Have you ever had one of those defining, fork-in-the-road, flip-a-coin, change-your-life kind of moments?
I’ve had a couple pop up in life, and I think about the paths each decision leads to all the time. When I was in my teens, I had applied for a volunteering program in Canada that would have taken me around the country for nine months and been something totally unlike anything I’d ever done. I also applied for college roughly around the same time, and as fate would have it, my acceptance letters to both came on the same day. I chose college, and that choice changed my life. It led to me a relationship, a job which led to more schooling and another job, a house, and adulthood.
A few years ago, fairly early on in my photography journey, I had a similar door present itself to me that changed my life.
When I first started taking photos, I had no idea what I was doing and, as a visual learner, I knew that the only way I was going to learn how to be a better photographer was to take photos every day. But along with being a better tactical photographer, I wanted to grow my creative vision, as well. I found some groups on Flickr that were perfect for that. Each day, someone would choose a theme, and you could submit a photo to that theme. It helped me a lot to narrow down my ideas and build on my creative voice.
One day in January 2010, the theme of the day was
Cool. Crisp. Refreshing
I’d long been a fan of
Fast-forward to almost two years later, and things suddenly moved toward that flip-a-coin moment I mentioned earlier. A fellow photographer at
I thought that was the peak of this story, but how wrong I was. A few days later, I was offered a chance to moderate
At the end of this contract, I visited the headquarters of
Fast-forward again, and here is the life-changing moment. A few months after that meeting, I was back in Atlanta being offered the chance of a lifetime... the chance to not just change my life, but to provide an entirely new lease on life. I was given the opportunity to join one
This trip, visiting almost 85 countries over the course of nine months, was something I had no preparation for. I was taking photos of presidents, royalty, sports heroes. I was walking through the streets of countries I’d barely heard of searching for people playing football and taking more photos than I think I’d taken in the four years prior.
During that trip, I decided to move to another country. I saved up enough money to afford to start my business, and for the first time in my life, devote my time and energy into art. This job, the opportunity to work with two huge brands, gave me many things. But it was the confidence in myself that gave me the chance to pursue my passion.
I’ve also been working exclusively with the World of
Reflecting back to that tweet six years ago seems so far away, but so fresh in my mind. I wanted to share this story to show you that achieving your goals is possible if you have the motivation, passion, belief and hard word to move yourself toward them.
Sometimes all it takes is one photo to change your life.
Joel Robison is a fine art photographer currently living in the United Kingdom. In 2013 and 2014, he worked exclusively with