My first year as a photographer ended on Saturday with two weddings in two days, followed by a trip, an hour after the second wedding, to the Atlantis on Paradise Island with my wife to catch Carrie Underwood in concert. Needless to say, Sunday was pretty much a write off!
The year, photography-wise, has been a real rollercoaster ride for me, shifting me from a guy with a camera who loved taking photos of his daughter, to a Photographer (with a capital P) fielding calls and emails from potential clients from all walks of life, from near and far.
I have, on several occasions, had to turn down assignments to avoid stretching myself too thinly, jugging time between photography, my web design company, and my family. I’ve worked through the night to meet a deadline, and I’ve slept through the day to recover. I’ve missed moments in my daughter’s life that I’ll never see again, and captured moments in the lives of others that they’ll never forget.
I’ve also experienced the self doubt that seems to plague so many photographers, always questioning my abilities and the value of my work. I’m learning, partly out of necessity, to silence that negative voice in my head, and look only forward, pushing myself to improve my skills and advance my art. Somedays it’s hard, but I seem to be winning overall.
I’ve purposefully kept December free of any more bookings so I can have some downtime and hang with my true inspirations, my daughter (who turns five this month – where did the time go?) and my wife. Thanks to them both for hanging in there with me, and my wife especially for her support.
To wrap up, here’s a list of key things I’ve learned this year – maybe some of them will be useful to you and the other guy who apparently reads this blog:
- I have so much to learn about photography!
- An 8 hour wedding shoot is at least 25 hours work by the time you’ve finished.
- Don’t book two weddings in the same week if you have anything else that needs to get done.
- You can get tennis elbow from shooting.
- Tennis elbow hurts.
- FedExing from the Bahamas to France is damned expensive.
- Don’t ever neglect your family or those you love for the sake of another dollar.
- Neil van Niekerk’s workshop rocks.
- As does Neil.
- Carrie Underwood not only has a great voice, but also awesome legs!
Looking forward to exciting times ahead and ready for next year’s adventures in photography-land! Thanks for reading!