I met the incredibly sweet and talented Jen from Jennifer Fujikawa Photography last week over lunch. As we told each other about how we got started with photography, we began to talk about the why behind our businesses. So in today's post, I decided to share how I got started with teaching photography, and why I love it!
Finding A Passion
PC A. Shen Photography
If you read the blog on how I got started with photography, you'll know that I never even considered learning photography. Growing up in high school, it seemed like only people who were really great with technology could learn how to use a DSLR and edit. Everything seemed so complicated and intimidating. How do you even know where to start when there's so much to learn about?? I never expected that it would someday turn into my career.
Thanks to watching James find his passions, I wanted to find my own. I didn't know it at the time, but his suggestion to reach out to our 1 year anniversary photographer in 2013 would change my life.
Once I started learning photography, I was hooked. I read photography blogs from beginning to end, going through years worth of content. I practiced on my friends (Click here to see some of my before and afters). I assisted for free when I could. I wanted to learn everything and anything about photography. I'm pretty sure I drove James crazy because photography became one of the only things I could think about.
Founding USC Photography Club
Since I started learning photography in my sophomore year at USC, of course I wanted to join the photo club on campus. Much to my disappointment, the executive board members consisted of seniors who didn't want to run the club anymore. There were no more meetings because the club no longer existed. The only person left was a member who had attended the meetings the year prior: my Co-President at the time Tiffany Li!
In the first year of re-booting the club, we had a total of 5 people consisting of the officers. It was difficult, but I was thankful for the 1-5 members who would show up to each outing. I was happy to meet others who wanted to learn more about photography.
In my last year at USC, I was finally able to find a solid team of board members and we were able to consistently have meetings with 30+ members. I loved finally having a community of other photographers, and helping whenever I could. I didn't realize at the time, but teaching these other photographers at our workshops and events was probably the start of loving sharing my passion with others.
How Photography Changed My Life
Photography has changed my life in so many ways, and I hope it can do the same for those of you reading my blog. Since I had started late in my 20s, I understand how difficult it can be to want to try something new that seems complicated. I promise that photography is easier than it looks, and hope that I can break it down where it's less scary! I also know that photography sometimes consists of just using your smartphone to capture memories, so I'm also trying to include tips for that too in my future blogs :)
Here are 5 ways photography has changed my life, and my goal is for it to do the same for those following my educational posts!
1. I can take better personal photos for memories
This was actually one of the biggest reasons I wanted to learn photography. I wanted to take beautiful photos with my family, friends, and James whenever we went out for fun! (Click HERE to see my 4 Tips For Taking Vacation Photos)
2. I found something I loved that I could do professionally!
Though I didn't expect it would turn into my career, I'm so happy that it did. Whether photography becomes a side gig or full time, I'm so proud of all my mentees who have tried it! Special shout out to my mentee who became my best friend Audey from A. Shen Photography for going from charging only $25 for a session to now shooting $2-3k weddings as a student at USC. So proud of you!
3. I see the world differently
This sounds like a cliche, but the world becomes more beautiful when you start to learn photography. When you have an understanding of what beautiful light looks like and can imagine a photo taken in a location, you realize that spots that you would never think to shoot in are actually gorgeous. I have a new appreciation for the sunset now that I know what golden hour can do for photos!
4. Meeting new people
The photography community is huge, and it was so nice meeting all my friends in USC Photography Club. Now that I'm a wedding and portrait photographer, I've met so many amazing people including new clients and vendors.
5. It got me through hard times
When I had hit a rough patch in college, photography was one of the things that had saved me. I looked forward to my shoots even when things were hard. Besides just making me happy, photography was an outlet whenever I was sad. No matter what you're going through, I hope that having photography in your life can make things just a little bit easier.
Thanks so much for following along, and be sure to check out my free educational resources (Click HERE!) Feel free to also email me questions to feature on future blog posts at firstname.lastname@example.org