My Story, Why I Love Dreamstime, and How I Am Giving Back

posted on 3rd of october, 2011

A little over two years ago, I suffered a toxic reaction to an antibiotic that changed my life possibly forever. Three little pills nearly killed me. Thankfully, they didn't, but I am a different person than I was before. The reaction left me with a long term condition called Quinolone Toxicity Syndrome. While there are many parts of this syndrome that can affect people, I was left with long term Central and Peripheral Nervous System damage in the form of constant muscle tremors, muscle weakness and twitching, memory loss, chronic insomnia, well, you get the picture. I was and often still am perpetually overstimulated from a nervous system standpoint.

Needless to say, I fell into a deep depression.

I retreated from the world and my family. Then one day, I had a talk with myself. I told myself I realized that things weren't so great with my body, but I wasn't dead, dying of an incurable disease, or have some genetic abnormality that I had passed to my children. "Self", I said, "it's time to DO something for yourself. Snap out of it! Stop saying NO and start saying YES!"

I had always been a hobbyist photographer. I decided that my goal was to produce images that a stock agency would accept. Pretty tough goal when you are trembling all the time! Tripods became my friend, but I was determined to shoot without the aid of one. I joined Dreamstime, and slowly started getting images accepted. But my early images aren't great-- I knew nothing about stock photography or technical aspects of my camera. I have taught myself everything I know since that date.

I started getting better. My portfolio is small but growing. I always tell people not to get discouraged. After all, who would know better than I? :) Then, people started picking me as one of their favorite photographers. I was shocked! And touched, more than any of you who clicked that little button could ever possibly know.

Fast forward.... Dreamstime hosted a contest on Facebook, with 100 credits to the winner. I won that contest. And today, after rewarding myself (I couldn't help it!!), I gave back to the DT community. One special person, because of a selfless act, was rewarded more than others. But for the people who put me on their favorite photographers' list, I purchased an image from nearly every single one of you. It might have been a Level 0 image, and I pushed it into Level 1 for you. It might have been almost at level 2 and I made the fifth purchase for you. It might have just been an image in your portfolio that I liked.

It's my way of giving back to this community that has given so much to me-- inspiration, a purpose in life, physical therapy, knowledge, and friendship. Thank you. I am so lucky.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be to NEVER give up! I'm much better these days, but still have some issues. If I haven't given up, neither should you!

Comments (73)

Posted by Suemack on March 09, 2012
Inspirational story. I wish you all the best xx
Posted by Calyx22 on November 04, 2011
Again, I,m so touched by your comments. Thank you all so much!
Posted by Adiebarklay on November 01, 2011
Beautiful storylove it.
Posted by Kezza53 on November 01, 2011
A beautiful story and an inspiration to me, thank you for sharing!
Posted by pic.r on October 29, 2011
Thank you for sharing with us your story - it is an inspiration.

Wishing you all the best,
Posted by Calyx22 on October 29, 2011
I am so touched by all of your comments. But I'm just an ordinary person who had to do something! If I have inspired you, I'm so glad. The power of positive thinking is amazing.
Posted by Delikater on October 29, 2011
Very Good!!
Posted by Harshvardhan on October 27, 2011
the real steal hero u r. amazing really inspiring and a torch for all those who r in dark or who hv just entered in the stock photography....thnx man for sharing and caring!
Posted by Sleiselei on October 25, 2011
Very touching story, No, not a story,is real life...
Posted by Jjmcge on October 24, 2011
Thank you for an amazing story. I admire you so much for overcoming a condition that may have stopped a lesser person. Blessings.
Posted by Vwimage on October 23, 2011
You have an amazing portfolio. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey so far.
Posted by smartview27 on October 21, 2011
Thanks for sharing .
Posted by Anhong on October 20, 2011
Thank you! Thank you for sharing yourself. You must line!
Posted by Akbarallana on October 20, 2011
Wow! What a story, and what fantastic images too! Congratulations :-)
Posted by Lauriey on October 18, 2011
Well done! Keep it up! Very nice gesture to your fellow photographers as well.
Posted by Calyx22 on October 18, 2011
Thank you so much for your kind comments, every one. Each time someone adds a comment, it really makes my day. :)
Posted by Bluwarrior on October 17, 2011
Thank you for share such personal experience ( your life) and sucess with Dreamstime. There is no doubt that DT community has a great spirit. Cheers!
Posted by Martingraf on October 16, 2011
thanks for your testimony - I was in bit of a bad mood lately, but reading probably won't only help me to be motivated, thankful and inspired
Posted by Voddol on October 15, 2011
The most Amazing and Inspirational story !! Gives a lot to think about! I wish you great success in your life.
I`ve seen your portfolio - very good work!
Posted by Lifang1025 on October 13, 2011
Thanks for sharing your story and all the best to you.
Posted by Uidea on October 13, 2011
Thank you for sharing with us your story, you are a kind hearted person, I'm proud of you! Hope your health could improve a lot.
Posted by Afagundes on October 12, 2011
Very inspiring! Congrats on your portfolio and on your strength!
Posted by Iwhitwo on October 12, 2011
Thanks for sharing your story and all the best to you.
Posted by Calyx22 on October 11, 2011
Thank you LIttledesire and Physi28!
Posted by Littledesire on October 11, 2011
Absolutely touching story, congrats for the lovely portfolio you have!
Posted by Physi28 on October 11, 2011
I am just giving you a big hug!
Posted by Calyx22 on October 08, 2011
Again, thank so you so much for your comments, they mean the world to me. And wow, the adding as favorite photographer? I'm speechless. Wow. I love this community. I really just want each and every one of you to go forth and do your best.
Posted by Baldas1950 on October 08, 2011
Thank you Calyx!.... even reading your fantastic story and seeing your portfolio, I am definitely sure that our great interest in photography could be very important to help us also during the darkest and saddest moments of the life.
Dreamstimes I think, even before being an instrument of gain, is a means whereby we can expose to the whole world our photographic work, and with it, our ideas, our thoughts, our way of seeing reality.
The photography may helps us to mitigate the suffering and sometime to heal, perhaps because it is the easiest way to share with others our dreams and our deepest feelings.
Posted by Dmccale on October 08, 2011
this is a very inspirational story..Yes anyone can do what they set their minds to.That is what I always tell my children(most grown now)Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.I love your port...Peace Debbie :)
Posted by Annie1G on October 07, 2011
What an amazing and truly inspirational story! I have posted this on my Facebook profile and tagged some special people in my life that I have tried to encourage... If your words don't get them inspired, then I don't think anything will.

May your profile grow from strength to strength... Thank you for sharing this - you've made my day, probably even my week.

All the best

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Comments (73)

This article has been read 4851 times. 9 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Calyx22, Eliane Haykal, Eric Simard, Sesphoto, Stevies, Tomi Tenetz, Stefan Tyllo.

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