Today’s post comes from an intriguing question that arrived from Shauna in my email inbox. She says,
Q: Do you regret studying music in school? Do you wish that you would have known about your passion for photography when you were trying to discover what it was you wanted to do? Would you have studied photography rather than music? Have your studies in music helped you at all as a photographer/artist?
Shauna’s question hit me to the core. And I’m guessing that she’s not the only one who has tossed this type of question around before. “If only I had known I would love _____ before I started down the career path that I’m on now!”
A: If there is one thing that I have learned from any of my experience in the creative arts, it is that
ALL OF OUR LIFE EXPERIENCE AND ALL OF OUR INTERESTS AND PASSIONS INFLUENCE US AS ARTISTS AND CREATORS.
The way that I see the world through music OR through a camera lens, is specific to me only–simply because I’m the only one that has had the exact inputs of life that make me who I am. The same is true for every individual.
What is perfect timing?
I truly believe that if we follow the still small voice that is in our heart and mind regarding our pursuits, that we’ll have perfect timing about when things are right for us. I didn’t discover my passion for photography earlier because I needed the experiences I was having at the time to shape and mold me first. Those experiences (though not photography related at all) influence how I see the world and how I create.
Perfect timing is not just be about when we discover a passion, but what we choose to do with it.
There is a season for learning, there is a season for sharing, perhaps there is a season for business and perhaps not. Maybe there’s even a season to step away.
The world is ready to give us incredible experiences that build upon our character and our talents. “When” is an oft overlooked pivotal part of the puzzle. I have learned to have deep respect for those times when things don’t seem to be aligning with my own desired timing–for those times have been monumental in my growth and always–ALWAYS–have proven to bring something of greater importance into my life. Even if it’s simply a dose of perspective.
Would I have studied photography in school had I discovered my passion earlier?
No. And that’s an absolute BIG FAT NO.
I think one of the most rewarding parts about my own photography journey, is that my education and experience has been pursued out of enthusiasm.
I’ve crafted my own curriculum of study based on what I want to learn the most. Love music like I do, there were plenty of hoops and bureaucracy that I had to jump through for my degrees, plenty of classes that although interesting, didn’t directly apply to my own intentions, and unfortunately there was a major gap in preparing the college music student for real world business and marketing of your skill (which is true for practically all the arts and many other fields.)
I was an excellent academic student on paper, but I’m an even better student outside of school. When I am learning out of my own interest and my own needs, I’m much more attentive and have a much higher retention rate to what I am learning. It’s also nice that everything I learn is 100% applicable. Otherwise I wouldn’t be spending time learning it 😉
Remember that there is an element of divinity in the timing of our lives.
Take heart that each experience in life further adds to the uniqueness of who you are and how you see the world. I guarantee you are a deeper photographer or artist because of all the experiences that have transpired in your life up until now and it will only continue to do so in a beautiful way.
Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She loves to bike, eat fresh garden produce, and can make up silly songs on the spot if it will entertain or distract little people from trouble.
Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.
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