As of 4:15 this afternoon, I have officially completed all of the formal requirements for my B.A. degree in photography! After four more years of school, off and on self-doubt as to my ability to pursue this passion, and lots and lots of hours spent in both the black & white darkroom and the digital lab, I'm happy to see the end of this phase of my life.
Being in an academic environment for photography is so much different than just chatting with friends who like photography. There are both good and bad things about the academic environment, but overall I am extremely glad to have made the decision to get a degree in photography rather than simply self-teaching. Although the second option is more than sufficient for some, spending four years studying and practicing photography in a formal environment has been very beneficial for me. Now that I will not have regular formal critiques for my work, I will need to work to find similar constructive and honest feedback. I want to make sure I continue to push myself just as much as I have in the past four years. When I look back at my work from four years ago and compare it to my current work, the improvements I have made are glaringly obvious. I hope and pray that in four more years I can look back and say the same.