I work in the service industry and the creative industry all at once. I have the kind of job that requires insane hours from April until October, but suddenly goes spooky quiet around Thanksgiving. I’m a wedding photographer. And, yes, I’m terrified that whenever I tell people I’m a photographer that they are trying very hard not to roll their eyes.
Wedding photography is strange career. A manajory of bizarre people with cameras chasing around brides and grooms with varying degrees of success, talent and creditability. Your biggest competition is usually yourself when you do what I do, but more often you’ll convince yourself that it is either one of the immensely talented, world-traveling rockstar photographers in your area or that it’s someone’s uncle who does a really nice job shooting the families holiday cards and soccer games. You’ll find a reason to hate them both. Mostly, though, photographers battle with their own time, creativity, organization and marketability. We don’t go into an office full of colleagues every day. We love to be loved. We take criticism very poorly. It’s an eccentric group of very hardworking documentarians who are a strange combination of shut-in and attention whore that you’ll struggle to find amongst any other cohort not compromised mostly of the self-employed.
I’ve decided that this winter, I’d assign myself a series of things to do to prevent my normal hibernation. You see, it seems like every spring I’ve become a bearded hermit. I’m sensitive to light, not fond of showers and entirely perplexed by the fact that I’ve gained 12 pounds and suddenly have to wear a shirt and tie all of the time. Not this year.
I’m writing here now for myself, but not without some hope that other people in my line of work, or who are similarly employed, might gain some ideas or motivations by stumbling upon the posts that will follow.
It’s easy to brag about thriving when you are over busy. We seem like such hero when our statuses are about pulling all-nighters and working 16 hours days with 100-mile commutes. I’m just suggesting that we take that quieter time in the winter to find something that is equally as “cool” for our twitter feeds. That’s not to say that Don’t Hibernate is going to be my sole occupation in the winter. I have editing and books to design, as well as food, commercial, family and editorial photography gigs that will occupy my time. Perhaps some of my growth in other photography might become part of what I share here?