Well, another year of photography has come and gone and for the most part, 2011 was not to bad of year. Nothing much to write home about though. I traveled some 75,000 miles across these United States, mainly as usual throughout the Southern region, yet I did manage to take a few trips out west, Arizona and Texas, with a personal trip to the Rocky Mountains just to breathe in some fresh air and get renewed a little.
Every year brings us new challenges in this wonderful profession of photography, myself included. I spent a good portion of 2011 recovering from re-constructive shoulder surgery. Guess lugging around camera gear for 20 years or so, finally took its toll on this rapidly aging old body of mine and having the “Big C” scare midway through the year, makes a person take a little time to put things in perspective every once and while.
What's really important? Why am I doing what I do? Can I make a better living doing something else? As it says in an old Who song, “Why should I care”?
Only you can answer those questions although, every once in while you've got to take stock in what you do and provide some honest answers to yourself. I was forced to do that this year, maybe you were also. After having only partial use of one arm for the good portion of 2011, then facing a scare with mortality, makes a person sit back and go - Maybe I should just be a greeter for one of those big discount centers?
After all, I wouldn’t have to get up crack of dawn to capture a shot of the sun as it began to rise on the horizon. I betcha being a security guard would be interesting, walking around shaking door knobs to be sure they were locked - BTW, I mean no disrespect for anyone working in this profession.
But then, I might not have time to be able to hike a trail to watch the water flow over a cliff creating a beautiful waterfall or trounce through the snow to see ice forming on a backwoods mountain stream.
If money was ever the main reason, then I would have thrown in the towel years ago. Unfortunately, it is increasingly difficult to make a decent living as a photographer alone. Especially as a freelancer, budgets continue to get crunched and the bidding for projects has become almost unbearable with the number of folks willing to almost give there time and effort away. I guess it's a sign of the times, something is better than nothing.
But then I think, what other profession gives you flexibility and freedom to be who you are. To see the good and bad in people, nature and life as a whole and to have the ability to express your emotions and share with others with those visions that only happen once in a lifetime.
The viewfinder of the camera can be a powerful tool and used properly can inspire and bring forth emotions, like no other media available, it's your creativity and vision that brings it to life.
Its time to say goodbye to 2011 and welcome in 2012, here’s hoping you have great year in photography and assuming the Mayan’s are wrong about the destruction of world on December 21st, then we’ll met back here again next year!