How Teachers and Photographers are Similar

As I drove home from tonight’s class I began to think of how much I love the gig of being a college professor. That first night of class is always so energizing. I feel like I am meeting a whole bunch of new friends and it gives me an opportunity to be “on”. I teach class with goals in mind. I want the students to have an awesome experience. I want them to have fun, learn a ton, be excited even though I am going to hit them with a lot of work, and I want them to be entertained. I want my students to know that I am in their corner and I want them to be successful. When I am teaching I feel like I am expressing some never fully actualized dream of being an actor or a stand up comedian. I have so much fun “up there”. The classroom is like a stage. When you are in the position of “Professor” all eyes are on you and it is a very important role. But it is a super fun role too. I can playfully make fun of people I just met! I can make fun of myself. I can tell wild stories, and I can inject interesting nuggets of information into what could be a boring lecture if not delivered in the right way. No pressure! But it’s just so much fun.

Being a photographer is similar to the above situations in a few key ways. When photographing a wedding for example, as the photographer, I have to be “on”. I am excited to be with a couple on their wedding day, and they need to know that. They need to know that I am there for them, the same way my students know I am there for them. I am not there to simply keep up my end of the contract. I am there to perform. I am there to kick ass. I love to joke with the wedding party. Again, I feel like I have a chance to meet so many new and awesome people, and that is a chance to make a few new friends. I can’t count how many new friends I still have that I speak to often online that I met through photography.

I think when you are doing something that you are so passionate about; there is no way for that to not be attractive. When I see photos of myself from my second shooters angle, I often see myself contorted in some weird way to get the perfect shot, but I also see a smile on my face. When I see those images, I know that what I am doing is right. I feel like I have found my niche.

It’s all about growing and celebrating with the people around us. That’s really what I feel is driving me to this. In a class when I am teaching, I am celebrating the student’s success. I am pulling for them to create awesome work. When photographing a wedding, I am celebrating the bond of a couples love. A love that they allowed ME to be a part of. It’s hard to even describe the privilege I feel to be able to do these things. I am incredibly grateful and so humbled by the students who look forward to taking my classes, or the couples who can’t wait to work with me again. It is so crazy awesome to be able to call many of these people friends after our time together.

For me, both of these roles have huge responsibilities but allow me to be me. They allow me to be the best version of me. A caring, creative, and dedicated person, and that is pretty freaking Rad. Find what you love and keep doing it, friends!