Saturday, March 28, 2015

Not My First Rodeo

By: Jessica Dillon Mallory

Our time here in the Digital Photography program at Lambton College has almost come to
an end. But it's only March you say? Well trust me, the next few weeks are going to be
gone before we know it. The journey has been absolutely unforgettable thus far and I have
been fortunate enough to have many unforgettable experience throughout my life to

Let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica, and I am an addict... to learning that is. I like
to consider myself a professional student, but the pay hasn't been the greatest. As you may
guess, this is not my first time enrolled in a college program; my first time at Lambton
College, yes. My education history is one to be awed. I am pretty sure I could have almost
been a doctor twice over by now, but where would the fun in that be? I'm sure my parents
would have loved to have had a doctor in the family. Don't they all dream of that? My
problem is making up my mind. You know deciding what it is I want to be when I grow up.
I always believed I was going to be living my ultimate dream, sailing the south, scuba diving
and exploring tropical islands all while being paid to do so. I know, how great would that
have been! Well... things happen and you adapt. You grow and continue on. I love my life
and family and wouldn't change it for anything. At almost 32 years of age, a loving husband
and an amazing 10 year old daughter later, I believe I may have finally found my calling.

I always enjoyed photography growing up and used a camera to document my adventures.
Unfortunately it was always a hit or miss with my photos. Sometimes I got lucky and had
something I could be proud of. Most of the time they were a complete fail. This program
has really reintroduced me to my love of photography and allowed me to hone my skills
and build on them. Now I can consistently produce a product that I am proud of. It is quite
the greatest feeling. The staff are like nothing that I have ever experienced before. I have
never met a more caring and supporting staff. They are your biggest fans and want to see
nothing more than you succeed. It is that support that really drives you to do your best,
take chances and get out of your comfort zone to try new things and push the limits of your

The Digital Photography Program at Lambton College, not only builds your photography
skills, but also provides you with a well rounded education to help you succeed in the
business of photography. Just taking a pretty picture will not make you successful in an
industry that is cut throat. I'm not saying this to scare you, but it is reality and you have to
understand this and be willing to do great things. What will make you stand out against the
person next to you? Our instructors help you figure out who you want to be in the
photography game and where you want to go. They know what it is like in the industry
since they are still working it. Just another reason I have loved my time here. You really
get a hands on experience of what it is like to work as a professional photographer. You
have the ability to explore the different niches in the photography world and discover what
you enjoy the most. The space and equipment you have access to is simply amazing in
assisting you in fulfilling your goals. I can honestly say when this semester is finished, I will
be confident in who I am and what I will be doing with my own photography career.

Over the past year and a half, I have met a group of people that I know I can count on if I
need them. We have really grown into more of a family than just classmates. It is just so
much more than that. Another adventure added to the books. So now I leave you with my
most favourite quote:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

-Mark Twain

A selection of images by Jessica Dillon Mallory:

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