When life gets busy dreams tend to go by the wayside. Work has been chaos lately and when I come home I’m exhausted. Lately I’ve been thinking that I should go back to school and get my classroom ed license so that I can have my own classroom. I’m not sure about this. I still want to be a photographer, but is working for myself right now the best idea? Do I even like the idea of having to be the sole member of my company and therefore have the responsibility of all the financial, booking, photographing, editing, printing? It would be nice to work as a second shooter for someone for a while, but how do you even go about getting a job like that? Also, is there any reason why I can’t be a teacher and do photography on the side? I could always move towards photography full-time as I get better and more confident.
I really don’t know how to proceed. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. That got messed up when I decided that I wanted to be a high school band director. Turns out studying music was not my idea of a good time and I really don’t like teaching high school students. I much prefer the little kids 3rd grade and younger.
There are pros and cons of course to going back to school to be a teacher. The pros are I’m more likely to get a job than going back to school for photography; I’m going to get paid more than I do now as a paraprofessional; I’d get to have autonomy at work which I do not have now, but not have to rely solely on myself; I’d get to work with more than one kid all day; and lets not forget those really nice summer vacations, winter break, Thanksgiving break, and spring break that I would not have if I worked any other place besides a school.
However, there are also cons to becoming a teacher. It costs money to go back to school. I’d only be making around $30,000 a year to start, and for a long time after if I got a job in my current district since they’re going on their 4th year of pay freeze. As a photographer (or really any other career) there’s the opportunity to make much more than that. I’d have to deal with parents who think by forcing their kids to actually work you’re ruining their spirit. I’d still have to work with difficult kids. There’s no guarantee I’d have the support of my principal in my philosophy that discipline is a part of providing a caring and nurturing academic environment and part of preparing students to function in the real world. Then there’s all the drama that is present in the elementary schools between the staff over kids, philosophies, etc, etc… And lets not overlook the fact that being a teacher would make it more difficult to pursue photography as a hobby or as a profession.
Like I said before, I really don’t know what to do. I applied for a job with a photography company and probably would have received a position there. However, it would not be as a photographer, it would be in sales. I would have had to travel around the country and back all the time and pay would be commission based. The commission was measly too and there was no insurance and no guarantee that I’d make enough to pay for insurance through DH at the school. Overall, it was not a situation that I wanted to get into and not the course I want to take with my photography career.
The main problem with photography is I don’t even know where to start. I’d like to get some schooling to gain experience and knowledge; but that cost money and unlike with education there’s not a decent guarantee that I’ll get a job afterwards. I also have no idea how to go about getting a job in photography not working for myself at least for the time being. How do you find a job working for another photographer or studio? Do they want you to have formal training or is it possible to find someone who will take basic knowledge and want to train you in their ways themselves?
Needless to say the word of the year is “uncertainty.”