From Behind a Desk to Behind the Camera
After graduating from the University of Kansas, I accepted an engineering job in Chicago – a diverse, midwestern city that led to new opportunities. But three years settled, I felt unfulfilled by routine. I was living in a city with boundless energy, and I wanted a way to experience it. So I bought a bike.
Biking was an easy way to get outside, exercise and explore. And eventually, I found myself documenting each ride. At first, I used my iPhone, until my brother lent me his professional camera. Two weeks into the loan, I’d discovered a new perspective – and the potential behind using more technical equipment. That’s when I learned to love photography.
As my technical understanding grew, I started booking freelance photography projects. After four years, I quit my engineering job and decided to pursue photography, full time.
While I felt engaged by my new work, the transition from engineer to photographer wasn’t without question. Would this be sustainable, five years from now? What would future projects look like? I wanted to broaden my career, and for me, that meant creative leadership development. Working with a brand that shared my values felt really important; so I expressed my goals to a lifestyle company. On January 3rd, 2019, I accepted my first project with the company.
After that, my work took on new dimensions involving communication, problem solving, and movement direction. All of it was a bit unnerving, but learning on the fly helped me grow and adapt, quickly. It jump-started career successes that may not have come otherwise. My work opened doors to other fitness and lifestyle industries in Chicago, and it’s the opportunity I needed to keep evolving.
I challenge myself to practice every day because there’s no real end to my work. Whether it’s shooting or editing – I’m never really done because taste isn’t finite. My next risk? Relocating to the West Coast – once again, eager to explore new possibilities and perspective.