Although Cashman didn’t end up winning the competition, he said being named a finalist was a huge honor.
“When I got the letter saying that I was a finalist I was excited, “Cashman said. “But I knew that there were a lot of other great photographers that would be competing.”
For Cashman, taking photos isn’t just a pastime but a potential career path.
“Photography is mainly a big hobby for me,” he said. “I would go as far to say a passion. I mainly do this for myself but would love to turn it into a business.”
Cashman has already began turning his passion into a business, selling his photos to publications.
“I have done some freelance work and have sold some photos, mainly of wildlife and scenic shots.” he said. “I would like to do some photography in the future mostly in the context of selling prints and freelance work.”
Photography professor Tim Gleason said he is proud of Cashman’s achievement and hopes he continues to have more success in the future.
“Paul’s recognition is a credit to his ongoing pursuit of what interests him,” Gleason said. “His recognition is proof that if a student goes beyond what most students do, he or she can often succeed.”
Gleason encourages students to take advantage of every situation they are in to capture a unique and interesting picture.
“Students who want to get published and have that work recognized for its merit need to go beyond convenience,” he said. “You want to be asked for a photograph because of your skill and vision, not because you happen to be there.”
Because of upgrades in technology, almost everyone is a photographer now, making it more difficult to become a professional photographer, Gleason said.
“There are a lot of photographers out there,” he said. “Digital photography has made it easy for anyone to take an acceptable photo, so students need to create their own vision for photographing what interests them.”
Gleason advises students to follow Cashman’s example by constantly trying to capture better photos and becoming a more experienced photographer.
“Some students do the minimum, but Paul is not one of them,” Gleason said. “Paul has great potential, and it is important to keep striving for improvement and recognition.”
Click here to see Cashman’s Flickr account.