When I was in high school, I took a few darkroom photography classes, which is how I decided that I wanted to go to school for photography and, eventually, become a professional photographer. I’d had a passion for photography for so long, that when I got to RIT, my goal was to work hard, move to New York City and become a famous and successful fashion photographer. After the first two years of photography classes, I realized that fashion photography wasn’t the right goal for me. I didn’t know if shooting was the right goal for me. I panicked. What was I going to do with a photography degree if not shoot? By my fourth year, I discovered that there were so many other possibilities for photographers than just being a professional photographer. Now, I understand that you don’t just move to NYC and become a photographer, and that was what scared me the most, at first. You usually have to assist or become a digital tech and freelance just to get your foot in the door, meet people and start working on your own. I didn’t know if I was up to it. That is, until the Ad Photo trip to NYC my 4th year.
I stayed with a group of RIT Alumni during the trip, one of which was working as the digital tech for a photo retail store and rental house in NYC called Foto Care. They were in need of someone to work all of the company’s social media outlets full-time. It seemed almost below me at first. I mean, all you do is sit at a computer and tweet, right? But, I really wanted to move to the city, so I decided to meet with the manager for a first interview. It went well, but I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to manage social media for a store. After the Ad Trip, I graduated and moved back home until I could find a job in New York and move out. In the middle of July, I got the email that I had gotten the job. I was so excited because that meant I could move to NYC and work full-time and still shoot on the side!
The job has turned out better than I had originally thought. I thought I’d sit around all day looking at Facebook and, even though I do that a lot, I get to experience a lot more. I was hired to manage Foto Care’s blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and FourSquare accounts, but I also I help organized, photograph and write about events that we host. I get to go to galas, parties, trade shows, seminars, lectures and gallery openings. I’ve met all kinds of people, from professional photographers I learned about in History and Aesthetics of Photography to famous cinematographers. That is what I am exposed to having chosen to work a job that I never would have thought I’d have.
I’m still in the photography industry and I still get to assist and shoot on my own. You don’t have to move to New York and shoot, there are so many options for photographers down here. And, if you want to assist or digital tech, there is an incredible network of RIT alumni here as well. Don’t limit yourself to what you think you should be doing, you’ll find what you like doing.
Kane Giblin, ’12, lives in Brooklyn and is the interactive marketing and web coordinator at Foto Care in Manhattan. For Foto Care, she manages the company’s social media as well as the blog, ecommerce website and trains clients one-on-one on social media websites. Kane also works as a freelance photography assistant and photographer working primarily in still life and food photography.