told by many that you will not make it ‘in the real world’ with a photography degree and so I decided to go into other directions; I received two B.S. degrees in wildlife biology and natural resource management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For years, money was flowing freely into my bank account and at my last job, I was working one of my dream jobs–an environmental technician at a gold mine located about 20 miles NE of Fairbanks. I was happy, I was financially independent…until one day….everything changed.

~ February 14th, 2014 I hurt my lower back off the job. Now, honestly I just thought it was a muscle strain and I would be back to work in a few days. Well, a few days became a few weeks and then weeks turned into a few months, and my awesome job and ego, went into the pits. I was told to walk as much as possible due to my back surgery and so I did just that with my two dogs and began taking photographs from my cell phone and posting them on Facebook. With my background in science, I mainly took photographs of nature, landscapes, flora and fauna. And, Alaska certainly didn’t have any shortages of those. My parents found a pattern there and decided to give me a Canon Rebel T5 DSLR camera for Christmas that year! Now, don’t get me wrong…I was quite intimated and at first sight of the camera, I didn’t even know if I even wanted it because the cell phone was so much easier. But, I never gave up…even my parents encouraging me…taking pictures of the white-tailed deer that roam peoples’ yards and the roads in a small town in central Texas called Lampasas.

~ Then I returned back to Fairbanks, Alaska. Wow..I was SO excited! I read a book from a very profound photographer and learned how to use the camera better. I walked on the trails by my cabin and took pictures of nearly everything…just experimenting with my zoom lens (75mm-300mm) and then posting on my Facebook page as well as other wildlife photography sites. I was amazed…I was getting likes and some pictures even more likes. Friends were asking when I would post another photograph. That’s when I thought how funny life comes back full circle…my passion for photography could quite possibly become a way of living for me!

~ Last October 2017, I moved from Fairbanks, Alaska to Lampasas, Texas to live with my mother. Unfortunately, my dad passed in 2016. However, his idea of giving me this Canon Rebel T5 has been such a blessing to me. My mother and I brainstormed and came up with the logo “Just a Snap Away!” We ordered business cards with swans flying with light coming down from the sky. Those were the ticket because I always imagine my dad soaring through the air as a bird. Moreover, he is such a big part of what is now, my new life. I also incorporated him in my website with swans as my logo. Also, he is the butterflies that flutter and the stars that twinkle at night.

~ So, my fellow bloggers, here I am, along with my mother’s guidance, trying to put together my first website, my first blog, and hoping to sell my photographs. The lesson I learned was to never give up on what you are passionate about. If it is meant to be, it will be! I’m excited to give it a great shot and always remember, my fellow photographers and photography bloggers, it’s just a snap away!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton



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