Today a thought hit me: I really love being a photographer.
The precise moment this thought arose in my head, I was riding an ATV through the valleys of Kualoa Ranch, admiring the views in front of me. The magnificent mountain ridges were to my right, the Pacific Ocean to my left. Everything was blue and green and breathtakingly beautiful. I was doing nothing remotely photographer-ish (since both my hands were preoccupied with trying to not steer my ATV off the mountain).
But there it was. A thought that hit me like a jolt of electricity. I guess maybe being in Hawaii and riding an ATV through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery I’ve ever seen in my life played a small part, but… I don’t know. I cannot begin to analyse or decipher why such an epiphany would hit me at that particular time, but that’s how epiphanies go right?
It’s not that I hadn’t thought this thought before, of course. I am often filled with gratitude at the fact that I can make a comfortable living as a photographer, at a time when the world is saturated with people who want to become photographers. But the truth is, I am often caught thinking negative things about my work.
“I HATE pre-production meetings.”
“Why hasn’t the client paid up yet?
“I hate immigration.” (Whenever I travel overseas for assignments.)
“Why is the weather so hot? I’m going to get so tanned!”
“Must I really hike all the way up the mountain just to get that one shot?”
“Maybe I am getting bored of photography. Maybe I should start a *insert random business idea*.”
But today’s epiphany reminded me that I love my job to death, despite all the things I complain about.
Here’s a list of some of the things I love about being a photographer:
- I am able to set my own schedule, accepting and rejecting work depending on when I want to slot my holidays.
- I can choose my clients.
- I don’t have to go to the same office every day.
- I get to travel overseas for assignments.
- I love the process of editing my photographs after a shoot.
- I love when my images get published.
- I love that I am creating for a living.
- I love the high whenever I manage to create a great image.
- I love that there is no limit; I can always become a better photographer and there is always more learning to do.
- I love helping small businesses and others elevate their visual presence. (Cue link to LITO, a related side business that my friend Daniel and I started.)
Being a photographer is, at this moment, one of the best — if not the best — ways I can use my time, talent, character disposition to create something of value to the world. It is by no measure perfect — there is no such thing as a perfect job in this world — but it is good enough for where I am in life currently. More than good enough.
Maybe one day I might want to start a business in an entirely different industry. Maybe one day I will stop being a photographer. But till then, I fucking love my job, and I do not, for one moment, expect it to be perfect.
“The easiest way to gain happiness is to want the things you already have.” — William Irving