This past month has been a crazy and exciting time for me. Not only have for the first time been put in the position of having too much work, but it was also University of Illinois’ commencement weekend, marking the two-year anniversary of my own graduation. Time has certainly flown in those two years! I finally feel like I can say that I’m a creative professional without also feeling like an imposter. And yet I was struck by Shakespeare’s words (I won’t pretend to have read Measure for Measure, I just like inspirational quote image galleries):
“Our doubts are traitors, and makes us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt”
I don’t mean I feel like an expert or a visionary in any sense, but I have spent the past several years learning and absorbing as much as I could. There are so many moving parts and moving targets in representing myself as a creative freelancer – there is the vast range of technical knowledge and skill that must accompany creative vision, but also the nitty gritty of running a business. I can still see the gaps and weaknesses in my ability, sometimes I fixate on what appear to me as glaring deficiencies, but I have learned to limit my focus on these issues only so far as it guides progress. I have finally collected enough fundamental knowledge and confidence in myself that I look forward to putting my skills to the test on each project.
One of those factors which I have thus neglected is writing about this process and sharing what I have learned. Hence, this “Hello World” blog entry. My goal for this blog is threefold: to provide a kind of historical record of my growth as a photographer and cinematographer, to offer what advice and I can from my experience to others who are perhaps also starting on a professional creative journey, and to provide insight into my style and vision for potential clients. In future, I shall tag posts accordingly, if at least to give you the ability to filter out my more whimsical musings from helpful content.
To end this first hello, I’d like to share some thoughts about entering this field without a traditional art background. As some of you may know, I did not study art, photography, or cinematography in any formal academic way – I completed my undergrad studies majoring in philosophy and psychology. Sometimes, I feel like this has given me the freedom to learn through my passion and given me a unique style. I have always learned better with hands on experience if hands on experience can be had. That said, I do sometimes feel as though there are technical areas or styles which I have not been exposed to as a result of not pursuing a comprehensive curriculum in the creative realm. Perhaps, however, that underlying concern has pushed me to seek out and expand my knowledge. I’m not really sure. But I have heard enough of my friends and acquaintances, that have an interest in photography or film, say that they haven’t pursued it because they didn’t go to an art school that I want to dispel that vector of doubt. I wouldn’t give up what I studied in undergrad, I loved studying epistemology, logic, stats, and social pysch. I loved analytical reading and developing my writing skill. If I could have stayed in school and studied computer science, art history, and film I totally would have, but alas I don’t have the money to be a perpetual college student.
I guess all I have to say is, if you wanna do it, do it. I did and I couldn’t be happier. And it’s just gonna get better. Let’s go!