It’s a Wednesday afternoon, I’ve been working my insurance job most of the day and for a moment I reflect back on my photography career. I’m sure many will let out a laugh or maybe roll their eyes, thinking that it wasn’t much of a career. I was never famous, I was never paid $20,000 for a wedding, I never won an award at WPPI for one of my photos and I never went on tour teaching others my style of photography from my tour bus. However, I did start taking photos when my oldest son Anderson was 5 and he’s 18 now.
In the last 13 years, I’ve photographed weddings, graduating seniors, babies, families, pets, talented athletes, homes for sale, new businesses, wild animals, amazing sunsets and much more! If you asked anyone about their photos…they would say I captured the right moment, the one look that defined the moment or that I helped them to realize something special and beautiful. I made a difference in someone’s life or something’s life, like a dog that needed a forever home, but I made a difference!! That means more to me than being a Rock Star Photographer!
I’ve made money, but I did a lot for free and you can’t have a successful business or support your family when you do too many things for free. I did a lot of photographing for myself in the beginning and I find that I really got away from that quickly and then it all seemed like work and forced creativity, which is painful for any artist! Again, I’m sure there will be more eye rolling, but I am an artist. A great chef isn’t great because of the stove or cooking ingredients, it’s what he creates with them. It’s not the camera, it’s where I focus my attention, the lighting I choose, the mood I want you to feel…that is art! I forgot about the art, I focused on what others were doing, or what I needed to do so I was like all the other photographers! I lost the part of my photography that was me 😦
When I think about where to start, I know I need a camera and that is still awhile off, but I need to find out where I want to be, what I want to photograph, what were my mistakes, what really worked for me, where was I comfortable and did I push myself in a direction that I couldn’t connect with? What do I photograph that takes my breath from me, but still makes me feel alive?
I don’t have $3,000 for a Canon 5D Mark iii with a 24-105mm lens today, so I’m going to work with what I do have. There is a cheesy saying ” I think I was taking photos long before I ever had a camera!” It may be cheesy, but it’s so true! I will photograph with my mind until I get a camera, I’ll remember how to see what others miss, to appreciate each moment, to wait for that thing… that one thing that happens at the right second and its tells the whole story in that one moment! It’s humbling to start over, to pull yourself out of the ashes after crashing and burning, but it’s also really beautiful. I get a do over and who doesn’t love a do over!!