It is always nice to look back and reflect on the path traveled.
I’m 47. I’ve worked for about 20 years as a photographer / arts educator. Before that I worked as an outdoor educator with aspirations to become an elementary teacher. I couldn’t get into Teacher’s College in the 90s. But I’ve come back full circle to where I wanted to be.
After disappointments I gave up on traditional teaching and pursued commercial art through stock photography – it was lovely work – one of the most traditionally creative times of my life. I produced commercially viable photographs that were marketed through stock agents. My best sale for one grand use of a photo was ~$32,000 split three ways between two agencies and myself. Alas, the industry crashed (digital cameras and websites caused flooding of the stock photo market.) Time to move on!
Someone suggested I teach photography. I built a broad base of photo workshops – live and online that culminated in opening our own studio / classroom on Preston St, below. Alas, workshop sales dropped off significantly. Why? Who knows, but I think it was tech, again – YouTube offered free learning and smartphones reduced people’s desire for traditional photography. Sigh. I was left scrambling again to re-invent myself.
A couple of years ago I was very low and a friend inadvertently replanted a seed stored in a drawer of my memory. Teacher’s College… I was accepted, thrived and succeeded. I worked hard and was offered a contract teaching a Grade 4 class until Christmas. It has been extended until June, 2016. I love it.
My photo business has been reborn. Although the new business has shrunk enormously, I am only doing work I love – teaching a few clients and working on two innovative and exciting (to me) art projects.
It’s been a long road… with many bumps and bruises. But it’s been exciting and I am grateful for where my winding path has taken me.
One of my favourite TED talks rings true as I look back… Angela Lee Duckworth talks about GRIT:
It’s worth a view.
Keep pursuing your passions.