by Linda Finstad
My name is Linda Finstad, and I am a middle
aged English woman. Every year for as long as
I can remember I made the same "To Do List"
of New Years Resolutions that would make me
slimmer, fitter, even a nicer person. Every
year for as long as I can remember I had to
re-make those very same resolutions come the
first of January.
Then, on my 45th birthday, I had a light bulb
moment. Instead of lamenting that I was middle
aged and gravity was having a negative effect
on my appearance, I thought "What if I
live to be 90? I may only be half way through
my life! I may have another 45 years to complete
any task I set my mind to."
I didn't want to follow the pattern of the
previous 20 or so years. It time for something
completely different. I decided to make a radical
mid-life career change and become a Professional
A worthy goal to be sure. However, I don't
know whether it's a cultural thing, but middle-aged
English women rarely go back to school; typically
they join a women's institute or volunteer at
the local hospital. This made my New Year's
resolution to go back to school to learn a new
profession extremely shocking to my friends
They thought this one would end up like those
of years gone by. Failed and forgotten by February.
They were certain that the sheer volume of work
involved in learning create professional images
would overwhelm me and cause me to quit and
take up knitting instead.
They were truly shocked when I enrolled for
classes at Metro collage, and even more shocked
by my genuine enthusiasm to learn everything
I possibly could about digital photography,
creative lighting and composition.
After completing all the courses available
I still desired to learn more, so I enrolled
with an on-line photography school (photowebschool.com)
and completed another 100 lessons on advanced
lighting and commercial photography.
You really can teach an old dog new tricks
- by the end of the year I was ready to launch
my new business - A Sharper Image - Commercial
Photography. It was launched in January,
2006, exactly one year post my New Years resolution
to become a photographer.
My target market was small to medium businesses
that needed sharp, creative images of their
products that they could use in brochures/ advertising
and on the internet.
Over the course of my first year I have shot
everything from food to fashion, art, and some
architecture, Along with a slight diversion
from the original plan I attended Equine events
where I photographed the competitors, which
led to opportunities to do farm shoots where
families and their animals would gather at a
farm for outdoor photo sessions with their horses,
dogs and cats. This was great fun for everyone
- especially me.
My work has even been published in a number
This was a New Years Resolution that truly
changed my life
P.S. At the end of my first year I am also
fitter and slimmer, due to all the extra activity
- what a bonus.
Linda Finstad, president of "A
Sharper Image - Commercial Photography"
is based in Edmonton, Alberta. firstname.lastname@example.org