2015 World Nomads Scholarship Competition

I’ve been a photography student at MatadorU for a year now and I couldn’t be more pleased about the return on investment. In the last year, my photography has gone from “What the heck do I do with this camera?” to “Oh… so that’s how they do THAT!”

In high school I had to choose between taking photography or pottery as an elective. They were scheduled on the same time and day and I was only allowed one. I went with pottery knowing the likelihood of getting another opportunity to try my hand at it would be slim- and I loved every minute. Photography, on the other hand, I determined I could learn ‘someday.’

In all the years since, I’ve wrestled with the great “What if…?” What if I chose photography instead of pottery? Would I be a professional photographer by now? How good at it would I be? Did I make the wrong choice? What if I robbed myself of a career…? I’m almost 40 and what if it’s too late? Is it too late? Is it too late to change my career and really pursue this? Am I even good enough to consider that as an option?

Questions and mountains of self-doubt aside, here I am trying anyway.

If it weren’t for me coming across an advertisement for MatadorU on some random website one day, I would likely still be having a staring duel with my Canon 650D/T4i and I wouldn’t be the one winning. Since starting my photography course, I’m happy to say, the duel’s ended and we’re learning to ‘play nice’ together.

My entry in the 2015 World Nomads Scholarship Competition is a testament to the positive things a good training course, a desire to learn coupled with encouragement from knowledgable faculty and staff can bring.

To some, it’s just a silly contest and I’m only talking about an application- not an award- and there’s no reason to wax poetic yet. To me? Producing images I can look at, be proud of and say, “Those are good!” is proof that it’s possible to overcome one’s limitations regardless of how big they seem at first.

In my mind, I’m a winner. Why? Because six months ago, I would have read the rules, looked at the other entries and convinced myself I’d never be good enough. My entry in this scholarship competition is about me, overcoming my own fears of failure and not having what it takes to be something everyone I know struggles with more often than not, “I don’t have what it takes to be good enough.”

My entry in the World Nomads 2015 Scholarship Competition is a sign that I’ve fought and won a battle with myself. And if that’s not cause enough for celebration and tooting one’s own horn, I really don’t know what is.

To see my first ‘published’ [aka publicly released] photo essay titled “A Good Day on the Waterfront” which chronicles and compiles five of the highlights from my two heavenly weeks in Sydney, Australia click here.

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