Often people succumb to societal pressure, especially parental pressure, to play it safe when it comes to career paths. Frequently, people bury their passion and get stuck in the corporate rat race, with nostalgic thoughts regarding when they used to have time to dream. But, it is really never to late to pursue one’s dreams. It is never too late to make it big in life. In fact, success has absolutely no age limit. Here are five well-respected photographers who started late in life; their stories are inspiring! Some of these photographers were working at restaurants, departmental stores, even at government offices until they finally realized their dream and felt the burning urge to take up their passion professionally.
Here is a list of photographers who started late in their career!
- Photographers who Started Late
- 1. Roy Emerson Stryker
- 2. Roger Ballen
- 3. Boman Irani
- 4. Steve McCurry
- 5. Anne Geddes
Photographers who Started Late
1. Roy Emerson Stryker
Born in 1893, Roy Emerson Stryker was an American economist and government official, also well known for having launched the documentary photography movement of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the Great Depression in the mid-1930s. He collaborated with other well-known photographers, while in his 40s, to work on projects, including establishment of the Pittsburgh Photographic Library!
2. Roger Ballen
Though Roger Ballen was involved with photography earlier in his life, it wasn’t until he was 50 years old that he took up photography in a serious manner.
“For the first fifty years of my life, photography was essentially a hobby…,” said Ballen in an interview on Lens Culture. “During the period from 1995-2000, I started to see myself as an artist/photographer. When Outland was published in 2000, it garnered critical attention as well as winning a number of important awards. From this point on, photography became more than just a hobby.”
Some of the many awards he has accumulated include, Artist of the Year; Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin in November 2014, Art Directors Club Award Photography in 2006, Citigroup Prize (finalist – UK) in 2002 and Photographer of the Year, Rencontres d’ Arles in 2002.
3. Boman Irani
Now here is a name most Indians will certainly recognize – Boman Irani. Not only did he enter into the world of cinema as an actor in his early 40s, he also took up photography quite later than most photographers – when he was in his early 30s.
“I remember at the age of 34 dad started his career as a professional photographer,” said Boman Irani’s son, Danesh Irani, in a Rediff interview. “Financially, he had a very difficult time, but he never made us aware of it.”
Despite being a late bloomer with regards to pursuing photography and acting, look at where he is at now in terms of his following. Better late than never!
4. Steve McCurry
American photography Steve McCurry has won many awards including Magazine Photographer of the Year by National Press Photographers Association, the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary medal, Robert Capa Gold Medal for coverage of war in Afghanistan for Time, two first-place prizes in the World Press Photo contest, and much more – he also started out late as a photographer in his mid-20s. McCurry initially planned to study filmmaking and cinematography, and then obtained a degree in theatre arts instead, graduating from Penn State University in 1974, and finally realized his calling is photography afterward when he started taking photos for The Daily Collegian.
5. Anne Geddes
Anne Geddes has quite an interesting story – she dropped out of school in Australia at 17 and left her home soon after that.
“I wanted to get on with my life,” she said in an interview on Creative Women.
She traveled with a hotel company and took a job as a receptionist at a television station where she met her husband, who encouraged her to take up photography as a profession. In her mid-20s, Geddes started to teach herself photography using her husband’s 35 mm Pentax K1000 camera, and over a period of two years built a small portfolio.
In a New Year’s Eve party in 1984, she suddenly announced to her friends and husband, “I’m going to be the best-known baby photographer in the world.” And, Geddes did just that; she has sold more than 18 million books according to Amazon.com, as well as 13 million calendars.
Indeed, it is never too late to start #LivingIt – these five acclaimed photographers who started late, and their wonderful stories sure are motivational and encourage one to never hold back from pursuing their dreams, regardless of their age. Comment below and let us know your thoughts!