Lately I have been asking myself, is photography a REAL career? - Of course it is. But recently I have been having some self doubt and figured that I needed to write down my feelings in order to clear my head. I figured that maybe some others out there have been feeling the same way about their creative careers, so I am sharing this with the internet - here goes!
Alright. So this all begins with the ideology and expectation that children grow up, graduate high school, and go onto University where they learn skills that will help them to get a 'career' and make lots of money. Sure I put it bluntly, but I feel like that is the general message instilled into young people in my culture. Generally, success is associated with money and 'prestigious' careers. This mindset shaped me for my whole life until I began to study cultural Anthropology in University - it was then that I learned about the concept of enculturation - the acquisition of norms and understanding of a specific cultural belief. I was able to take a step back and remove myself from the beliefs that I grew up in. This was a major turning point in my life and I have always looked at the world very differently from then on. To put it simply, I used to be deeply invested in the expectations that my culture and family had for me, but after understanding how these are subjective, I was able to re-shape my own expectations for myself by disregarding societies expectations. This allowed me to pursue my creativity after graduating from University and follow my passion and create my own career rather than continue on with a masters or get a conventional job. Thus. Madison Jamie Photography was created and I love my job SO MUCH.
That being said, I still struggle with how my family and peers views my career choice. I am often faced with the statement "it is so sad that all of the education you went through is going to waste." YEAH. Ouch. I have a degree that I am currently not using in the traditional sense, yes. But there are so many things that I learned in university that can be applied to the career that I have chosen, so I definitely do not see it as a waste. Even though I know this, it still hurts to see that my chosen career as a photographer is not valued as much as if I was a teacher/lawyer/nurse/Dr. of Anthropology ect.. This has been tugging at my heart and confidence a TON lately, and I am not sure if it's because it is the start of the school year once again, and I am not returning. Or maybe it's because many of my peers/people my age are reaching the point where they are beginning their masters programs, or entering their 'traditional careers'. In many ways, I still struggle with the idea that photography can be a 'traditional career', or maybe I struggle with the dichotomy of needing to have a 'traditional career' - I wish I could just put this one to bed. I am so frustrated because of this belief that I subconsciously carry with me.
I feel like I can't be the only person pursuing a creative career that feels this way, though I feel pretty dang alone dealing with this. I am seriously SO thankful for the amazing community of photographers and creatives that I have connected with in the past year - we discuss so many themes and issues within the community, but I never feel like this one is brought up. Maybe because no one else deals with it, or maybe because it isn't relevant... I am not sure! Anyway, I needed to get this off of my chest and I need to continue to work on this mindset. If anyone else is feeling this way and wants to talk about it - send me an email, an Instagram DM, a comment, anything! I would love to talk some more about this and work through it.
For now I will keep working away at my little business and love every part of it. I just hope that this lack of confidence and bump in the road will resolve itself in the near future!
Thanks for reading this little piece of my heart - It has been a while since I have shared something this personal here on my blog so I appreciate you being here. xo