I've been "self-employed" for almost 60 days. So much has happened in less than 2 months, but so much needs to continue to happen. It's amazing how many ups and downs, how often it goes from full-speed to stopped and back to full-speed again. Conversations turn into gigs, gigs turn into gigs, conversations lead to nowhere...ups and downs. when's the next shoot? what about that email I sent, did it sound right? was I priced right, did I do everything I could. It kinda reminds me of this pic in that everything about the image is fun...but behind the camera, I'm getting doused with rice and my gear is getting all dirty and crusty...I don't really know what I meant by that.
Maybe the hardest part of being a full-time photographer has been the change in certainties. Now, we all know that nothing, even a full-time desk job that feels certain...is actually certain, but this new venture is even less certain because I used to know that a check was in the mail every 15 days. Now it's all about getting booked, making connections and selling "the brand". Honestly, it's really fun. It's exciting to see my work get noticed, to have someone hire me for my creative eye, etc...but it's also scary. There seem to be so many variables into getting the next gig, and I have so much to learn. Constantly feeling like I don't know what I'm doing isn't something I'm used to, and it's been humbling. But the things I've learned have been that much more exciting because it's coming from a place of total blindness. Shooting is the easy part, but learning to build a brand is the tough one. Before it was nice to have a shoot on the weekend...now it's necessary to shoot as much as possible. Before I could take my time...now I always feel like I'm running out of it.
But, now I appreciate the time more. I'm more aware of it, and enjoy it more freely when it comes to me. From time shooting, to time with my family that I wouldn't have had, had I been sitting in my cubicle in building C on the 16th floor, in the corner where the window overlooked the window in building D and blocked my view of Atlanta.
So, yeah...it's tough when you're only as good as your next shoot, but the competitive side of me is addicted to learning more, to discovering what it is I'm truly supposed to do, and to enjoying myself, my family, and my job more than ever.
Cody James x ONA
5 days ago