Unfortunate, isn’t it?
Originally when I first started blogging again I had intended this to be more of a regular thing, not just for myself or for chance of it going viral (Cause that’s soooo realistic), but it was so that I had a place to post photos from shoots and to actually look like I do something. I used to post on things like Flickr a lot, almost with an addicts conviction but after about a year I realized that Flickr and many sites like it were mostly people in a gong show consisting of photographers lathering each other with ego-enlarging comments that don’t actually help anybody improve their photography. Not to mention it gives many places a creative commons license to use the photos for free, which if you turn off, then you’re apparently an asshole. Anyway – I don’t mean to rant about Flickr. What was I saying? Oh yes, just a place to post my photos, since I didn’t know where else to post them, and Facebook doesn’t really let me go into enough detail.
Back when I was in my last year of photography schooling we actually had an assignment where we had to push out at least two blog posts a week, which for all of us, proved a lot harder than it sounded. Especially when you consider the fact that sometimes we got up to 8 or 9 photo assignments to do in a week. But most of my earlier blog posts are solely because of this assignment… The truth is, blogging is actually that easy. It requires a lot of time and dedication not only to write out the content, but to lay out so it doesn’t look like manure… Then for photography, you’d have to get together all the photos you were planning on using for the blog, and it’s very similar to handing over photos to a client. From finding them, organizing them, and outputting them to the right specs. All in all, it takes up a lot of time and work to do, which is hard to come by when a person is busy.
I guess that’s why some people have jobs with the word “Social Media” in the title. Their sole job is to manage all of this stuff. So what exactly have I been busy with? Well, some commissioned personal work here and there, including cars, which I haven’t photographed in a long time, but it’s something that I’m slowly getting back into doing.
I’ve also quite literally fallen into a job that I never set out to do, and that is freelancing photojournalism. It has it’s upsides as it has lead to some interesting things such as getting to meet and photograph the keeper of Team Canada’s Womens Soccer, and Stephen Harper, though I never got to meet him, since his security was, as expected, extremely tight. I also got to meet a instagram famous dog, which was a bit of an odder one, but neat none the less. I also get to take that generic photo of him with a crowd of his supporters in the background. It also gives me access to things I didn’t quite have before, like the rooftop of a hotel to photograph people
falling repelling down the side of it. So even though photojournalism is something I never imagined myself doing, it’s been pretty fun so far.
I think about a year and a half ago I started heading to our local racetrack for drifting events and such, but due to some drama with the media coordination and the people who run the league, I haven’t been there that much this year, which is probably a good thing as I can’t possible fathom how I would’ve found the time to go out there, since usually the events go for the whole weekend and then by the end of it, I’d have a thousand photos to go through and process – for fun. But that still didn’t stop me from heading out to the tracks at least once or twice to get some sweet car action.
A couple of months ago I did a few blog posts about a trip up to Yellowknife because of how pretty those northern lights were. Then back in mid summer at the end of July, I went to Vancouver for fun and decided to try and get some interesting photos from when I was there. But weirdly, I’ve been to Vancouver so often that it kind of feels vaguely like a second home to me and it’s hard for me to find things that are unique or interesting or different from home, and for me to turn it into a nice photograph. But I tried none the less to go around the amazing and interesting city of Vancouver to capture whatever sights I could see.
Of course I’m still doing a lot of commercial work, as it is what I had originally set out to do. Doing group company photos for businesses, or photographing food, or houses, and at some point I even photographed some dogs for a magazine cover, which was new to me. I never realized or imagined how messy and how crazy it could get trying to photograph some dogs in the studio…
But the one thing that I try to always make time for is taking photos for myself. Photos for fun, photos of interesting things that I see when walking around, or uninteresting things and then trying to make them interesting, like those red tomato’s up there, or the two guys talking at a coffee bar. Some of this stuff, people call “Street Photography” and it’s weird, that when we look back in history and look at the famous photographers, it’s usually their street photography that we see, and not so much of their technical prowess or what clients they’ve worked for. Yet it’s completely different today… Either way, these photos are just for fun, to keep myself sane and to remind myself why I fell in love with photography in the first place. A lot of photographers start out as hobbyists and then when they turn it into a career, they forget that they used to do it as a hobby, as something they did for their own enjoyment. So I try to make time to take photos of pointless things or things that everyone else has already photographed, because why not have some fun?
The good news is that this is probably my busiest year to date, which is actually good and bad news. It’s good because… well, being busy is good, and good for business. But it’s bad because it’s just so busy. Although at the same time, I don’t like it when I have nothing to do, I feel like I’m being completely unproductive and I hate it. I remember when I was still a hobbyist, walking around with my tiny DSLR taking photos of random things, this photojournalist by the name of Perry Mah (At least I think it was him) came up to me and asked if I was free lancing for anyone. After a bit of conversation he asked me if I wanted to freelance for the Edmonton Sun, but out of my newbie nervousness at the time, I never took him up on his offer. He did ask me one thing though, which I found pointless and curious at the time… He asked me, how my photos have I taken that year; and I was confused as to why someone would ask me that at all, but at the time I don’t think I had even hit 10,000 yet. To which his reply, and I remember this distinctly for some reason was: “That’s not enough. You’re not shooting enough.”
At the time, I really didn’t know what he meant, and truth be told, I’m still not entirely sure if I know what he meant. But all I know is, that so far, for the year of 2015, I’ve taken just over 28,000 photographs (of which 82% are throwaways), and that’s more than any year previous by far, and the year isn’t even close to over yet. So maybe that’s what he meant by saying I didn’t shoot enough, that I wasn’t… working enough, or busy enough. All I know is, I am sure am busy enough now (I think).