Updated: Feb 20, 2021
I've been asking myself this question for years. I think it's just how I communicate with people. I'm a "visual" storyteller who (I like to think) can develop images that tell a story about who, what, or where I took the picture. Since my dad bought me my first camera when I was in the fifth or fourth grade, a little Kodak point-and-shoot, I took that thing everywhere and took pictures of everything. I guess this is pretty normal for a budding enthusiast, and I was hooked.
My next camera was an actual DSLR that my dad got me for Christmas some years later. A Canon Rebel t4i. This was my firs run in with actual compositional techniques and camera modes. I'm not ashamed to say I left it on Program mode 95% of the time because all I knew was how to frame things. Had I read anything about photography or watched any videos up to this point? Absolutely not I was completely self taught and I've got to hand it to myself I had a real knack.
I eventually got to the point where my camera started to collect dust as I focused on my social life and school for a few years, but that changed my sophomore year of college.
I bought a new camera, a Rebel t7i, with better features that I thought I needed and I completely regret that decision. I should've stuck with the t4i and relearned everything with the tech I already had. I mean, for me that was a free camera but I wasted my money on something I didn't actually need. Take that to the bank!
I'm on the right track now in terms of gear and skill, though, as I've found out how to shop for what I NEED rather than what I WANT (it's waaaaay harder than it sounds, trust me). I've become skilled in Adobe and can effectively assess my situation in photoshoots. I can effectively communicate with clients and other photographers to collaborate on projects. It takes time to get to this point and I'm certainly nowhere near where I want to be, but I'd like to think that I'm safe for this round of musical chairs...