Being an adventurer, and nature, wildlife and commercial outdoor photographer does not take a Harvard education – I’m proof of that. I turned my passion for photography into my life’s work and only source of income without ever taking a single course or class about the subject of business or photography. But, I did put myself though college. There’s no doubt in my mind that an education opens doors and creates options. I would be greatly handicapped if not for my college experiences, and if I had to do it over again, I would have taken some business courses!
People should understand that working hard and digging deep is the key to success (a break now and then helps too). I love outdoor photography. I love nature photography. I love to photograph wild animals in their natural habitat. And there are few things that inspire me more than creating images of great places, people and adventures.
Imagine how much effort it really takes to be a successful nature, wildlife and commercial outdoor photographer. It’s not the education that gets you up and out the door at 5 A.M. No one is there to tell you to punch the time clock and there’s no annual review that grants you a cost of living or step increase. As a nature, wildlife and commercial outdoor photographer, you have to take risks and you have do things that other’s either can’t or won’t do.
For me, digging deep is not a choice, it’s just an obsession. I have found success in most things I’ve done because I always try to move forward and take chances. I think photography, good photography is really an orchestra of ignorance, wisdom, education, motivation, experience and drive that play together at various levels throughout our lives. It is up to the individual to direct the energy and organize the emotions and actions.
I encourage anyone who wants to become a photographer to study and go to college. Don’t just study photography, study math, science, geography, biology, resources management, accounting, art, and camping . . . yes, camping! Study furniture making and the art of bending wood. Pay attention to the world around you and move in the direction that moves you.
The truth is, it’s not the college degree that makes the real difference, it’s what you do with what you learn along the way and how you apply it all that makes success possible. The journey and what you do with it is what matters. The learning helps us acquire the skills that enable us to be more productive. Never be afraid to learn and never be afraid to take risks. . . You never know who’s watching . . . Dig deep to achieve.