Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Learning, Personal, School | 4 comments

The $17,000 tuition, $1100 camera, another $2000 in lenses, $500 flash… the money keeps adding up. Was this all seriously worth the investment? the year of time i spend studying the craft of photography.


I get asked all the time, was Cato (Center for Arts and Technology) a good school? was it worth it? I always answer, for me it was worth the time money and effort. It was worth it cause i gave it a chance.

When i started at CATO i always said to myself that in order for this year to make a difference i am going to have to have an open mind and work hard. The things that we were all taught were the basics, and building blocks, and that nothing was an absolute. It was up to us as a student to take what we were taught, and do more research into it learn more. It was up to us to practice our skill, to go out there and put ourselves out there. Its not going to happen on its own. John Thiessen once said to me, “No one is going to toot your own horn for you.” School pushed us to get out there and make something for ourselves.

The song that sticks in my mind when i think about this is “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip? Yo

The building blocks that i was taught was not the reason school was worth it though. Dont get me wrong, they were vital to what i know today, the building blocks are very important to learn. The reason school was worth it for me was my growth as a person.

I walked into that school as a scared and shy person, I knew no one, I had moved to Kelowna a week or two before that. I knew no one, i was out of my comfort zone completely out of my element. It was a scary time, but i knew one thing, that i wanted to do this, and be good at it. School forced me to deal with not having friends by making me talk to strangers, and try to make friends with them. So far i think i have succeeded . If we want to make anything of ourselves, out voice needs to be heard, even if it starts out soft and quiet. You have to start somewhere, Overtime your soft quiet voice will blossom into a loud booming voice if thats what YOU want.

I think too many people are excepting school to be this thing that takes your hand and make things happen for you, in reality school is only a guide, a forum for suggestion. I believe that whatever you put into school, is what your going to get out of school. If you go into school just doing the bare minimum, just so you can get a passing grade, your not going to learn a whole lot.

I like to think i put a lot of effort into my assignments, I tried to grasp what the instructor was looking for. My reward for putting in the work and effort was to overcome my shyness. School gave me an opportunity to pursue what i love to do, to create beautiful art. My time at CATO gave me the confidence to show other people my photos, to the point where i can have other people rip my work apart and not cry over it.

I think the thousands of dollars i spent and borrowed have been completely worth it, only cause i gave it a chance.

I cant have a blog post without photos, here are my favorite photos from my time at school. The portraits are of my friend Matt Butterworth who is also a photography and a videographer. The other person is Jaide LeGuilloux who is a model here in Kelowna. The other photos were from various assignments.