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I am stuck between wanting to be a Photographer and being an animal trainer...How do I decide which would benefit me more?

My whole life I have LOVED animals, I've lived with many different species and kinds of animals. Everywhere from a classic house cat or dog, I've had birds, lizards, fish, ferrets, bunnies, guinea pig's, snakes, all the way to weird exotic animals like a capybara, zebra, we had an elephant, kangaroo, we've had normal farm animals like horses, cows, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, ect. Besides loving to learn about all my different animals I always, always did photoshoots with my animals. As my photography teacher has always said "I have an eye for the difference" I see things differently than others, I look at things in a different perspective. #animals #veterinarian #zoology #photo #photography #help #collage

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D.’s Answer

Maybe try to bring the two fields together. Sounds like you are very passionate about animals. Ask yourself do you really want to train animals or work with them somehow. Photography has a way of capturing meaningful perspectives of different things. Try being an animal photographer. Recommend capturing animal moments at zoos or on safari (if you're able too). Reach out to National Geographic for some ideas. Build a portfolio of animal portraits and see where it takes you!

I actually really like this idea, I never thought to put the two together! Wow, Thank you so much. Harley Marie C.

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Carson’s Answer

This is a question that many people seek answers to. They have several passions and aren't sure which direction to really pursue. I always like to say, is there a way to do both? Can you combine your love of animals and photography? Running a business that specializes in capturing beautiful images of someone's pet is so special and could help you achieve both passions. Have you considered that? Also, many friends I know do photography as a side business and have a separate career. This is easily attainable, seeing that photographers always set their own schedule with their clients. This situation, however, seems an easy one to combine both your love of animals and photography, and focus on portraits of animals alone or with their owners. I hope this helps!

I like that idea, Thank you so much! Harley Marie C.

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Riley’s Answer

I think this just comes down to the type of classes you would enjoy taking during college as well as the job security and profit you're looking to bring in. The average salary to be an animal trainer in the US is around $30,000; but the average salary for a photographer can vary depending on what kind of photographer you choose to be. For example, a pet photographer also makes around $30,000 but a wedding photographer makes around $90,000. So if you are willing to not work with animals, photographers have many more options to go into and the potential to earn a much higher salary.

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Karen’s Answer

Hi Harley Marie,

In terms of educational careers, I would recommend a Liberal Arts Program - The goal of the BCC Liberal Arts Program is to develop students’ foundational knowledge and skills through a wide variety of academic disciplines in preparation for informed engagement in their communities, the ever-changing economic landscape, and successful transfer to a four-year institution. I love this program because it has 21 Free Electives which allows you to choose different courses and explore what you like so you may take some visual art courses as well as biology or environmental science courses that relate to your love for animals.

Below is the link to the program I mentioned. -Karen R.L.

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BARBARA’s Answer

As some of the others suggested, you don't necessarily have to chose one or the other. You can do both/either. You may do 1 more than other at this season of your life then transition to the other in the next season.

I always encourage people to follow their passion. Sometimes we need to work a job to pay bills, but we can live our passion in the meantime and build that business/blog/website/etc.

I would leverage your photography teacher said about you seeing a different perspective. It is such a gift to find our personal perspective on life and share that with the world. #pov

Best wishes for great success!

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Jim’s Answer

Deep Harley,

I think you can be animal trainer first and learn somethings about animal then you can take your camera to start taking photo for animals. I think you can bring two passion together.

all the best.