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Do What You Love: The Photographer

Do What You Love: The Photographer Credit: Benjamin Edelstein

Ever dream about finding a way to do what you love for a living? In my "Do What You Love" column, I ask people who've done it to tell me their secrets. Here's hoping they inspire you to do the same.

Benjamin Edelstein is a renowned international award-winning photographer. His work has been published in national and international advertising campaigns, and has also been showcased in various cities across the United States. His photographs have been featured in leading magazines, including People, Haute Living, Allure and Vogue. He spends much of his time photographing his home state of Florida as well as exploring America’s national parks. Edelstein found a way to do what he loves for a living and he tells us how you can, too.

BusinessNewsDaily: Explain you what you do for a living

Benjamin Edelstein:I am a photographer who focuses on both fine art and commercial work.

BND: How did you end up doing this for a living?

B.E.: It certainly was not any easy decision for me to make. I started small, shooting products and people that did not require much creativity on my end. Over the years, I was able to hone my technique and my style and started getting recognized by some of the bigger names in the area. What originally started off as an escape from everyday complexities eventually turned into my passion and career.   

BND: What was the crucial decision you made that led you to this place in life?

B.E.: I would say that the crucial decision that led to this place in my life came as I was finishing my senior year in college. I was essentially done with classes, and had already gotten my results from my LSATs. I was a political science and international relations major, with hopes of going to law school. With no formal training, I decided to not attend law school and pursue my passion. And as they say, I suppose the rest is history…

BND: What did you want to be when you grew up?

B.E.: Outside of a possible lawyer, the thing I really wanted to pursue when I was younger was becoming an architect.

BND: Why do you love your job?

B.E.: First and foremost, I love my job because it allows me to be as creative as I want on a daily basis. I also get the opportunity to travel to some of the most remote areas when I am focusing on my landscape work. Another perk is that my job is not a typical 9-to-5 job. That’s not to say that they aren’t long hours; they just vary on a daily basis depending on the projects.

BND: What's the biggest misconception about your job?

B.E.: The biggest misconception is that all I do is press a button. People underestimate the amount of planning and logistics that go into it before I even get the pleasure of showing up to press any buttons. Locations have to be scouted, permits have to be obtained, waivers have to get signed, itineraries have to be formed, flights have to be booked, and that’s just some of it!

BND: If you didn't do your job, whose job would you like to have and why?

B.E.: Given how much I enjoy tapping into my creative side on a daily basis, I would imagine I wouldn’t mind having a position in an advertising agency. Being able to bounce ideas and create every day is something that gets my blood pumping.

BND: Do you think having a job you love has made you a better person in other areas of your life?

B.E.: I think being able to have a job that I love has made me an overall happier and less stressed individual. I believe that carries over and affects relationships and outlooks that I have in life. 

BND: What's your best advice to other people who are trying to pursue their career dreams?

B.E.: Ignore all of the naysayers. There will always be people telling you that you can’t do it, and listing the numerous reasons why you are going to fail. Set your sight on the finish line, and try to maximize every opportunity that you are given.  

BND: What's your idea of the perfect retirement?

B.E.: Being able to pick up my camera on a regular basis without having to worry about bills.

Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.