By Guest Blogger
Craig Glick Miller
Photography student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division
Life is made of choices. I spent many years choosing the status quo and managing to stay happy, but there comes a point in life when a dream becomes too strong to ignore. I made a choice to change my career from IT consulting to a more creative outlet. I chose photography.
Back in 1999, I graduated from college with a degree in Mathematics Education. However, while student teaching I discovered that I didn’t actually want to teach. When I moved back to my hometown with my degree that I was not going to use, I was initially at a loss about a career path. As it happened, a family friend who owned a computer consulting company had some larger projects and needed help. The job fell into my lap and I have been doing IT consulting ever since.
Then in 2010 my world was turned upside down. My wife and I gave birth to a beautiful daughter who died an hour after being born. Part of our grieving process has been reflecting on where we are in life and what it means to be happy after such a devastating loss. The idea of my own photography studio had been stewing in the back of my mind for years, but this loss brought it to the front and center.
Once my brain wrapped around this idea, it continued to grow in my mind. What would I need to make this happen? Where should I begin? How can I make compelling images like those that have inspired me, most notably those from Art Wolfe in Light on the Land? Who will I sell these images to in order to make money and support my family?
As I looked at options and the vision began to grow, one thing became readily apparent: I needed more education. However, the photography and business classes available locally are limited and basic. Then I found the Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division. As I read the course listings and learned more about the program, I realized that this program is exactly what I was looking for. Not only can I learn the craft from home while keeping my current job, but the business classes are built into the program, and are specific to photography.
The computer work that I do involves fixing other people’s problems. Photography involves creating a vision, crafting compelling images. In the wake of my daughter’s short life I want to create.
I continue to work with computers, but only at 80%. I spend one day a week working on my business - Lucid Eye Studio - while my evenings are filled with homework, making images and sharing ideas. I never really chose IT consulting except as the status quo. I did decide to pursue photography, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division is giving me the tools to make that choice a feasible reality.
Are you an Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division student interested in writing for this blog? Check the Welcome Center in the Campus Common to find out how!