Swiss Bank UBS’ Chief Risk Officer has stepped down this week to pursue a career as a professional photographer. Executive board member Christian Bluhm is currently in charge of risk at UBS Global Wealth Management. As of May 2023, he will be solely focusing on his photography business, a statement from the bank says.
According to Bluhm’s website, he is currently renovating a photography studio and gallery which is expected to open in 2023.
Christian’s background is in maths and computer sciences. He explains that his passion for photography was sparked when a friend showed him how to take a great photo with his cheap DSLR of the night sky over Vienna. “That experience fascinated me so much that I started a never-ending journey into professional photography,” he says.
Bluhm, at aged 53, is one of many people switching careers in mid-life to follow their passions. I hesitate to say that 53 is old, but it is firmly middle-aged. Starting anything new at this point in one’s life is at best, a little intimidating.
It is of course, many a person’s dream to quit the 9-5 job and pursue their chosen passion instead. It does take a lot of courage to make that leap, particularly if you have dependents to support or if you’re used to maintaining a particular lifestyle.
Looking around Christian’s website I would venture to predict that he has a long road ahead of him. It’s easy to rely on your existing network of people you know when it’s a part-time or bit-on-the-side job, quite another when it’s your full-time job and only source of income.
Still, I would hope that Bluhm has built up a bit of a financial cushion to fall back on, having worked for a Swiss bank previously. Although admittedly, the cost of living in Switzerland is extortionate. Or so I’m told.
I do think it’s rather lovely though when people take a risk to follow their heart. As Chief Risk Officer I wonder what he calculated the financial and personal risks as to make this move?
I don’t know what genre of photography Christian is planning to specialise in. However, he does have some rather lovely large format Interior Projects. That coupled with his Architecture and Cityscapes could be something rather special.
If he’s looking for some unsolicited advice I would suggest a little trimming down of his portfolio and website. He should focus on his stronger suits, choosing perhaps up to three genres to show. Show what you want to shoot more of is always a great place to start. He could perhaps also consider losing the camera-bug logo to appear a little more serious and professional.
But what do I know, really? He may very well have all the Swiss watch brands knocking at his door for all I know! All in all, here at DIYP we wish him the very best of luck in his future photograhy career.
What would your piece of advice be to someone quitting their day job and starting out as a pro photographer?
[Via The Financial Times]
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