Continuing into 2015

My timeline to a career in photography had a lot of stops along the way.

It all started when I was a kid - I was obsessed with space and astronomy. I read and re-read books on the planets (I am not on team Pluto, btw), memorized the names of Saturn's moons and dreamed about journeying to space. I even had this sweet Space Shuttle Columbia toy.  I could press a button to detach the Solid Rocket Boosters and throw a switch to drop the Liquid Fuel Tank. I got to re-enact a shuttle launch anytime I wanted - it was a dream come true for a 5 year old.

Space Shuttle Discovery launching STS-119 at sunset on 15 March 2009, in the moment just after SRB separation. As seen from my hotel in Orlando, where I was staying for one of my first travel jobs. Taken with the longest lens we had on hand, and with the highest resolution camera commercially available at the time, the Shuttle was about 60 miles away (and moving fast) - even at the highest zoom it's no larger than a pixel at the tip of a tower of flame.

I realized fairly quickly in my university physics class - the closest I could get to understanding the path to the stars - that my heart didn't lie with the sciences and that my other lifelong hobby was becoming more appealing as a career.

My parents were both photographers when they met, so there were cameras around all the time growing up - I'd published my first photo essay at the age of 9, and I'd often been late for high school physics because I was in the darkroom. 

So I dropped out of University, worked a few odd jobs, enrolled in a photography program, and here I am today.

While photography has provided me with incredible experiences and I am excited to see where it takes me next, I've always regretted not finishing my degree. So last year, I re-enrolled to finish off my BA. It's refreshing to study for the pure joy of learning. This term, I'm studying Shakespeare so please forgive me if the doth's and thou's start creeping their way into my writing.

All to say, that I understand what it's like to have to re-evaluate and change direction later in life - what it is to take the risk and throw your old plan out the window and to strive for self-improvement.

So when Aaron Doyle at dougserge+partners asked me to pitch in on this project for the York University School of Continuing Education, I enthusiastically said "Yes!" I was excited to hear the stories of students who'd decided to further their careers, and to help tell them share their timelines in classic black and white portraits and an online video:

Like the announcer says: Learn more at www.yorku.ca/continue.

Aric GuitéComment