Erika Edgely New York
Summer Intensive 2013
I applied to RMSP’s Career Training program at least three times before finally attending SI in 2013. Up until now, photography has not been a huge part of my life, it’s more been this lingering thought (that’s lasted about 15 years) that this is something that I need to do. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for photography but have never carried my camera with me at all times. In fact, I hardly knew anything about my camera before attending SI. I knew that the only way to explore photography was to fully immerse myself. SI certainly allowed me to do that and the amount that I’ve learned is still hard to fathom. Many of my classmates had much more experience and knew a lot about photography to begin with, but within a few short weeks we were all learning the same techniques and that still amazes me.
The friendships that form are shocking and beautiful. I never thought that I would meet so many people from different walks of life and find a common bond.
The leaps and bounds that occur in three short months are noticeable all around you and the buzz among students is a mix of excitement, stress, doubt, and encouragement. You actually see yourself starting to take better photos each day and it’s awesome! At the same time, there is this element of frustration and doubt – I can remember thinking more than once, “hmm, maybe this photography things just isn’t for me,” and then the next day feeling convinced that photography will be my full time career.
I imagined that I would leave SI knowing everything that I need to know to be a professional photographer, and to be good at it. That’s true and it’s not. I’ve learned a few things: you have to put in a lot of time, practice and repetition work, taking pages and pages of notes and never opening the book again doesn’t work. RMSP gives you all of the tools you need to continue with your photography education after SI and I can’t wait to keep learning.