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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Education


I started teaching at my old college this past semester and it got me thinking about education and what it means to "have an education".
Under the standards of our society, I'm "educated" at a college level. But at what price? Well, the price is high. I'm sure I'll be paying on my school loan for the rest of my life. Maybe not the rest of my life, but you get the idea. It's scary and ridiculous. And the sad part is that I'm not even in that industry any more. That's not completely true. I'm not a graphic designer any more, except for my self. I'm a professional photographer. That sounds so much better than "graphic designer", in my opinion of course. 
So here I am. I have a huge school loan for a degree in an industry I left. Now, I'm trying to make a living and feed my family by learning photography, a field of study that I knew very little about three years ago, all on my own. But I wouldn't say I'm self taught.
To be completely honest, I never wanted to go to school to learn photography. I strongly feel going to school for graphic design over complicated things for me. It came to a point where I was more concerned about the alignment of element then the over all aesthetics. I didn't feel creative anymore. When I really started to pursue photography, I felt creative. I didn't really care that I didn't know all the technical rationals about what make a good photo good. I just knew what I liked. Of course, I started getting more ideas and needed some help on how to actually produce them. That's when I turned to my best friend, the world wide web…2.0! 
I searched all over the web for anything photography related. After a few months doing that, I discovered some very inspirational photographers. Most notably, Chase Jarvis. Chase shared everything. How to light, how to be creative, how to be positive, how to never give up and how to share. He changed the game of photography. The old school photogs didn't want to share ANYTHING. I know. I use to work for one. For about three months and realized that it was a very bad move. 
I consider being taught by the masters; Chase Jarvis, Zack Arias, Jeremy Cowart, Scott Kelby, & Joe McNally (respectively -that's for you Zack).  And I'm finding more! Joey L is another amazing photog. I have a love-hate relationship with him though. The dude is only like 21 or 22 and is killing it! He's the one who shot the Twilight movie posters. He has amazing work and started so early. I'm jealous. All these guys are great artists. Which brings me back to teaching at my old art college. 
Can you teach art? My opinion, no. But you can teach people how to think in creative ways. Then it's up to that person to make the image in their mind's eye, real. To be creative, you need to be inspired. What inspires you?