Hello, my name is Bridget Brown. I am a 2012 graduate of the University of Iowa, receiving my B.A. in Cinematography with a minor in French.
For the first eighteen years of our lives we ponder, dwell on, and are asked the question, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” The next thing you know you are eighteen-years-old and it’s go time. If you were anything like me after high school you felt the need to go straight to college. After college you felt that in order to consider yourself successful you needed your career to start immediately, or it was never going to happen.
I’m here to tell you it’s okay. Even better, you don’t need to know what you want to do right when you’re eighteen, or twenty-one or even thirty. I believe that turning eighteen is the point when you truly start to discover yourself. You are finally on your own in the world and left to make your decisions for the first time without parental guidance in your ear. Not only do you start to learn a lot about yourself and who you are, but about the world as well.
During college I started out as a Cinematography Major right away. I knew I was interested in film but had no clue or much knowledge about what areas really peaked my interest. I saw that many students with the same major as me were already steps ahead. They had and were well-versed with their own cameras and editing equipment. Some where already spending a semester interning with production companies and winning film festivals. This was great for these students. It’s always good to be a step ahead when you can. For me, however it was very intimidating. I wanted to be at the same spot but wasn’t. I was still learning about what my Major had to offer and finding what I really liked.
After graduating I thought I wanted to be an editor. I interned with a production company in Colorado and focused most of my attention on post production. To my surprise, while interning I learned that I, in fact, did not want to be an editor at all. I liked editing, but sitting at a computer eight hours a day just wasn’t for me. I found that my true calling was in the actual production and cinematography of the filmmaking process.
For the next few years I worked freelance jobs for various companies while also holding various part-time jobs to make ends meet telling myself that it would only be temporary. Eventually I was fed up with waiting for someone else to discover my talents. I knew I had learned a lot and had the ability to do the jobs I was applying for. With that thought I quit my part-time jobs, created a website, blog page and started applying for freelance jobs while road tripping across the United States. It was scary, very scary. I had no idea if any of the jobs would come through. I invested a good chunk of money into my business to get started and was now in it with both feet. There were times I just went through the motions of owning my own business without having the confidence that what I was doing was going to work.
Hands down, it was one of the best things I have ever done. By taking the initiative and going to get what I wanted for myself, I now have a career doing what I love, and the best thing is I am my own boss. I still consider myself at the start of my journey. I have a lot more that I want to do and accomplish. But, instead of worrying about how I appear professionally to other people I decided to take things into my own hands. I’ve learned it’s okay to go down one path and have to turn around. As long as you are learning and coming back in a different place then where you started. it is not failing; it’s how you grow. So, in short don’t worry about where you think you are supposed to be and get too anxious to get to the finish line. It’s okay to be at a different place than your peers. It doesn’t mean they are any better or smarter than you, simply at a different place. Enjoy the trip and take time to learn, make mistakes, and discover what you really want to do.