A applied to, auditioned for, and was rejected from his school's arts concentration program today. He wanted to specialize in photography if accepted.

He knew the rejection was coming. "The audition didn't go so well," he said to me that day.

Today, I called up a photographer friend. "When did you start photography?" I asked. "Not until college," he said. "I went on a trip to Israel in the summer, bought a camera in the duty-free shop, and began taking pictures right there in the airport and on the plane. I haven't stopped since that day."

College, huh?

Annie Leibovitz didn't start photography until around her college years, according to Wikipedia.

No idea when Bob Gruen started. But his famous John Lennon-in-New York City T-shirt photo didn't happen until well after he left high school.

Ansel Adams learned photography as a teenager on a trip to Yosemite National Park. His father gave him a Kodak Brownie camera for the trip and Ansel started taking photos. No special arts program there.

"You know what, A?" I said to him on the phone. "The greatest photographers didn't do the arts concentration program in your school. Some didn't even begin until college. You'll be okay. You're in good company."

I swear I could see him smile through the phone.


Becky said...

La Mai, from everything I can recall reading here, A has been a photographer for some time now. There's a big difference between being a photographer and taking an arts concentration program. You can be the former without the latter, and I dare say a great number of the kids in the program won't be photographers, at least not at the beginning of the program. Just as most of the best reporters I know didn't go to J-school. They just kept writing and practicing their craft.

Fortitude and patience! And continued snapping away :)

la Maitresse said...

Thanks, Becky.

Considering where you've lived in NYC (what I like to call the "Literary Alley"), I bet you knew some stellar reporters, too. : )

A has since shaken off the gunk of last week's rejection and tossed it into his "Pfft" file.

Becky said...

That he already has a "Pfft" file at his age is a sign that you've raised him with a solid footing and common sense. Yay for A and LaMai :)