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The Artistic Journey: From Medical Field to Beauty & Portrait Photographer

I have a confession to make: School was a real challenge for me, and I couldn't stand it most of the time. But amidst the struggle, a few classes stood out - Anatomy, Art, and History. Looking back, I realize that these subjects held a special place in my heart, and it wasn't just about the content; it was the teachers who made the difference.

black and white image of a women wearing a sweater holding a NIkon camera teaching elementary age kids photography
Erin Holmstead Photography

Anatomy's Influence

My Anatomy teacher, Mr. Fenton, was a remarkable educator. His passion and dedication made a complex subject like anatomy not only comprehensible but fascinating. His unwavering support and encouragement later played a pivotal role in shaping my career. He saw potential in me, and it was him who urged me to consider a future in the medical field.

a doctor wearing a white coat and a floral black shirt crossing her arms looking over her right shoulder
Erin Holmstead Photography

The Artistic Spark

Art was another class that ignited my creativity. It was an outlet for self-expression, and I dabbled in it during high school. However, my relationship with my Art teacher was less than perfect. I remember creating what I thought was a stunning chalk picture of fruit, a piece I was truly proud of. But my Art teacher, rather than praising it, decided to add his own touch, scribbling blue into the shadows. That day, I walked out of his class, never to return.

The Power of History

History, on the other hand, was a subject that fascinated me. It wasn't just the text; it was the images within the textbooks that brought history to life. These pictures captured the essence of events in a way that words alone couldn't. They allowed me to visualize the past, to notice the intricate details that often went unnoticed in the text. It struck me that without those photographers and artists, history would be mere words without tangible proof.

older women with white hair wearing a blue long sleeve shirt and a necklaace gazing at the camera
Erin Holmstead Photography

Pushing Through Challenges

Despite my challenges in school, I pushed through and graduated, eventually entering the medical field. Much credit for my journey belongs to Mr. Fenton. His unwavering support and belief in my potential encouraged me to pursue a career in medicine. I found enjoyment in the field, but deep down, I always knew I was destined to be an artist.

The Importance of Artists

As I look back, I realize that the options presented to us in school often seemed limited to traditional careers - doctors, nurses, lawyers, police officers. While these professions are undoubtedly essential, so are artists. Their creativity and unique perspectives enrich our world.

Logan City Utah sheriff in full uniform wearing a hat and glasses
Erin Holmstead Photography

Inspiring Future Artists

I find great satisfaction in visiting local schools during career week, where I have the opportunity to share with the younger generation the importance of considering a career in the arts. I encourage them to understand that being an artist is not only a valid choice but can also be a fulfilling career path. Your art is uniquely yours, and it doesn't have to conform to anyone else's standards.

The Value of Art

I showcase artworks like Cy Twombly's "Unknown," which sold for a staggering $69.6 million, and Andreas Gursky's landscape photograph, which fetched $4.3 million. These examples illustrate the immense value of art, not just in a creative sense but also as a financial investment.

3 photographers at WPPI wearing black shirts that say Lume Cube on them
Erin Holmstead Photography

Embracing an Artistic Career

Fast forward to today, seven years after officially "retiring" from the medical field and fully immersing myself in photography. I've come to realize the importance of letting young minds know that pursuing a career as an artist is entirely acceptable. Whether as a beauty photographer, portrait photographer, videographer, graphic designer, or painter, the world needs their creative contributions. It's not just a hobby; it can be a rewarding and exciting career path.


So, next time your child expresses their artistic inclinations by painting on the walls or showing interest in art camp, consider suggesting a future as an artist. The world of art is a dynamic, important, and incredibly cool one, and it's a path that should be encouraged and celebrated. Beauty and portrait photography are just a few examples of the diverse and exciting avenues open to the artists of tomorrow.


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