I’m in awe of the power of Twitter and social media to connect and unite disparate people with similar passions.
Today I’m letting Trianglehead (aka Kris Hollingsworth) take over the tasra365 post because I love what he had to say about his photographic journey….
I was stuck in a rut. I had been a computer programmer for six years. For the last two years I worked on the side as a photographer. I was out with my camera every weekend and whenever I could squeeze it in after work as well. Passionate is not a word I ever used to describe my relationship with photography but many other people used it often when talking about the time I spent.
Then just before the big economic crisis our company got acquired. Our offices moved and I wasn’t interested in relocating. I was just starting to pick up traction as a photographer and was starting to get paid for some of the work I was doing; so I decided to try and make my living doing what I loved to do.
Well, like many people I wanted to be a photographer, not a business owner. I very quickly got bogged down by what it meant to run a business, especially in the economic environment that began shortly after making the decision. Between keeping books, estimating quarterly taxes, advertising, marketing and the myriad of other decisions that needed to be made I got very disenchanted with the idea of making my living as a photographer. I didn’t market myself well so I wasn’t getting as much interest as I expected. I didn’t really know how to set pricing so I felt enormous stress every time anyone asked me about a job. It wasn’t a good situation and just turned into a lackadaisical approach to getting anything really done. I was just getting through each day because I had to and I started shooting less and less which eventually led me to close up shop.
After admitting defeat as a business owner I was considering a lot of different options in my life. Do I…
– go back to programming and fight my way back into that job market?
– go find someone to hire me as a photog assistant and try and work my way up?
– go to school?
– get a random 9-5 while I figure it out, but who knows how long that will take?
The second one was the most appealing (And still is, truth be told), but because of my location it would be nearly impossible. I was definitely feeling trapped and I hadn’t really done anything with my camera for months. It had become an absurdly expensive prop and paper weight.
But now we’re on day 52 (75 now) and I’m happy to say I’ve rediscovered my love. For me, this challenge has really been different from other 365 methods I’ve seen in the requirement to view the work of other photographers every day. That’s been the best part of the experience. I’ve learned more studying the work of accomplished professionals than I ever would have learned in 50 days on my own. I’ve even started taking the challenge a little further; when I find a photographer’s work who just leaves me in awe, I not only view their images, but if they are an older photographer I go and read about their lives. How they got through this world doing such amazing work. For contemporary photographers I do this as well, but I also go and find their blogs and read about their experiences in their own words.
From Zack Arias to Henri Cartier-Bresson, I’ve been inspired time and again from their stories. Whether they just fell into it and became successful or they tried once and failed only to make it later in their lives. They’ve all had amazing experiences and it’s well worth the time to try and understand how and why they succeeded.
So that brings us to today. I just started all my paperwork to return to school to pursue a degree in photography. I’m studying for the ACT and applying for grants and scholarships. It looks like at the very least I’ll be able to get the first two years of school paid for.
I’m hoping after school to find a job somewhere working for someone as a photographer or as an assistant and learn the ropes of business in a real world setting. Then maybe when I’m more prepared to do it, starting my own studio; but really, be it working for myself or someone else, I just want to make my living with my camera in hand.
So your challenge has definitely got me back on the road to getting there. And for that I thank you with all my heart. Also thanks to everyone else who is sharing in this journey as well. I try and look through the flickr group everyday to see how everyone else there is doing and I hope they are getting as much value out of the experience as I am!
As for my images for this challenge they are being posted on flickr.
P.S. Can you figure out what today’s image is? I wanted to do something entirely different.