There was very little debate as to whether or not I was going to college, but the question was always when and where. A degree in photography is not necessary (read: there are many amazing photographers who have unrelated degrees, if any at all) but I came to the decision that should my career not be as a shooter, I'd need something to fall back on. Simply put, in case my vision was not marketable, I wanted a technical knowledge to at least pay the rent.
At the same time I was also balancing a mix of commercial work and photojournalism. Commercial portraiture (weddings, seniors, events) was proving to be increasingly profitable while photojournalism offered the opportunity to travel and meet interesting people. I didn't know if I wanted to move forward as a documentarian of stories or ideas.
In that, two schools came to mind with one back up. Ohio University, RIT, and the University of Texas as a backup. Ohio's photojournalism program offers one of the best schools in photojournalism in the U.S. UT was close to home and I'd benefit from in-state tuition. All thee accepted me, but in the end RIT offered me the opportunity to get away from my native South, and an impressive technical education that has already proven to be useful.
The road here hasn't been the easiest, I miss Texas dearly but I'm pretty sure the move here was the right move. In the meantime, there's plenty of work being done (and updates on that coming soon!)
This blog post is part of a series of course work for the PR Writing Course in the College of Liberal Arts at RIT. In the winter quarter, Dan will be discussing his life as a photo student and the many things that entail. You can follow the series by selecting the "PR Writing" on the post page.