As many know, I took a “day job” as an accountant about a year and a half ago. Having been a full-time professional photographer for over 10 years, I saw the industry taking a nosedive, and I wanted to make sure that I would, no matter what happened to the industry, still be able to provide my part of a stable income for our family. I also went back to college.
I still photograph clients on a part-time basis, and it’s been working out great because I still love it. I’m not overburdened taking on every photography job that comes my way, and I can do what I love for those who truly value beautiful custom photography. It’s wonderful to meet clients and connect with them and provide gorgeous memories – that will never change.
Many photographers looked at me skeptically when I made these changes. After all, I had been a full-time professional photographer for many years. Comments and questions ranged from “I could never go back to working for ‘the man.'” to “do you like it?” Many photographers have been genuinely curious and/or have made similar changes themselves. Who’s to say I won’t ever go back to full-time photography? I may… or I may continue moving up in the “workforce”….
But how are things going? Do I miss being a full-time photographer? Has the day job started to wear on me?
You know, I woke up this Saturday morning alone in the house – well, Erynn was home, but she was sleeping. It was only 6 a.m. I can’t sleep late. I naturally wake up early. I got up, grabbed my coffee, and plopped down on the couch. I opened my laptop and realized – I’m doing exactly what I did for 18 years as a business owner. Do I miss this? Being able to wake up when I want to wake up and set my own schedule.
You’d think I would say – I miss that! I mean, who wouldn’t want to get up whenever they feel like it and not have a set schedule?
I was discussing this with Dean and I can tell you, I don’t miss that.
Don’t get me wrong, it was great when the kids were little. It was good that I could be extremely flexible at all times…. but as the photography industry changed, I didn’t realize I was missing something. I was missing self-fulfillment. I had that self-fulfillment when photography was at its peak, but when things changed…..
I actually like the feeling of putting in time at the day job. I enjoy knowing what to expect out of my Monday-Friday day schedule. There is something comforting to me about it. I know that it’s not for everyone and some would curl up and die at the thought of it, but my personality is the ISTJ…. and that’s exactly why it works well for me. I love leaving work at work. I love not having the responsibility of everything on my shoulders. Back in 1999, I owned a medical records business. I had a C-section on a Friday and was back to work on Monday. Sure, I worked out of my house, but what kind of life was that? I couldn’t even give myself maternity leave. I raised my kids while working for myself. I was at home 90 percent of the time, but I wasn’t necessarily mentally with them 90 percent of the time. I had to constantly have one part of me involved in the business every day.
Between getting real human interaction (instead of virtually) daily with good people (so much more necessary for an introvert like me who can easily fall prey to the hermit life and getting myself in trouble emotionally out of lack of occupying my brain) and feeling daily accomplishment, I’m living a healthier life both mentally and physically.
Are there days that I don’t want to go into work? Sure. But for me, the alternative is wasting away without focus.
I do have one complaint. My commute. Dean and I both purchased new fuel efficient vehicles this year because it didn’t make sense otherwise. I commute from the cornfields to Baltimore. Thankfully, I get to drive mostly scenic back roads (in fact, the shots here are from my I-phone, simply snapped on a work day and uploaded to my Instagram). It’s a beautiful commute and some mornings, it is so nice to be alone with my thoughts, or listening to some good music…. sometimes it is annoying, though, I will admit. I plan on spicing things up with a photography project called Commute. I plan on beginning that very soon and will be sharing here.
Life is interesting. Who knew that in five years, life would change so much…. and I foresee it changing even more in the next five years. Great things on the horizon…. new things…. new adventures…
BACK TO BASICS
In the spare moments I have, I have been trying to focus on what brings me the most joy in life. I managed to take some time with Dean this weekend, and go down to my shooting room and work on some images of us – this was supposed to happen back in June when we hit our 20-year anniversary, but I didn’t quite get a chance. I thought I would share in this personal post….
I wanted another tattoo shot with Dean. If you remember, I did one a few years’ back. I used a wide angle lens to make us more similar in size. As a photographer, you know that there is a disconnect a lot of times when your subjects are completely different heights. At the time I shot the original, I figured if I used a wide angle lens, it would make me bigger, and him smaller…. I decided to be more realistic this time…
Below is our actual height difference.
When attempting another skin/tattoo shot, I wanted something similar but better executed. I did not use such a wide angle this time, and instead focused on making the posing bridge the gap between our size difference. I think it worked.
I love this man…. he has my heart.