On April 3rd the Portfolio Center partnered up with the Photography Department and hosted a panel discussion about alternative careers in photography. The five guests represented some of the many jobs in the photography industry that don’t involve taking pictures. Two of the guests represent photographers in gallery settings and in commercial endeavors. Another guest assists in the picture-making process as a digital tech and another as a retouching expert. And the fifth guest has worked as a lead developer for a web firm, an art director for a global ad agency and now has returned to photography, sort of, as lead developer for picturelife. Four of the five are Columbia alums.
The panelists had a lot to say about finding opportunities, transitioning to new opportunities and “rules of the road” they’ve learned along the way. Here are a few:
-Be awesome to everyone, large and small. There’s no reason not to be.
-Form a support group of friends and colleagues with similar goals. Meet regularly. Super helpful.
-Have a plan but be willing to throw it out the window at any moment and make a new plan. But have a plan.
-Your side projects are often the ones that make you grow as an artist.
-Work on projects- even after the $ meter stops running- to make them excellent…cuz it’s excellent work that makes clients come back to you.
-Stay on top of technology. It often points the direction in industry trends.
There was a ton more, but hey, you shoulda been there.