By Meghan Chute
I never thought that I would have gone back to college to take a program that was only for myself. I have a few photographers in my family who take photos as a hobby, and it has always been a big interest for me, but I wanted to take it further. Not just snapping a quick picture of something that I find picturesque- I wanted to learn how to yield a real DSLR camera, how to compose a photo so it would be more thought-provoking, and of course how to properly work with Photoshop without over processing. The biggest driving point to go back to college and choose something that I found enjoyable and exciting was that I could be my own boss at the end of my program journey.
Starting out as a completely innocent wannabe photographer was daunting. It seemed like a lot of my peers had had some kind of knowledge at least about using a DSLR camera. The professors, who are very welcoming and easy to talk to, have a vast amount of knowledge on a lot of aspects of photography. They still work in the field and bring along many relatable stories, sharing problems they have incurred and how they’ve handled them.
This program offers so many opportunities to find your niche in photography. The assignments are pretty open unless calling for something specific. In my first year, I started out wanting to only photograph nature and landscapes. The idea of photographing people and telling them how to pose or what to do was absolutely terrifying for me. I should mention that I’m a bit of a shy and quiet person and prefer to be in my own space. That all changed at the end of my first year. I was invited to a photoshoot with my second-year printing mentor photographing to models in the studio. I was so hesitant because I’d never really shot people except to finish an assignment.
This small photoshoot changed me. Having to interact with two strangers, tell them what to wear and how to pose was so awkward, but as I shot with them, I became more open to the idea of photographing people. Over the summer I met more models, and girls who wanted to get their photos done with me. Now that’s all I want to photograph, people, families, hell even newborns (which I had never in my life ever seen myself doing). As it nears to the end of the second year and my graduation from the photography program, I have changed my niche market multiple times over the two years, but I think for right now I have found what and where makes me happiest. I am one hundred percent glad that I went through this program and met some great people. Don’t let any doubts hold you back from pursuing your passion, don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t be able to find a job or make money from pursuing the arts. It’s worth every effort.