A snapshot into the life of David Beales

A snapshot into the life of David Beales

SM Webster

Chaminade's newest photography professor, David Beales, waits for his students to arrive before his Tuesday afternoon class.

A passionate freelance photographer and now the newest photography professor at Chaminade University, David Beales, 33, finds himself every Tuesday and Thursday evenings teaching about what once was just a hobby.

Yet, he has no formal photography education.

“It was an amazing serendipitous detour,” Beales said.

Beales, who had been attending graduate school for a master’s in History at Monmouth University in New Jersey, stumbled onto not only into a teaching career but also into the life of a freelance photographer.

It only took one college basketball game, and a minor coincidence for Beales to decide to detour his prior career path when he was offered his first job in the photography field.

“It was the ultimate mentorship,” Beales said.

Acquiring an assistant photography position from Jim Reme, Monmouth University’s head photography professor, Beales noted that Reme showed interest while Beales was taking photos and approached him, requesting that Beales show him his pictures.

“I always wanted my photography to get better, but I wasn’t looking for a photography job, it just happened by accident,” Beales said.

Beales then worked as a freelance photographer for eight years.

Through his hard work at Monmouth University and his persistence in his freelance work, Beales made a great applicant when in the process of applying to the University of Hawaii four years ago to fill a photography professor position. Still living in New Jersey at the time, Beales wanted UH to know that the distance was not an obstacle and that he was always easy to get in touch with.

“I got the job over the phone because I wouldn’t stop calling,” Beales said “… It sounds really aggressive, but it was really just overly friendly. Overly friendly was my approach.”

Obtaining the photography position, Beales stayed at UH for four years where he worked with the previous photography professor at Chaminade, Cliff Bieberly’s wife.

After Beales left UH, he looked for other positions to fill the void when he came across Bieberly, who had been looking for someone to replace his presence in the photography class during this Spring 2012 semester.

“I was looking for people with great skill set,” Bieberly said. “I knew David from UH and he was a nice guy. I just happened to run into him and asked him about the job.”

At mention of the open position, Beales accepted it.

“Teaching is always fun, whether it is algebra, photography … ” Beales said. “ … Or model rockets.”

Whether it had been through freelance photography or teaching, Beales has never been without work. However, because the times are advancing in the photography industry, “the photography business has become very difficult to be profitable in,” Beales said.

“The way people do business in purchasing photography, and the way people do business is changing … there are just as many amazing photographers with incredible talent that don’t need to make money from it,” he said.

Being a freelance photographer, Beales noted that you have a lot of free time to pursue your life, instead of only your work. He also included that the freedom in a freelance photography lifestyle was worth it, even if there is no money. Being content with his lifestyle, Beales said he wouldn’t change it.

“I feel like it wouldn’t be any fun if I knew I couldn’t fail,” he said. “At least a 50 percent chance of failing – then it’s much more exciting if you succeed.”

Beales also had some words of wisdom for the future photographers:

**One was that his main goal for achieving success was through working while attending college. In this case, as a student being well equipped with an actual work portfolio of your performance so that you can share with to-be employers, will set you apart.

**Also, having positive results through his “overly aggressive follow-through” method, Beales noted that when entering a scene as a photographer, there is a certain arrogance that you need to portray, but being humble is the most import tactic.

“It’s almost secondary to the quality of the pictures,” Beales said.