thanks...well....I was lucky. It's funny though, the skills you pick up along the way, and never think much about them. I worked a stint as an assistant at one of those huge furniture market photo studios that do catalog work. I had my sights on working as p-j at this time still, so it was just a way to make ends meet. I spent all day loading film holders, and shuttling mole richardson lights around a studio set. They offered me a full time job, and I turned them down actually--went off to finish college.
Then years later--I find myself using a view camera, working in a studio, shooting furniture (only real old stuff). I always tell my boss--if I had known I would be shooting furniture for a living, I would have paid better attention....same thing happened when I started having to run process control for E6. I was like, dang--I wish I hadn't slept through that process control class I took in college....I had to go back into the recesses of my brain for that. I remember running control plots and staring at the charts, thinking, I'm a photographer--I'm never gonna need this stuff! hahaha....
every little bit adds up though, and after a while you don't have to really think too much about how to do something. It just comes naturally--like riding a bike. It was at that point--when I could use a view camera effortlessly, or same goes for the labwork--that was the point when I felt like I had finally become a professional. It became a real job, when it became a "job"--in that sometimes it's not fun or interesting--but I always try to make it interesting and try to learn something along the way.