Sunday, April 5, 2015

Stepping Back to Breathe

It's an interesting phenomenon when you make a respectable amount of money doing something you love - in my case, photography.

In the beginning, it's all I wanted to do.

I was given a chance to learn and work in action sport photography about 4 years ago.  I took every available opportunity to practice and learn the particulars - from camera settings and nearly-necessary equipment, to studying available light and being able to work in some pretty awful lighting conditions, to getting the shots the people really want to see.  I love the fast pace of this genre, that (no pun intended) you really have to be on your game to get it right.  I also love that it's given me the ability to think on my feet and be capable of real-time troubleshooting in the field.  I've had opportunities to practice everywhere from small 5k running events to professional sports games in my area.  Just in the last year, I've been picked up as a regular contractor by 2 different companies to shoot their sporting events year around... and I'm talking with a 3rd.

Between my desk jockey day job, dance, and the photo work, I typically only have Sundays off between September and May.  Yes, it can get crazy... but it doesn't feel much like "work"... except for that desk job thing (I'd like to evict that from my life entirely, and I hope to in the next year or two). I am nearing the end of the craziness - by mid-May, the chaotic weekday schedule will relax.  Then I will have the summer/fall mud-run, obstacle sporting event season... while also chaotic, it's a lot of fun and can be contained to only the weekends.

Since digging into the sports field, I've done little else in other areas.  I used to be all about getting out to catch the landscapes and the dawns and the dusks and the animals and nature in all her glory. There isn't as much time for that lately with the other things happening.  I miss it.

Now I find myself taking a couple of steps back to refocus attention in other areas of my work - to get back to the basics of things I once loved.  I'm not giving up the sport work, but I have decided to reel it in just a little, and to not do so much.  All in effort to give myself more time for other areas of growth.  More time for learning and mentorships.  More time for discussions from my peers - sharing ideas for the benefit of everyone.  More time for discoveries.  More time for taking that leap of faith and branching out.

It's a little scary, but everything new and different should be.