I wrote a little yesterday about toying with the idea of going to school again. Well today I had long conversation with an admissions counselor from the Art Institute Online, and it gave me a bit more to think about.
The thought of taking classes again gets me so excited- I love school and learning- I'm just a total nerd like that. But... having massive student loans to pay off while simultaneously trying to grow a successful business? Eh, not so exciting. Still, if that education would benefit by business a lot it would be worth it, right? So I was thinking I may at least apply and file for financial aid, and see how much help I could get with the money part... but then I was like, hmm- no one in the photography industry really cares about degrees, they care about your work. Even the counselor I spoke to at this school kept saying that I would be ahead of most other students in many ways because I already have a bachelor's degree and I already run my own business.
This got me thinking, why exactly am I looking into this? -well, I guess because I want to feel more confident in my skill as a photographer, in my savvy as a business owner, and because there is always more to learn. But I can attain these things with out going through another degree program and spending all that money. There are amazing conferences and workshops for professional photographers, and classes through the Small Business Association and other organizations, not to mention more books than one person could ever read. So I think that dedicating myself to taking advantage of those opportunities and sort of creating my own continuing education plan would be a smarter move for me. I am so excited to delve into it! I randomly picked up this book called Skin at the library recently- "The complete guide to digitally lighting, photographing, and retouching faces and bodies." I'm going to start going though it tonight. I have been loving all the opportunities that are part of my new membership to the PPA, including the subscription to Professional Photographer Magazine. Great stuff. I've seen ads in it for a few great workshops, and the big annual PPA conference, ImagingUSA, is in January, I think it would be amazing attend.