When Cameron Whitlock graduated from Grady in 2011 with a degree in journalism, he had no idea where the next few years would lead him. Using the skills he learned during his time at UGA and the life experiences he gathered post-grad, he now freelances and works as a wedding videographer.
In college, Whitlock said he was pulled toward a career that allowed him to be creative. With a heart for public relations and a love for storytelling, he ultimately decided to study journalism.
Whitlock started working for a newspaper in Jackson County after graduation, where he implemented the skills he gathered in college. Through his classes, Whitlock says he learned core photography and graphic design principles that he used and further refined at the paper.
“They let me have a lot of liberty with the front of my sports section. I did graphics and different charts and really put a lot of visual aids in a small newspaper that probably didn’t have that sort of thing really going for it before, but they let me be creative,” he remembered.
After about four years at the paper, Whitlock decided to try something new. He packed up a bag and left Georgia to travel internationally for a year.
“It had always been a dream of mine to travel the world. I really love traveling and learning different cultures and languages and different things, so I kind of did the ‘digital nomad’ thing for about a year or so,” he said.
Whitlock freelanced in both writing and graphic design while he backpacked. Everywhere he went, he took his camera to document his adventures.
“I had a small backpack for over two months in Spain and France, and I actually can’t believe I carried around a giant camera with me now,” he said. “But I just filmed everything and got much better.”
When he finally returned to Georgia in 2017, his newly developed camera skills came in handy. A friend saw his work and asked if he had considered wedding videography. Whitlock took a leap of faith and gave it a shot. After people saw his first video, the business “took off,” he said.
Whitlock said his time in the College taught technical skills like software editing as well as helped him grow personally. While before college he was more introverted, he credits UGA with helping get him outside of his comfort zone to meet a variety of different people.
“It really is the skills that I learned from some of the graphic design stuff in school, some of the photography stuff on the job, talking to people in Grady and in my reporter job really helped me a lot,” he said.
When it comes to advice for students looking to pursue a more non-traditional career, Whitlock’s answer is simple: just give it a shot.
“Don’t shy away from exploring different things because you never know when you’re going to find something that is exciting and new and interesting to you,” he encourages. “I would have never thought that I actually enjoyed filming weddings and going to random weddings every Saturday. It’s not something I would have thought would have been up my alley.”
But now Whitlock said exploring this avenue has given him a career that he is not only successful at but also is job he finds genuinely fulfilling.