I start the Langara College photography certification program in January, just days before my birthday.
It’s a very impressive looking program and they suggest that if you are taking it full time you should plan on spending at least 2 years before reaching the point where you are ready to apply for certification. I’ll be taking one or two courses per term, through the continuing education studies program because, of course, I work full-time. It’ll be years before I reach certification, but as I said in a past entry, it’s really the journey and the learning curve I’m after, not the goal.
I have no interest in making photography a career, so there’s no deadline involved.
My hope, is that somewhere along the way I’ll become proficient enough to sell the occasional photo to pay for a course here or there, or buy camera equipment. I’ll call this venture a true success if I can make this hobby partially pay for itself.
The way the program works is that you don’t receive certification strictly by passing the required courses. You must, with the help of the instructors, put together a portfolio in your particular area, which gets sent out to prospective business contacts. These adjudicators approve your portfolio, or send back recommendations on how they feel you need to improve your portfolio.You can fine-tune and repeat this process as often as you wish until your portfolio is accepted, and you achieve your certification.
I have plenty of time to decide whether I want to pursue full certification, but for the moment the plan is to go all the way. There’s no extra incurred costs in seeking certification, and so no reason not to set the bar high. I believe I can do this.
Another part of the program that appeals to me is the opportunity to become a lifelong alumni of the program, which allows you to take any courses they offer, gratis, for the rest of your life. That’s a prety nice carrot to dangle, I say! Once you reach certification you are free to upgrade and continue studying the craft for the rest of your life. Can’t beat that!
There are several areas of specialty, or perhaps focus is a better word, in the field of photography and this program encourages you to focus on your area of interest. I’ll be sorting out my thoughts on that as I go.
For now I’m giddy with excitement at the thought that I am finally, truly, going to get an opportunity to take charge and master the camera instead of letting it master me!
And, an important side note here, I once again have R. to thank for my taking this next step. His encouragement (and his willingness to sit on the phone and get through to a busy switchboard on registration day) always help me make my dreams reality! Thanks, R.