alaskan adventureIt’s been years since I’ve planned a trip.  I’ve traveled, but always on short notice.  It’s been since my honeymoon almost 8 years ago, to be exact.  I returned from that three month honeymoon equipped with a sound mind and a plan.  I was going to get a real job.  A super sweet real job.  I would walk into a meeting with Chase Jarvis and I would state my case; that I was the exactly right person to run the back end of his operation and free him up to concentrate on his art.  Sure, I’d be expensive and he’d have to commit to a full-time employee with benefits and the whole shooting match, but it would be worth it.  He’d have someone he could really trust, day in and day out.

It worked.  I got that job.  I like to think I kicked ass at that job.  For eight years I put my own photographic ambitions on hold.  I had seen the side effects of photo assistants and interns trying to concurrently work for photographers and run their own photography careers and have never liked the resulting and inevitable conflict of interest.  I decided from the get-go that as long as I was taking a paycheck that said Chase Jarvis Inc. on the top, I’d make that work my only professional ambition.  It worked like a charm.

But a couple of years ago, something started to happen.

I got a Canon Powershot G9 and I started taking snapshots in the mountains.  I know, a G9 isn’t the biggest or the best camera going, but it was my gateway drug.  I could have bought a big SLR camera like the ones I used at work, but I figured that would be crossing the line.  That if I had that caliber of gear out with me, I’d have to take my photography seriously, which I was trying to avoid at all costs.  But try as I might to avoid it, I started taking pictures that I liked.  Even worse, I started taking pictures that other people liked.  Uh oh.

I was going out into the wilderness, climbing and skiing mountains, taking and sharing pictures.  All of my favorite things combined.  OK, I thought, I can make this work.  It’s just a weekend thing.  Then came the voices.  Strangely, Chase’s voice was the loudest, but it was also other creative people who I respect, athletes I follow, inspiring voices from across the human landscape.  They were all saying the same thing: do what you love.  Don’t worry about the paycheck, don’t worry about your career track, don’t worry about your mortgage.  Do what you love and share the results, the rest will take care of itself.

Romantic love aside (all of which is reserved for my wife), my first love was skiing, my second was photography.  I’m not really spinning at full speed without the combination of these elements.  They’re my medium and my muse.  Armed with these tools and a big bag of photo equipment, I’ve taken my last paycheck and taken my first trip; skiing in Alaska with my dear friend as a guide and a helicopter full of close buddies as cohorts.  The future is uncertain, but from this vantage, all I can see is blue skies.

Speaking of looking forward, I’m doing a lot of that right now.  My fused passions for photography and the mountains have pulled me squarely into their court.  It is not without a bitersweet taste in my mouth that I walk away from what can only be considered a dream job at Chase Jarvis Inc.  But my hope, my fundamental belief is that my new journey will generate a compounding sense of purpose and accomplishment as I explore my own artistic vision.

I’d like some company along the way, so if you’re willing to stay tuned, I’ll do my best to share the ups and downs that come with taking the big leap.  You can find me on Facebook, Google+, 500px and Twitter.  Wish me luck!

58 thoughts on “Holy sh#*! I quit my job! – Part 1, where I resign from one dream job to pursue another.

  1. I was wondering if you ever thought of replacing the page layout of your blog? Its well written; I enjoy what youve got to state. But maybe you can create a little more in the way of content so people might connect to it better. You have got a great deal of text for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you can space it out better?

  2. Wow! I am so stocked to read this. Met you at a Chase event in Toronto a couple years back. I am so excited for you and your taking the “big step”. It’s the step a lot of us (me possibly included) will never take because of fears, finances, etc, but we admire and cheer on vicariously from our seats here on the internet!

  3. Congrats bro! I eagerly await more documentation of your adventures here in the PNW and elsewhere. Your work is a huge inspiration to my photography and skiing. Now that you’re full time in the mountains though, please try to leave just a few freshies for us weekend warriors!

  4. Best of luck Scott!
    You have a really good writing style, I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

    This definitely will stick with me ‘Do what you love and share the results, the rest will take care of itself.’

