Why do you take photographs?

Above: Image by Gina Milicia

“When Your Why Is clear, Your How becomes easy”

When I was 9, my brother Anthony got his first football trophy.

Best Utility Under 11’s. I believed this trophy had magical powers.

That trophy transformed my brother into a rockstar. My parents treated Anthony like he had just scored the winning goal in the World Cup.

I was proud, but I was also jealous. I wanted a trophy. I wanted to feel like a rockstar.

I signed up for netball and but after two Saturdays of getting up at 8 am, and not getting a game, I quit. I hated being cold. Netball was stupid.

I signed up for Little Athletics (more medals and ribbons to win). Went once, didn’t win and gave up. Little Aths sucked.

I retired from professional sport at the age of 9 to focus on my Leggo career.

My brother played football, cricket, basketball, and every sport under the sun because he loved playing sport. He went on to win a stack of trophies, but winning trophies was not his WHY.

Anthony loved sport, and that’s why he played. He loved to be part of a team, loved how he felt when he ran or swam or kicked a goal.

He trained every day, and the more he trained, the better he became. His Why was the love of the game.

My Why was to win trophies so when success – an award, rockstar status, adulation –  didn’t come, I quit.

Several years later as a young teen I discovered ceramics and joined an adult pottery class. This was the best thing I’d ever seen (aside from Nutella and Leggo of course).

I was obsessed. Read every book on the subject, dreamt about it and spent every spare minute working with clay.

My father even bought me a pottery wheel, and I spent every waking hour making bowls, teapots and vases.

I felt happy and free. I’d found my “thing”.  I’d found my happy place. I worked at my wheel in the freezing cold winters and boiling hot summers. Never missed a day and then a funny thing happened. People started offering me money for my art and ordering coffee cups and vases. I was an entrepreneur before I could spell or pronounce it.

I discovered photography in the same way. I LOVED taking pictures.

I LOVED working in the darkroom. I LOVED photographing people. I loved how I felt when I stood behind the camera. I LOVED how I felt when I could use my photography to help people and now LOVE how it feels when I teach others how to take the kind of photos they’ve always dreamed of.

Today, 30 years later I am more in love with the art of photography than when I first started. I’m stoked I’ve been able to make a living out of being an artist. I know there is no way I’d be doing it if I was only going for “the Best Utility” trophy.


Get your copy of Gina’s guide “The Shot” FREE when you sign up to her newsletter. You’ll also receive FREE Lightroom presets every month.

How to direct and pose like a pro


Want Gina Milicia as your mentor?

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

instagram Instagram