|Click to Enlarge|
Oh? You weren't aware I'm now merely marginally employed? Well, I am. Unless something radical and unexpected takes place in my professional life or the industry I've worked in for so many years -- which I don't expect will happen -- I now consider myself a hobbyist. A photographer of amateur standing. If I'm still a professional photographer, assuming being a pro equals earning most or all of my income from shooting, I'm simply a part-time pro. A marginal pro. A semi-pro. Believe it or not, I'm fairly excited about that!
Yep. I've joined the ranks of those who mostly shoot for the love of photography rather than for a payday. It wasn't my doing. I didn't have much to say in the matter. Shit happens. The industry that was pretty damn good to me, money and work wise, is in the toilet. My clients have all either folded or aren't doing much.
Yeah, I've taken a serious cut in my income. In fact, my income has been on a downward spiral for the past few years now. I was kind of depressed about that. I've been in something of an emotional slump. A rather numb, emotional malaise. But now I'm not. Depressed or in a frump, that is. I'm kind of giddy about it if you can believe that. I've arrived at the future I've fretted about for some time but now it doesn't feel fret-worthy. It feels anything but and I'm hard-pressed to explain why that is. But why do I need to explain it? It is what it is. I'm okay with it and that's what matters.
Sure, I'll still score a few gigs here and there. But it will never be like it was before when I was making stupid money. It wasn't ever "get rich" money but it was fairly stupid money just the same. The British rock group, Dire Straits, has a song called, "Money for Nothing." In the lyrics, the song says, "That ain't workin', that's the way you do it, money for nothing and chicks for free." I'm certainly no rock star but it was still kind of like that for me. At times it felt like it. For years. But no more. And that's okay. Who knows? Maybe I've matured? (Or not.)
I've never been a particularly material person. Money has only been my motivation in terms of needing it to take care of my family and myself. That still weighs on me. My son is a senior in high school and will graduate next month. He's going to need my help for college and, naturally, I'll be there for him as best as I can. But for me? My needs aren't much.
I started collecting Social Security last month. Yes, that means I'm officially a geezer. I can't say I'm overjoyed about that. I mean, it's nice to know that every month I'll have X amount of dollars coming in like clockwork. But no one wants to get old just so they can collect Social Security. But what are you gonna do? It happens. The years pass and BAM! All of a sudden you're old and saying to yourself, "Already? What the fuck happened? How did I get here?" But there's no way around it. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. You either accept it, deal with it, and move on or you lie down like you're beat and ponder the inevitable, feeling sorry for yourself. That's not my way. For me, I see it as a next chapter. Not the final chapter, the conclusion, but simply a next chapter. Does that make sense? It does to me. In fact, it's making more sense every day.
|Click to Enlarge|
I still intend to keep on authoring this blog plus my ebooks. I'm also working on (finally!) putting together a workshop. Hopefully, the first one will happen this fall. When it's announced, I think some people will be surprised. That's because, if all goes well, I won't be doing it by myself. The plan is for another photographer to join with me in that endeavor. Someone who will also be a draw, assuming I'm a draw. Someone who is mostly on the same page as me, photography wise. If all goes according to plan, it will be an awesome workshop.
Anyway, just thought I'd share a few of my thoughts and plans.
The pretty girl at the top hanging onto that chain link fence, and again in the middle of the update, seated on that... whatever you call those things, is Alexa. The two pics and more were captured on a set in a studio. The chain link fencing wasn't set in place, by the way. Alexa was holding it up while she was posing. Obviously, she's a model who can chew bubble gum and walk at the same time. I used three lights for the shots: 1) A 5' Photoflex Octodome for my main, set just to my right, 2) a medium Chimera strip box from behind Alexa, camera-left, 3) a small, shoot-through umbrella boomed overhead from behind, camera-right. Both were snapped with my Canon 5D classic with a Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime on board. ISO 100, f/5.6, 125th. Simple B&W conversion with PS CS3's Black & White tool for the pic at the top. You know me: Keep it simple stupid. That's the way I do it.