I’m relatively new to photography and by relatively I mean I’ve taken less than 1000 pictures on my DSLR.

And yet through my inexperience I have already began to understand the impression photography has on people’s lives.

Today I took a short walk from my home in San Francisco’s Mission District in search of unique street art that would photograph well in an overcast setting. What I found was rather pleasing.

What was even more inspiring than the art itself was the reaction from the sluggish Saturday morning mission-dwellers.

I was taking a photo of a Banksy-esque Michael Jackson image and noticed a small women out of the corner of my eye. She was carrying a paper bag filled with local groceries but seemed transfixed on the outline of the King of Pop.

Then another man walked up and began to share our intrigue.

It hit me. Photography inspires everyone to simply stop and look.

My two companions had no clue that I don’t know what exposure compensation really means but they couldn’t care less. They were attracted to my deep focus on my subject. The art (and I) moved them.

To me, photography always seemed to be just a pleasant thing to do. Maybe it was my mom constantly wanting to take pictures of me and my sister at family events. Either way, my views of photographic expression have dramatically changed.

Now I can’t stand not having my camera in my hand at sunset.

I now have a tool that lets me define reality it ways my writing never could. I don’t think I will have a choice in the matter, but it seems like my inclination towards photography is here to stay a while.