Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Valuable Hobbies

The first time I picked up the camera was on our family trip to St. Trojan le Bain in France. Every year we would spend the last two weeks of August in Belgium with family, carving a few days out each year to venture off to a different part of Europe. That’s when I picked up photography, mostly as a way to keep myself entertained, and out of trouble of course. My father, like many fathers, likes toys. He had recently bought a Canon 7D as the preliminary step in becoming the photographer of his dreams.

The year was 2012, I was 14 years old, and after our holiday in France we were jetting to London for the Olympics. As you might have expected, my father wasn’t very keen on having his 14-year-old tornado of a daughter handle his very expensive piece of equipment as we moved from one place to the next. Whenever I had the chance though, I would take the tool. With a cross body chest, the camera hung from my waist whenever my father wasn’t looking. At first my photos were nonsense. I can remember taking a photo of an advertisement on a shop’s window of a giraffe drinking a bottle of Fanta with a very long stripped straw. I thought it was the funniest thing.

To feed into my photography interest, and to secure his camera for himself, when we returned back to the States my father got me a Nikon Coolpix s300. It was one of those very simple point and shoot cameras that could easily fit in your pocket. This is when I really learned that it’s not about what piece of equipment you have, or how much you paid for it, but the skill that you bring to the table. To this day, some of my favorite photos have been taken with that camera. It’s been all around Europe and India, but left me hanging my second week in Africa.

Since then I’ve upgraded to the 7D. I’ve won some competitions, gotten into a few shows, met some awesome people, and have been fortunate enough to experience some amazing things. Photography is a hobby that keeps on giving so to speak. It’s a challenging form of art, mainly because everyone’s perception of an image is different.

Being at Routinely has given me the opportunity to further my hobby in a professional setting, being able to take product shots and cover events just like a proper photographer would. Instead of shooting for pleasure, I’m now looking for angles and setups that have an underlining business meaning to them, with the ultimate goal of enticing potential customers to convert through imagery.

Last week I was at NEOU, a popular gym in Midtown, shooting pictures at a launch event featuring a partnership between the gym and Routinely. Who would have thought that a hobby would have turned into a valuable tool companies are looking for.

Hobbies are activities we tend to keep separate from work, but the past month at Routinely has taught me that if you can offer something valuable through a hobby of yours, it doesn’t hurt to bring it to the table. You never know what will come of it.