    Good to hear your going for what you love, I’m sure you will be successfull

  5. Scott! The future is bright my friend. Let me know what I can do to help. I know you dont need any dance lessons based on your show at my wedding – but I do know a few people who work in that rascally world of skiing…;-)

  6. Hey Scott,

    I met you along time ago at the #acehotel during Dasein, and did want to ask you-‘what next’. Did not imagine that it would be soon. Well, I am happy for you. Good luck with your new aspirations!

    I’m based out of India right now. If you ever stop by please feel free to buzz!

    Best,
    Abhi.
    Twitter : @abhiinamdar

  7. Hey Scott,
    I’ve been blown away by the depth and scope of your images and can’t wait to see more! Congrats on leaving the proverbial nest… I know you’ll thrive on your own! Props! See ya on the hill sometime 🙂
    –d

  8. Congrats buddy!

    Scott you are a sold dude, and I am sure Chase and the CJ family will miss you. However, following your heart is super important and will feed you the most. So happy to see you taking the leap. I wish you the best luck!

    Nathaniel

  9. Best of luck to you, Scott! I’ve loved the photos that you’ve shared so far and look forward to seeing more. Charge ahead!

  10. Probably the hardest, but most rewarding decision is to take that leap. I envy you! 😉

    All the best Scott! It was a pleasure meeting you and Chase in Toronto a few years back.

    Paul

  11. Hey

    Good luck man, I envy you if you ever in southafrica look me up I can guide and assist …

    We got so good landscapes here, and some places for adventure

  12. Scott, that is awesome!!! Great news and very inspiring. It was a pleasure to meet you at the CJlive with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. You seem to be a determined and driven person so I am sure you will take your new journey by storm. All the best on your new adventures!

    Matt from FL

    1. Matt, great to hear from you. Pleasure connecting with you in person, thanks for making the effort to come all the way to Seattle. Hope to cross paths with you again in the future. Cheers!

  13. Fantastic Scott!

    I stand with everyone else wishing you all the success your heart desires. I am also not surprised that Chase was of your biggest supporters. Keep that spirit flying high and free. I look forward to following your adventures as you share them.

    demian

  14. I respect that decision 100%, sir. It takes passion and heart to quit the dream job to follow your own dream. Best of luck to you – With your experience, you know exactly how to run your own big boy operation, so there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be doing big things very soon.

    Ray

    P.S. Coincidently enough, my first camera was a Powershot G3 back in 2003.

  15. Damn, I enjoyed seeing you on all the CJ stuff. I remember the first thing I saw was the D90 video with you guys in it having loads of fun. You sure as hell worked it man. Glad to see that you’re doing your own thing though. Respect. Hope it all goes well. I have faith that you’ll be doing great things and I’ll be following you so keep updating us!

  16. Great job making the jump. You have been an inspiration to me for a long time and I have always loved seeing your snapshots in my feeds. Good luck on the new adventures and travels!

  17. Wow Scott, what a shock!!!
    You had the dream job of course, but I’m sure pretty soon an assistant will have the dream job working with you.
    I will follow your new venture closely for sure.
    I was looking forward to seeing you again in Seattle during a Cjlive, who knows, you might be somewhere in the back for the next few ones, making sure they don’t mess up too much without you at first. ;o)

    God speed and I can’t wait to see your next adventures.

    Cheers.
    Brice.

    1. Brice,

      Thanks for the support. I’ll still be involved with Chase and crew doing some contract work including cjLIVE for the near term, so our paths still are likely to cross. Best!

  18. That’s really inspiring man, congrats on that super hard decision. It’s hard to quit something that you really do love (as well as getting the steady paycheck. It’s all about the leap 🙂

    There’s a project that sounds like it’d be right up your alley. It’s called the Leap Year Project and it pretty much entails exactly what you’re doing. Check it out here http://leapyearproject.org/ , I’m doing it along with a few of my friends and other people worldwide.

    Congrats on following your heart!

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