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

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.
© Zenonk

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!

Photo credits: Calyx22, Eliane Haykal, Eric Simard, Sesphoto, Stevies, Tomi Tenetz, Zenonk.

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March 09, 2012


Inspirational story. I wish you all the best xx

November 04, 2011


Again, I,m so touched by your comments. Thank you all so much!

November 01, 2011


Beautiful storylove it.

November 01, 2011


A beautiful story and an inspiration to me, thank you for sharing!

October 29, 2011


Thank you for sharing with us your story - it is an inspiration.

Wishing you all the best,

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.

October 29, 2011


Very Good!!

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!

October 25, 2011


Very touching story, No, not a story,is real life...

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.

October 23, 2011


You have an amazing portfolio. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey so far.

October 21, 2011


Thanks for sharing .

October 20, 2011


Thank you! Thank you for sharing yourself. You must line!

October 20, 2011


Wow! What a story, and what fantastic images too! Congratulations :-)

October 18, 2011


Well done! Keep it up! Very nice gesture to your fellow photographers as well.

October 18, 2011


Thank you so much for your kind comments, every one. Each time someone adds a comment, it really makes my day. :)

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!

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

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!

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.

October 12, 2011


Very inspiring! Congrats on your portfolio and on your strength!

October 12, 2011


Thanks for sharing your story and all the best to you.

October 11, 2011


Thank you LIttledesire and Physi28!

October 11, 2011


Absolutely touching story, congrats for the lovely portfolio you have!

October 11, 2011


I am just giving you a big hug!

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.

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.

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 :)

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

October 07, 2011


Lovely story. The theraputic benefits of photography are often overlooked I feel. It's a hobby that you can always challenge yourself to do better in no matter what level you're at, yet the learning process is quite stress free. Your story makes me think photography can much more useful in life than perhaps people realise. cheers!

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