The Arcanum My Story So Far

I had been following Trey Ratcliff on Google Plus for a long time, when I saw him posting about an intriguing new project of his, called The Arcanum. It was to be a place for photographers to learn and grow - together, reviving the old guild concept of "Master" and "Apprentice."

While I was instantly interested, I was working full time as a cybersecurity executive at the time, and I just didn't have the time to dedicate to a project like this. So I sat on the sidelines and watched The Arcanum take off and grow.

My Level 1 Apprentice Photos

In early 2015, my company sold off a large part of its business, and my position was part of the sale. The new owners being headquartered in California, with most of their 'corporate executives' located there, I knew a change was coming for me. I left my position in March 2015.

I had been photographing pets 'commercially' on the side for a while, specifically environmental pet portraiture, as well as at events, like Agility, Conformation, Schutzhund/IPO (a German dog sport consisting of obedience, tracking, and protection,) etc. While I love working with animals/pets, especially dogs, I also enjoy creating works in Landscape and Fine Art photography; I have made a couple of photos I like in that genre, but I just didn't have the time to dedicate to hone my skills and research the masters...

After a couple of months reflecting, I decided now was a good time to try and start my Arcanum journey, so I updated my profile, which had been "dormant" since the beginnings of the Arcanum, and was lucky enough to be chosen quickly as an apprentice by Master Jennifer Moore. And so my journey began on September 9th 2015.

Since then, I have been juggling some independent contracting and consulting in cybersecurity, as well as pet photography assignments, with my 'duties' as an Apprentice in the Arcanum. Especially after Level 5, all art has to be essentially "fresh," i.e. created on purpose for the Arcanum Apprenticeship. That takes some time and dedication. Fortunately, the way the curriculum is structured, every individual proceeds through the levels at their own pace. There is also a lot of opportunity to discuss and learn from other Apprentices' work, as well as receive feedback on your own work from other Apprentices. This should not be underestimated as a learning tool!

My Level 9 Pet Portrait

I have just "graduated" as a Level 9 Apprentice and move up from "Sphere 0" (the foundation stage; Levels 1 to 9) to "Sphere 1." Levels 10 through 19 will be fun, with many assignments for creating new original work, and a goal to move more into landscape and fine art photography,.

Sunrise over Blue Lake (Level 9)

While I still need my contracting/consulting work at this time, I hope to soon being able to transition into a full-time photographer, and educator, role - while continuing my Apprentice and hopefully Master journey through the Arcanum.

Blue Lake in B&W (Level 9)

If you are interested in learning photography one-on-one from a Master of the craft, while in a "support group" of other apprentices, I urge you to consider checking out The Arcanum.

Created By
Alain Zarinelli


All Photos, Copyright 2009-2015 Alain Zarinelli; All Rights Reserved

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