Finding my path, from baseball to photography

Everyone has their own path in life to find passion, my story may help you find yours

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My 1967 Chevy Nova is essentially my first child, and I have loved every minute working on, writing about and taking pictures of this car. (Photo by Collin Andrews)

Collin Andrews, Staff Writer

We all have challenges finding a passion. The path to finding passion may lead to discomfort, maybe even pain, especially in this weird phase in life that college brings us where we have to decide what we want to do for our careers. 

Much like the board game, life is very random, with its ups and downs, but we end up finding the path that we are supposed to be on. For me, the passion I discovered was automotive photography and content creation.

I always had a passion for the automotive world. I grew up at the racetrack and have been around ‘60s and ‘70s muscle cars. When I turned 14 my family bought a ‘67 Chevrolet Nova from a family friend; it ended up being my first car.

When college started I was focused on playing baseball and I couldn’t really participate in automotive events as much because they conflicted with each other. That was until October of my first semester at American River College, where I suffered a concussion while I was working in a freak accident, losing essentially my first whole year of college.

That summer I started to go racing and go to more car shows as well as having more adventures with friends, which never really did before. Whether that was a really cool wrecking yard filled with hundreds of vintage cars, or going to races and car shows, it felt like every night there was something to do that involved cars.

I then started taking more pictures while I was adventuring and I eventually started borrowing my mom’s DSLR camera to take automotive pictures and post them to an Instagram page that I started. I didn’t pay much attention, but soon I had over a thousand followers and people were enjoying my work.

I started learning how to edit better and understand more about photography to make the best content possible. This pushed me in a direction that drove me to want to create, a feeling I hadn’t felt since high school. 

That fall I felt a drag with baseball, injuries from high school started returning and started to take their toll a few months into the semester. I didn’t feel the same bond with my coaches and teammates in college as I had when I was in high school.

I honestly felt like I was just a number on the field and that feeling began to drag on me. I sustained a shoulder sprain during a game and took a few days off from practice to rehab in the training room, and I was harassed by my coaches because I chose to do that instead of being at practice, even though I was hurt. 

I made the decision to quit playing baseball and since then, I started working on older cars as a job while in college and continued growing my Instagram page more. I did things I wanted to do instead of feeling like it was a forced thing that I felt forced into. I legitimately wanted to work on editing and take pictures because I enjoyed it and didn’t feel like I was doing it for anyone else, and it became a way that I could express myself more. 

I also saw many of the people in the automotive industry I was emulating had journalism degrees because it teaches you how to interact with others and be a writer, photographer and videographer. I decided that was the path I wanted to take, and that semester I changed my major to journalism and I haven’t looked back.

The role of being a journalist and photographer and having a blast working, driving and racing cars became a real passion for me. Between school and my own hard knocks learning, I have created a foundation that has given me the opportunity to go as far as I want and that is something that anyone should look for.

We all have a path and it may take some discomfort to reach a position to succeed. Knowing that we all have had tremendous amounts of growth over the past few years may help you be able to find the path to take that uncovers a career that is fueled by your passion.