So The Story Goes.. – Personal

An inside story of how I became a photographer.. By Pamela Aurino.

It was a warm summers’s evening.. Ok scratch that it, was a really cold Tuesday morning on the way to the University of Wollongong. Second session has just commenced and I had just spent about $634 on textbooks that also made great paperweights. You see my brother and I share this love hate relationship where I love him and he hates me.. LOL Ok it’s not really like that. We have our moments but we’ve made some unforgettable memories together.

The very morning that changed my life…

My brother offered to drive me to Uni in time for my 8:30 Chemistry lecture as he was at Tafe studying Engineering at the time. After a while he claimed I was a jinx to his morning journey to work if he were to offer me a lift. Let me explain:

-The first time he offered me a lift to Uni, I was 15 minutes late getting into the car (my flyaways weren’t quite right lol) and then we hit peak traffic along the freeway. He was late for his first class.

-The second time he offered me a lift to Uni, he blamed ME for HIM getting off the Fairy Meadow exit as opposed to the Uni exit. I think maybe because I talk alot. He was late again lol.

-The third time.. we were about to leave our house and he said to me ‘If I am late for class again today, you’re giving me 10 bucks!’ LOL.

Ahh he’s a friendly giant he is.. Gotta love big brothers.

Back to my story.. He reluctantly drove me to Uni this third time and we got chatting on the way as usual. I had just bought a new bomber jacket over the weekend and remembered this morning as being the time I almost threw up on a 10 minutes car ride. The demister was cranked on full ball and I had 4 layers on (it was cold out!). I had to stick my head out of the window to avoid a potential projectile aimed at my brother & to get some air. Thankfully I recovered with some good hearty Oxygen punching & remoudling my face during the ride to Uni.

We were just about to pull up and my brother said to me out of no where ‘Pam, I want to open my own gym’. To my surprise I said ‘Wahhh!?.. what brought this on. In case you didn’t know my brother isΒ  a fitter and turner at Bluescope and his girlfriend (now fiance since the weekend woohoo!) gets very spoilt πŸ˜‰ So you could imagine why I was shocked at his left of centre-ness.

He said to me ‘Pam, life is make or break! You get one shot at this life.’ It got me thinking. All my life I was raised to study hard, be a grade A student, go to university and get a highly paid job as a doctor or lawyer (ugh) and work for someone for the rest of your life. Have a big house, go on holidays once a year, have kids and pay your debt off for the next 30 years.

8:30 Tuesday morning lecture..

These thoughts followed me to my first 8:30 lecture like a bad smell. I kept thinking.. and thinking..

As the lovely chem legend Glennys Obrien got half way through talking about SP3 hybridised orbitals, I stared blankly at the overhead slides and felt nothing. Not one thing. Not a passion for the science like I used to in High School. Then I realised, I didn’t enjoy Uni as much as I thought I would. I just didn’t feel like myself anyore.

So I packed up my overly priced text books, walked out of my lecture, headed over to student central and withdrew from my subjects. I’ve never looked back since.

Breaking the news..

You could imagine what my mum said. ‘Uh mum? How was your day? Oh by the way, I quit Uni. OK see you at dinner.’ She came around eventually, but didn’t take it too lightly. She was brought up in the Philippines and what she says is the land of no opportunity.

And my brother.. well. He said ‘Pam! You took me literally?’ LOL But hey I got what he said, for once, my mind was clear and at eaze.

Searching my soul..

I was then lost for about a month, discovering myself. I thought of applying for the Australian Institute of Music. But let’s face it, I have stage fright and regardless of my Band 6, 91 in HSC music I could only persue my singing career in the acoustics of the shower. I wanted to be a flight attendant, but then got some insight from a person in the industry and was put off due to the long hours and always being away from home. Not to mention I may have been too young! lol Well I was 18 at the time. And at this stage the closest I was getting to any science field is watching Big Bang Theory every Tuesday hehe. Best show in the world mind you.

I’ve Got it! – Photography!

One day it struck me. I wanted to be a photographer! All the signs were pointing in that direction. I have always appreciated art and had been a performing artist for 8 years. I would always doodle on any paper I could get my hands on in primary school when I was inspired by a cartoon. What I’m trying to say is, I knew I could be in this for the long haul. A passion, would be the thing to keep me going.

So at the time, being a poor uni student, I only had $2000 saved up in my bank account. I bought my first camera and kit lens and went out into the world.

With the help of my fabulous partner Paul, and some great photographers ever so kindly giving me work experience I sit here today, smiling, blogging and knowing I am truly happy with my life. (Well you could sprinkle a new VW beetle and a trip to Greece on top to make things even better hehe but the point is I love life.) My life.

It’s like Jasmine Star said ‘If you had of told me my life would have been so different, 3 or 4 years from now, I would never have believed you.’

I had an article printed in the Wollongong Northern Leader recognising my journey so far. It can be viewed here.

Story of my life.. and because visual imagery is good .. here’s a dorky picture of my brother and I just before my mum’s birthday. I know this because we were in panic mode on what to get her as a present. I thought a dorky photo in a frame was priceless. Excuse the direct flash and lack of good photography it was shot on a compact point and shoot lol.

See you next time!


  1. Nigel Unsworth says:

    What a great story….I found myself smiling the whole time I read it πŸ™‚

  2. dayna says:

    haha pamela knowing you in school and reading this you hav always been soo funny lol.. Very inspirational LOVE IT XXX

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