I started at 7 this morning; am now well past the mark of figuring out how many hours I have been working given it’s now 8 minutes past midnight. The odd thing is that if it’s your own and if you you love it then the hours fade. Today has seen 3 photo shoots, high pressure interim turnaround editing for a client that needed video footage for a sale that is going live tonight, enormous frustration with a new camera that is proving extremely difficult to work with; news that my latest and greatest beast from Nikon (the D6) is on its way, and I also needed to submit a proposal for a major commercial project. That ended up consuming 5 hours in addition to the 2.5hr meeting yesterday; no doubt another client tomorrow will be chasing me for the photos I failed to send through from today :-)
It’s gratifying and also strange to watch the whole Covid measures slide (even if uneasily by some) into past tense. For months I have been confined to the house, work has been scarce and bank accounts hovering near empty as the business line of credit got leaned on to such an extent that the residual debt will keep me well focussed for quite some time. I elected not to pursue the government’s Job Keeper handout; rather chose to pack shelves at Woolworths at night. During this journey I met many people in the same situation as I, the work was certainly handy in terms of finessing attention to detail whilst being on the clock but it got me out of the house (as well as kept all those toilet paper hoarders under control as the shelves were kept as full as we had stock). It was also good for me as a couple of times over the past few years I have - I must be honest - started hating what I do every day and considered giving it away. It’s not easy making a living as a full time professional photographer. The investment in equipment and technology is increasing (whilst clients are paying less), loyalty with some clients has the longevity of this week’s news (hence why I am so immensely grateful to the large number of my clients who do continue to support me), and more and more clients are ‘doing it themselves’ (and why not - the new iPhone 11 Pro Max gives quite a few of my pro bodies a run for its money).
Covid changed things though. I spent (literally) a hundred (plus) hours gardening, another hundred hours building a new website, a further hundred hours sprawled on the lounge binge watching Netflix and however many hundred hours stacking groceries on shelves. I had the time to think, step back, reassess and then move forward. Ironically it could not have come at a better time. I found a whole new series of creative projects to fire my love of photography … and it’s safe to say I have produced some of my best work since the Covid restrictions have ended.
Perhaps it was the pandemic I was meant to have (with no disrespect to those who actually had a hell of a time with it; we got off so lightly in Australia).