By day, I am a Landscape Architect. I did not grow up knowing I wanted to be one nor did I even have a clear understanding of what the profession would involve. In fact, I didn’t know until I was a senior in high school and everyone else seemed to have a pretty good idea of what they wanted to do. I had to spend hours, days and weeks researching the possibility of a career path before I happened upon it. The profession seemed absolutely perfect for me. So I enrolled at Temple University in the School of Landscape Architecture & Horticulture in 1995. I haven’t looked back since.
And it almost didn’t happen…
So when I was trying to figure out my future back in high school, I must have taken that career discover program a dozen times or so. Landscape Architecture wasn’t the only thing that came up. Other suggestions included Music and Photography. I had already been a musician for several years and I do feel that music is a huge part of my life. As for photography, I had just gotten into it a year prior, but it was something I could see myself doing for a lifetime. So I was torn.
Secretly, I think I kept taking the career discovery questionnaire hoping that one of the other two would dissolve. But my mom, who was much wiser than she let others believe, pointed out a very different perspective: Each of those career paths would be very rewarding in their own right, but only one could not be carried as a hobby. Her reasoning was that a hobby could be a passion for life: Regardless of whether it ever earned me money, it would always earn me peace. To convert a hobby into a career can be risky because you risk making your passion all about business, a chore that one can learn to resent if they are not careful. Music and photography were too dear, I would not want to lose passion for either. So I took my mom’s advice and now Music and Photography are among my favorite hobbies.
Photography, however, has really helped me to define myself, especially as it co-exists with my career. As a Landscape Architect, I create welcoming and habitable spaces for people. As a Photographer, I strive to exhibit the beauties of existing spaces and people in raw form; even those darker moments or in the ugliest of spaces. In either case, it is my goal to identify, define and showcase the most beautiful elements in humans and in a space. Even the ugliest of moments or the darkest of places have their own beauty, people just don’t often look for it. I hope to show the world the beauty that can be found if you look hard enough.