Three months ago, I decided to chuck a corporate PR career to focus on photography. Going back to college for the first time since 1975 was terrifying, and I second-guessed myself to death: Do I really need to push myself to do this? After all, there are plenty of great self-taught photographers out there.
But I can already see three reasons why enrolling in a photography class at Sacramento City College was the right choice for me.
1. I’m shooting better. At least I think I am. Because I’m more thoughtful on the front end about technical settings and composition, I can shoot fewer frames and get better results.
2. I’m part of a team. Photography can be a solitary endeavor, but I have 20 classmates who speak my language. During every session, I pick up some tip or encouragement that makes me feel like I can do this.
3. I’m dreaming in PhotoShop. As a documentary photographer, I still have a love-hate relationship with editing software. But I’m beginning to understand that I need to know the range of what’s possible so I can make the creative decision whether to use that tool.
In this week before Thanksgiving, I’m very grateful that I made the decision to pursue photography. I don’t know where my studies will take me — or whether I’ll be able to turn my love of photography into a paying job. But I see photos differently now. And maybe I see the world a little differently, too.
Thanks, Professor Paul.