The post on why I’m no longer in the business of photography.
On April 10, 2004 my younger sister Kellie died unexpectedly. It changed my life, and even though we were a family who grew up with plenty of photographs – it suddenly seemed like there would never be enough of those moments frozen in time. So on the day I picked up my camera again, I knew I’d never put it down. I’d put money on the simple fact that I may have never been without a camera since.
My family does not have a family portrait of the five of us. We were supposed to get one taken the November before, but there I sat – holding the hand of my dying sister – knowing we’d never have that photograph because six months prior life was just too busy for us all to freeze time for even thirty seconds. I knew I could help prevent that from happening in other families, whether it was professionally or simply stepping in and asking a father if he’d like to join his family for a picture while at the theme parks.
Photography is an art which deserves to be prioritized in your life, and quite frankly – if it isn’t? Then I wan’t little to no part in being the person you choose behind a camera to preserve these moments for your family.
But as these past few years have flown right by, something else started to change in me too. I won’t say that I woke up one morning with the sudden realization that I no longer wanted any part of being in the business of photography — that the very thought of it left me feeling, genuinely, ill — but that was more or less exactly what happened.
Of course, a lot of other little happenings lead up to that ‘catastrophic’ moment in time. And while a few tried to convince me otherwise — I knew in my heart that it was over. It was not a dream I wanted any longer.
It was okay with me, I was at ease with it – many others, I felt, put me in a place of being undefined. If I wasn’t a photographer – then who was I?
Why they had to know is beyond me.
I didn’t dare to utter the words to most people in my life for well over a year; afraid that most would try to talk me out of a decision I had already made. For many, it took them coming directly to me — “Are you still doing photography?”
I think I needed a full year just to figure out a way to answer, but the answer wound up being, “I’m no longer in the business of photography, no.”
The second I left the business, was the second I got myself back. It was the same second I felt as if I could breathe properly for the first time in years. It was the same second I knew I could LOVE photography again.
Since that second there have been requests to capture weddings and families. Something I only ever entertain the idea of for close friends, but – even then – more often than not, I refer them to other friends who are every bit of the photographer I dreamed of being.
It isn’t to say that I’m not a photographer anymore – it took me a while to realize that, in fact, I’ll NEVER stop being a photographer. Ever.
I just found a new way of being the photographer I never knew I always wanted to be.
In December of 2014, I sold all of my Canon equipment. Every last piece. The second I shipped the last item off, a literal weight was lifted off of me. For close to a year I had HATED watching the gear just sit, stored, under my desk. It wasn’t a camera I ever brought out for traveling, I’d never dare to bring it to the theme parks with us, and I rarely had it out around the house. It was a ton hanging from my shoulders and neck. It wore on me in more ways than one.
It made me hate photography even more.
So I sold it. All of it. And I turned around and got myself a couple of new mirrorless lens cameras – a Fuji X100T and XT1. And, again, I fell in love.
They’re cameras that could (and do!) keep up in the professional world — but, y’know…mostly I just use those guys for fun – theme parks, vacations, around the house & more! 🙂
Life is weird and quirky and interesting. But I know this is where I was intended to be, and where I was meant to go.
So it took me a while, but there it is. And now…here we go.
Hopefully you enjoy the adventure from here on out…
Need proof that I’m still capturing moments? Follow me on Instagram!