LEONIA, N.J. — Charlie Chalkin of Leonia thought he had it all figured out.
It was July 2014 and the then-22-year-old University of Delaware graduate was slated to start work the next day at Makerbot, the creators of the 3D printer.
That changed when he broke his collarbone going down a slip-and-slide, and the New York City-based company rescinded his offer.
Chalkin was devastated that his plans were "being ripped out from under him."
But then, he realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to make a career out of something that he actually enjoyed: photography and videography.
“That was kind of a crazy thought because all of my friends were getting 9-to-5 desk jobs,” said Chalkin, 24, who recently moved to Brooklyn.
But I loved making videos so I was like, ‘I’m just going to do it.’
And he did.
Chalkin began reaching out to everyone in his network and explaining his new position.
Having seen his father — Dennis Chalkin, a seasoned photographer — overcome the challenges of the industry, the young artist remained hopeful that success was on the horizon.
A month after breaking his collarbone, Chalkin had his first client — and then another, and then another.
Before he knew it, Chalkin was shooting and editing so many clients each week, that he didn’t even have time to think about the fact that Charlie Chalkin Productions was coming together in his hands.
“The turning point was when I was getting good feedback from people thanking me for helping them grow their business,” said Chalkin, who has worked with Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, the Women On 20s campaign, Celebrity Chef Jordan Andino and more.
"With the talent and maturity of a seasoned cameraman but youthfulness of the younger generations, there isn't a job that Charlie Chalkin can't handle with the utmost care and attention to detail," Andino told Daily Voice.
Chalkin says life is too short to pursue anything but passion.
“If I never broke my collarbone I’d be sitting at a desk at Makerbot, making phone calls, doing something I’d hate,” he said.
“I believe that the universe works in mysterious ways. When something’s thrown your way, just go with it."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.