I was a member of the Canadian Forces just shy of 15 years. I put my heart, soul, and body into the things I did while I was a soldier. I was medically released on the 15th of August of 2016; was I a little disheartened in being medically released; yes of course I was. I understood why and looked forward to the new challenges in the next chapter of my life. The release from the military wasn’t one of a surprise, it was a known fact and I started to make plans.
I began at looking at schooling first and foremost as I wanted to upgrade my skills and become a contributing member to society as a civilian. But, before I could do that I needed to understand who I was; what I wanted; and where I wanted to be in 5, 10 and 20 years. Speaking to many individuals, and many colleges, I discovered and reconnected to a once lost passion of photography.
I have always worked because I had to support a family and do the right thing. So looking at the prospects of figuring out what my third career would be, I did it for passion and what I wanted to do for ME not for anyone else. I can see myself being able to support my family, myself and run a successful photography business capturing and immortalizing moments for eternity and making ends meet. So once I figured out where I stood and what I wanted, in April of 2016 I applied for and submitted my portfolio (which are in the post) to the Creative Photography: Still and Motion program being taught at Mohawk College.
I spent the next few months worrying if I would be accepted or not into the program. I was persistent if not annoying Scott Kenney with my constant emails, and phone calls inquiring whether he had looked at the portfolio submission. Well in early July, I got the email which stated I was accepted and there was an offer to become a student of Mohawk College. I eagerly accepted it which started a whole new level of stress, the self doubt being a mature student and also will I be able to keep up with the younger students. Looking back at the end of the first semester, I achieved and accomplished a lot in the four months of the first semester and have another three to go before I can say I am a graduate of the program. On a side note; do I feel I am a professional photographer already yes I do with a slight caveat. I have a lot to learn to be placed or mentioned in the same sentences as my instructors who in my eyes are truly professionals in art of photography.
I attended every seminar and orientation days Mohawk College offered and I truly would advise anyone going back to school, or even attending post secondary education for the first time to take advantage of these services. They gave me an insight into how the college works, provided me with a true helpful skill in note taking and familiarized me with life as a student again; which believe it or not is not far off from being military with a few freedoms in which the military does not have.
As I have said before I have never looked back not once at the decision I made in becoming a student, a photography student at that! As one of my instructors, Robert Nowell has told the class from the first day and keeps reinforcing it, you only have to be better then you were two weeks ago, in which every time I pick up my camera I use a lesson learned from the previous time I took photographs.