I'm a lifestyle cinematographer who just endured 4 years of undergraduate education at McMaster University. Did I want to pursue a career in scientific research? I thought I did.
But after 4 years in this traditional academic environment, I realized I could do something that actually excited me.
Cinematography is where my soul thrives.
Don't get me wrong, I still have a curious mind for science – which is why I still completed the Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Science. But it isn't where I wanted to put my energy.
Here is a summary of what I learned in University:
First Year = Reading about science and doing science were completely two different things. I dreaded wet labs and could not see myself just working my office research job.
Second Year = I started to experiment with cinematography and video production in school. Whenever possible, I created videos for my science projects and kept building my portfolio.
Third year = I dipped my toe into freelance cinematography – working small gig after small gig to do something that was second nature to me. I also started promoting myself around school, and producing videos for those who needed them.
Fourth year = I became one of the top guys (if not the guy) on campus known for film and video production. I made amazing friends and connections to help grow my story even more.
I grew myself from someone who thought he had to follow the path that 'everyone' aspired to. A doctor? A topnotch researcher? An amazing engineer? I grew myself into someone who could thrive on what I was already doing.
The goal of most of my writing is to communicate what I've learned. All my trials and tribulations as an unhappy student, how I learned to live more freely and how I made something out of what I was already inclined to do. And one of the most memorable quotes I've heard was this:
"Everything in productivity" (Estrabillo, 2014)
Ultimately, I want you to do the same. If you're already putting your time into doing something, make it worthwhile for the world. It truly comes down to helping others in the best way possible.
My way is through cinematography / filmmaking / visual storytelling. [Don't be surprised when I start posting more about weddings]
I want you, as an eternal student of life, to find your way.
If you want to pursue a career in cinematography, great! Read my posts on cinematography and freelancing.
What I don't want you to do is stay confined to the things that don't help you. Stay open minded and understand that most of the "authority figures" in your lives so far have either
- Followed methods that are not accustomed to current times,
- Don't actually live the life you want to live,
- Both, or
- Mostly 3