John Kain

Copyright © John Kain

Photography, My Way to Escape Reality

This may sound like a sad story but it is not, it is called life! It is something we learn and live with from an early age. I like to photograph it and have people see my life through my eyes!

I started taking photos when I was 13 or 14 on my mom’s old Kodak Brownie using 220 film. A kinda point and shoot. It wasn’t until collage in 1971 that I got my first 35mm, a used Leica M5. Fun camera but I could never get a good shot out of it. I was still learning.

I got my first SLR in 1974 and was hooked. It was a Konica (Now Minolta). Unfortunate while canoeing White River it was lost. In 1980 I picked up a Canon A-1 and three lenses while working in the United Arab Emirates. I toted that camera all over Europe and the United States. I taught myself how to use it by reading a lot of books. Loved that camera until it broke and was going to be expensive to fix. I always wanted a Nikon so I bought an N-70 and a couple of lenses. What a piece of junk!

I am a frustrated artist, like most I guess and I could never capture a scene and depict how it makes me feel. In 2006 I lost my muse! It was then I lost all interest in my art. I stopped painting, making jewelry, and worst of all I stopped using my camera. I loved my wife dearly and when she passed I dug a big hole and crawled into it. It was my father-in-law and my sister who dug me out. Both of them are very good artists in their own right and knew I needed a distraction. So I picked one of my hobbies and moved on. I bought a Nikon D-80 and the rest is history.

In 2008, the good Lord gave me a new muse and three wonderful grandchildren. I celebrated with a new camera, a D-90. I love shooting kids. I do not like to pose them, I let them be themselves and shoot at their level. What an inspiration they are. Now I see life through their eyes!

I decided to retire Nov 2011. My wife retired in Feb 2012. We planned to travel and I could show her the places I have seen. Three days after her retirement, I was dealt another blow. I found out I have cancer. This time my faith and family kept me focused and after a few sad days I told myself it is what it is and started my fight.

What happened to my photography, it made me look at my surroundings with new eyes. I focus on the beauty I see and take my time to achieve the proper composition and artistic beauty. As a result I take less shots.

John Kain

What have I learned in my 50 or so years, there is no bad photograph. There is only the artistic expression of the photographer. Like I said, this is not a sad story, it is just a story of life! Photography is a way for all of us to escape reality. My wife even set up a facebook page for my family and friends to follow my escape!! Keep shooting my friends and enjoy life!


– John Kain on Facebook
– Photography My Way to Escape Reality
– John Kain on Flickr
– John Kain on SmugMug


  1. Thank you John for sharing your story! You are right, life is a story and I am so glad you did not give up photography. Take care of yourself!

    • John KainJohn Kain01-22-2014

      Thank you for the nice comment. I keep praying that the good Lord lets me take my camera with me so I can take pictures of true beauty and post them for others to see! I wonder if they have Facebook in heaven? lol

  2. Susie KainSusie Kain01-21-2014

    Awww…I’m the muse of 2008! And yes life! It’s what happens in between our plans! Life has sure had it’s ups and downs but our family is so lucky to have you in it! Love you honey!!

    • John KainJohn Kain01-22-2014

      Love you too sweetie! I am blessed to have the family I have!

  3. Delores BascoDelores Basco01-21-2014

    You are an inspiration to the whole family big brother & a wonderful photographer! You’ve taught me a lot about finding the best photo to shoot & the ability to get it right no matter how long it takes. Love you!

    • John KainJohn Kain01-22-2014

      Thanks Sis! I love to teach folks about how to see the beauty in the world!

  4. Vikki WoodsVikki Woods01-22-2014

    Your attitude will carry you through to a healthy conclusion, I’m sure! In the meantime, I’m honored that you have shared your life with others…an inspiration Thank you.

    • John KainJohn Kain01-22-2014

      Your welcome!

  5. Nancy M. ChambersNancy M. Chambers01-22-2014

    Photography can be used in many different ways . I think one of the most important ways is to continue looking through the camera lens while focusing on all the good shots life has given us…& then sharing those photographs & stories with others . Thanks for sharing your story . Even though there were sad chapters in your life … I am so glad you have experienced loving relationships & people who care about you. I’m sure you will agree that is what makes it all worthwhile . Best wishes to you & your loved ones .

    • John KainJohn Kain01-22-2014

      Thank you for the very nice comment. I hope everyone knows that blessings out weigh the sorrows in life. The beauty that surrounds us needs to be captured and shared!

  6. TrishTrish01-22-2014

    I loved your story and it sort of parallels most of us… starting young and continuing to do what we love. I agree that there is no bad photograph… each one is special to someone’s eye and to be shared!

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  7. CarlaCarla01-23-2014

    I remember inviting you to the first challenge and you told me you didn’t really have time. Look at you now. My sweet cousin (your first muse) is flashing that radiating smile from heaven. Your work is incredible.

    • John KainJohn Kain01-28-2014

      Thank you Carla! I know she would be proud of my work now and she still is muse in a way. She is just not here to express her love for my art but I know that someday she will tell me!

  8. MimiMimi01-24-2014

    You express your own beautiful spirit through your photography. It shines in every image. 🙂

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