When Nick Linn signed up for the Digital Photography and Yearbook classes as a high school student, he didn’t know they would make such an impact on his life. He learned about cameras and how to use different functions, and he also learned that he really enjoyed capturing images. This year, while in his first year as a transition student in Redmond, Linn is busy turning his love for photography into a small business.
Blending a love for cameras and for classic cars
Linn has been a fan of classic cars since middle school, when he began going to car meets and shows with his dad and friends. Linn started bringing his camera as they traveled. He enjoyed capturing the style and spirit of classic muscle cars and roadsters. One of his favorite memories is from a trip to the Glendora Mountain Road in California, where he watched and photographed high performance sports cars in action.
He began sharing his photos on his Instagram account (@sendingitmedia). The response was positive—he’s got over 1400 followers, and it keeps growing! To build on that success, Linn launched a photography website to showcase his skills. He began with a website from his high school photography class, and with help from a friend he expanded it into a more professional photo gallery. He does general photography work, like senior class portraits, but loves car photo shoots that focus on unique details.
“I’m going to take some shots for friends who are starting a Royal Tint N Dip business—they do car detailing and window tints. I also have a shoot scheduled for my friend’s Ford Focus ST, as soon as we can get together,” Linn said.
Chelsea Pollick, Behavior Specialist for StepUp at Edwin Brown Education Center in Redmond, worked with Linn during high school and into the transition years. She recognized the courage Linn has shown in sharing his photography with the world. As she explained, transitioning to adulthood is a challenge for every student, and bringing creative work into public view can be scary.
“I admire the bravery Nick has shown while stepping into adulthood as an artist. It’s not easy to put yourself out there. He has shown maturity beyond his years, especially in the way he deals with clients,” said Pollick.
Staying on track and staying in touch
Linn keeps a busy schedule. In addition to transition program classes and managing his photos, he is employed at the Safeway grocery store in Redmond. Linn works the night shift, unloading goods and stocking shelves. During his breaks, he stays connected with friends about upcoming car events.
“I have a crew of car friends in Portland and in California,” said Linn. “They tag me on all their stories about car events, because they want me to come take pictures,” he explained. While social distancing made it difficult to attend car meets this past summer, Linn hopes to get to many of them next year.
Staying organized with so much on his schedule can be challenging. For Linn, it helps to be a good communicator. He stays in close contact with friends and colleagues and reaches out when he needs help. Transition teachers Liz Worthington and Kate Barker describe Linn as a role model for transition students and agree that he does an excellent job at communicating and self-advocating.
“Nick has done so many things, but he’s very grounded. If he’s asked about something he’s not sure of, he’ll say ‘I’ll look into that.’ He’s very committed to school, work and family,” added Worthington.
Facing the challenges and looking to the future
Even as Linn grows his business, he is facing difficult challenges this year. The coronavirus pandemic brought medical and financial hardships to his family. He is pitching in as much as possible, through his Safeway job and by watching his spending.
The future still looks bright to Linn, despite the current downturn. “My family is sticking together to get through this. I know the jobs will come back. And for me, I think photography will be part of my dreams and part of what I do for my whole life,” he said.