From Science to Photography

...our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way...We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that - sometimes - we’re better off that way.
— Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

When I say I did my Bachelor's in Environmental Science the first reaction I get is "what does that have to do with photography?" For years I've tried to come up with a good answer, but I didn't study Environmental Science to become a photographer, and I didn't become a photographer to do something with my degree, so the correct answer to the question is a disappointing "nothing". 

After graduating high school I had to choose what I wanted to study and that's what I did. I didn't choose a career based on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I chose something I wanted to learn about. At 17 I didn't know if I wanted to be a photographer, a scientist or anything else, but I did know I wanted to understand the world a little bit better. 

 This is me collecting water samples and testing water quality at Lozano Banco. 

This is me collecting water samples and testing water quality at Lozano Banco. 

I didn't really think about what I wanted to do after college until my senior year. After attending a summer research program at the National Water Center, I realized I didn't like working in science as much as I enjoyed learning those topics. Even when I loved every single one of my classes, the politics of the science world were not for me.  

After 5 years in college, I graduated and set sail to the vast unknown with an outstanding resume in Environmental Science and a job offer.  And that's when I chose to be a portrait photographer. 

brenda-bazan

I didn't get a college degree in photography but I did study, and continue studying, photography. It's been 6 years of workshops, talks, online classes and a summer spent in photography school. 

My gut dictates my decision making. I used to think I had to have a solid reason to do the things I do, but the truth is I don't. I do what feels right and studying science felt as right as being a photographer feels now. 

If we pay close attention to ourselves we'll realize we have the answers to our own questions. I guess I always knew I wanted to be a photographer with a degree in science. I don't know where my photography and my degree will take me next, but I'm eager to see. If I have some advice for you is to do what you know will bring you happiness and a sense of accomplishment.