My parents wanted me to have a practical career. Something stable, with normal business hours and a steady salary. And then when I was twelve, my mom handed me a camera to take to a concert, and that concept went promptly out the window. Luckily for me, throughout high school and college, my parents realized that my passion for image making wasn’t going anywhere, and they were not only supportive but insanely helpful in making sure I had opportunities to develop and cultivate my craft. They helped me get my first photography internship, and agreed that I should study photography in college.
Fast forward five years and I’m living the dream in Manhattan. And by “living the dream” I mean I work three part time photography jobs, often work nights and weekends, and haven’t slept since February. But guess what? I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s the most rewarding career I could have imagined for myself.
I’ll be honest: having a career you love is hard. You’re 100% invested. You live and breathe it every day. You wake up thinking about it and answer those last few emails before bed at the end of the day. It’s not going to be the easy route, because the hustle is just as important as the passion. That whole “Get a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life” phrase is quite honestly garbage. I have to work hard day in and day out to further my career, and all the weight and responsibility of that is solely on my shoulders. It’s intimidating, but that makes it even more rewarding when there are successes.
If you are ready for a challenge, if you’re ready to get to work, if the unpredictability excites you, then take the leap and go for it. Lately my office has been in a Chicago airport, the Rocky Mountains, a coffeeshop in Manhattan, a farm in Missouri, and who knows where else in the world I might be. There’s not a lot of stability, and there are no guarantees, but it’s what I love. It takes a lot of work and a lot more self discipline, but the challenge is part of the excitement. So get out there and make that dream a reality. I promise it will be worth it.