Choosing photography as a career field – “Dabble a lot”


Thanks for you inquiry into how I got into photography.

Bob says…
Bob says…

When I first started thinking about photography as a career, it wasn’t because I disliked what I was doing. It was of because of some testing I went through and what I learned about my makeup.

Like, I should do things I can control and would probably be lousy at delegating stuff for others to do. Yet, I had spent four years chasing after a college education in Business Management. I’m just glad we started the Ski Team, which occupied most of my interest time, when I wasn’t selling Cutco Cutlery of course.

Why Business Management? I’m not sure. Maybe it was because I had to get a two year degree first then just applied those credits.

When I learned that I had a subjective personality it explained a lot. Incidentally, one in four of us are subjective persons. It explains why I kept looking over my secretaries shoulder when later working at the Wear Ever home office, the delegating part. And why I was more comfortable with no associates later when I formed my Real Estate Company, using the excuse that they were just added liability. Even today, my wife calls me a controller. I wish I wasn’t that way, but I guess that’s who I am, according to Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation.

I also scored low in Clerical work. Who knew. Takes me longer to read a book, harder to get through college, and watered down Scientific Research as I field I would be suited to. But, going back to school DID NOT sound like fun after finding out what those test results meant.


Another potential area suggested, based on my test scores, was photography. Seems I would have some innate ability for patience to fine tune the camera’s focus, and a certain aptitude for music. The testing person said there is a high correlation between music and photography.

So, I thought I would do my own survey in St. Petersburg, where I lived then. About 70% of the high profile photographers were also involved in some form of music. Some played in groups, some taught or conducted and most wrote.

Buying the first camera was easy…

For me, that cinched it. Buying the camera was easy. Three months later my first work was published. Here’s the photo…

Southern Ocean Racing - 1st published image by Bob Grytten in Southern Boating Magazine in 1987
Southern Ocean Racing – 1st published image by Bob Grytten in Southern Boating Magazine in 1987

That was 1987 and as you know, I’m still at it today. That’s where my juices are. Now, to just integrate my knowledge with this new digital world. As you know I created a niche in the magazine market for photo/text article, and that market has changed a lot.

Thanks for your interest. All best wished to you, which ever way you decide to go. But as Harvey Lloyd said at one of the workshops I took. “Dabble a lot until you find that area that wild horsed can’t pull you away from.”

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