On Chasing Passion...
April 12, 2018
Alex Pihl graduates from Gonzaga University this May. He'll have a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a New York summer internship on his resume. Graduate school and career-focused jobs are what most young men in his situation are focused on. It's what Alex was focused on as well, for a while.
About halfway through his senior year, however, he was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. An Alaska native, Alex grew up working on commercial fishing rigs every summer. For as long as I've known him, he's spoken fondly of these memories and I can tell they have been influential in making him the person he is today.
Alex's captain, whom he's worked under for years now, gave Alex a call and told him he wanted to put him in charge of his own commercial fishing ship, under a three year lease. This is a huge decision, with a tremendous amount of risk and hard work attached, but it's an idea that get's Alex fired up and excited to get up and get after it each day. After giving it lots of thought, Alex decided to take his captain up on the offer.
Still a month from graduating college in Spokane, Alex now spends four days a week in Seattle working on the ship. He's hired a four-man crew and is doing all the necessary work to prepare for a successful season out at sea. I couldn't be more stoked for him. It is fun to see the similarities in our decisions, his to turn away a chance at graduate school to captain a fishing boat and mine to quit my public accounting job to start a photography business. Both of us have a lot of work ahead, but we are choosing a lifestyle that is fueled by passion.
In a culture where so much attention is placed on financial stability and career readiness, I think it's important to shine some light on those who are choosing a different path and way of life.
These images were taken by me on March 26th in Seattle, WA.