3 years ago I stepped away from shooting things like wedding, families, models etc, things one might say are relatively easy to do in term of getting a booking and shooting the job.
It just didn’t do it for me, I felt as if I was trading time for money instead of making money work for me. I was always busy shooting things I didn’t want to, just trying to make ends meet. Don’t get me wrong i’m not putting that industry down but personally I didn’t want to be in that box. When I finally made the choice to pursue the things I wanted to like wildlife, commercial and personalized projects, it was extremely hard not having the goods to show and trying to get a client to lay R100 000 on the table was no easy task at all. There were numerous times where I sat in a boardroom pitching ideas to potential clients and I was laughed at, told it was a waste of time and the big one my age was always against me. Something I will never forget is sitting in a meeting with 4 heads of an international construction company, after I pitched my ideas and took them through the process, cost etc they laughed it off and quote ” What does a lighty of your age know about business “. I kindly left and that was that, 6 months later I got a call asking me to come back in, walked into the meeting and a purchase order was handed to me before the meeting even started. It’s funny how things just work out sometimes.
Most togs out there will agree, life behind the lens is no easy task. Most people have a false perception as to how we live our lives, sitting on the beach all day sipping cocktails, snapping away, editing a few pics and then cha-ching we get payed…ahhhhhhh no its more like shooting all day everyday, on public holidays, weekends and late into the night only to get a few hours sleep and then do it all over again. Editing for days, to deadlines and for clients that think its as easy as download and deliver. Admin that never seems to end and that we avoid until its time to pay tax because we all love that don’t we. All photographers earn big money, fair enough I have landed a few whoppers but our cost is so much more, lets look at this setup A Nikon D4s costs about R90 000, with a wide angle 14-24mm F2.8 about R28 000, a 70-200mm F2.8 round R25 000 and a 400mm F2.8 at R130 000 thats R273 000 in total. And this is not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gear, computers and all the bits and pieces! But we are all rich and spitting money because photographers are rockstars :). Ok we live a rockstar lifestyle minus the endless supply of money!
I was fortunate enough to have my head screwed on right when it came to spending money in the right areas as I was so young, rather saving every cent having literally no social life for about two years and buying the best gear possible. Everything I have I own and im in such a good position right now with my career. My theory is work hard and I mean hard for at least 4 years and then live the rest of your life! Most people work their entire lives away and only live life as a pensioner, just something I have noticed, their are way too many people out there hating life….. ask yourself why?
Since I made that decision to go on my own, do my own thing, be my own boss and control my own life I don’t think I have even looked back once. Its actually rather hard to describe to someone, its something you can only experience. Freedom…..
I have had dreams, and I’ve had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams. Guys who knew me from before I was a photographer can relate to that!
The below images are from a Recent trip down to Port Elizabeth working on a dream project, loads more to come from this lighty………