- By Kenny Kim
I am not sure if everyone knows this or not but I have an older sister whom I dearly love & respect. She has always been the “academically smart” one in the family. She always came home with awards and scholarships while I ran around trying to find inspiration in life. As much as I tried, the only award I got earlier in life was a pat on the back saying “nice try.” Sad, I know. Any ways, my sister is now the Director of Surgical Services (they say it’s one of the top positions) at a major hospital in Chicago and is respected by many of her peers. She often travels to speak at major conferences and gives seminars in her topic of expertise (which to this date I do not exactly know). To my eyes, I think she has reached the pinnacle of her career and is doing really well. Yet there is something about her I still do not get. She is still taking classes and continuing to educate herself. I asked her one day why she is still taking classes when she could be just cruise controlling on her success for rest of her career? Her reply was simple: she needs to continue to educate herself to keep up with what is going on in her industry.
I think this is very true for all types of industry – including the one that I stumbled upon in photography. In 2007, my first official year as a full-time photographer, I realized that I needed to educate myself if I was going to survive in this industry. As much as I hate classes (I vowed never to take any more after I graduated from college) I invested $$$$ on educating myself by attending numerous workshops, seminars and conferences. You name it, I probably went to it. The things I learned from there were valuable, practical and inspirational, depending on the ones I attended. All in all they were the directions that I need to get myself in the right direction.
Fast forward to today – it is end of March of 2010 and this is my fourth year in my business now. I am doing relatively okay in my business and my schedule is pretty busy for the rest of this year. I have conducted some workshops & photo trips and have even been asked to speak at some of classes at conventions. I humbly take on these tasks and consider it a privilege to do such things. But the hunger to grow and learn more as a photographer in me has not yet subsided. As much progress as I have made in my journey as a photographer, I look ahead and know that I have way more to go. There are so many forefathers and veterans in this industry that went before me and have paved the way to be where I am today and I need to keep learning and improving my craft. So in this perspective, I understand my sister and realize that I too need to keep improving myself through education.
- Kenny Kim is a lifestyle and wedding photographer covering Chicagoland, Midwest, National & Destination Events
Feeling Inspired by Kenny's great post? There is still availability in our upcoming School of Photography class on May 25 in downtown Grand Rapids.
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