10 November 2011

What Makes Life Good?

This blog was created on the premise of having another outlet to share my photography as well as share some of the stories behind the images.  So far it has been filled with recipes, fitness and healthy lifestyle themes which are a large portion of my stock photography portfolio.  The blog is my fun outlet that keeps me creative, and my photography is the bread and butter that earns my income.  And I not only love my career, I love the journey I took to get to where I am.

I am a full time photographer by trade, and there is another even larger aspect to my photography - products.  It seems like a crazy niche until you know the story.

When I went off to college I flipped through the course book, picked out the classes that were of most interest to me and went in on day 1 with an intention of majoring in history with a minor in anthropology.  I loved the specificity of the courses, and all of the knowledgeable people that were eager to share with me.  Research and writing came easy to me and I enjoyed my heavy reading load.  I got good grades, spent a semester in the UK, and all was well.

Then all of a sudden I was a senior in college.  I had another two semesters to soak up as much knowledge as I could and then what?  The obvious choices for a degree in history are teaching and law school.  Neither one of those appealed to me so I continued to ponder the question of what would be next.  I had knowledge, but what I was lacking was a practical skill.  I decided to look for a practical skill that suited me, and would compliment my history degree.

At this point in time I was finished with all my prerequisite courses, and able to focus on some fun courses that didn't have to do with my degree.  I started to build up credits in the field of fine arts.  There were photography, printmaking, and pottery classes to name a few.  I found that as I indulged my creativity it began to show in my other more academic works.  I hadn't yet decided what my next step would be, but this was all part of my journey.

Then one day while I was meeting with one of my favorite anthropology professors we were discussing the photography class that I had recently taken in the UK  She asked me if I could take some slides of some of the artifacts that she had collected while living with a native culture.  I agreed, and had my first paid product photography job.

I struggled with the job.  I wanted the images to look like they would in a catalog, but I didn't yet have the knowledge or the skills to pull it off.  I took some okay images, but the perfectionist inside of me was not happy with the results.  I did some research on the internet and realized that basic photography is all well and good, but product photography is a profession and an art, and something that you can go to school for.

That sounded strangely practical - taking pictures of products is something that people get paid to do, and I was going to soon come to the day where I needed to earn a living.  It also appealed to my historical and anthropological side.  I had been studying objects and artifacts for years now so why not be the person who created a record of modern day objects for people in the future to study?

So it was decided, and I began to research photography schools.  Ten years later here I am recounting my journey on this blog.

So when I think of the question "What makes life good?" my instinctual answer is always ... Life is all about the journey.

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