So November of 2013 I shut down my portrait photography page. I had no business, no clientele and just wasn't going to go through the hassle of messing with it. March 2014 I was asked to do photos for an amazing non-profit organization and decided to try it again. I did, I built a webpage and upgraded my equipment. By the end of 2014 I haven't had a weekend off. By this week in January I still haven't gone seven days without a portrait shoot.
It's my life. So I'm sitting here thinking about how I want to handle this. I'm already obligated for many weddings this year (which is fine). I don't mind a few weddings. But I'm already looking at a schedule that is out of my control. Now that I have the fear of dealing with customer-zillas and people who you can't please no matter what. I also worry in doing portrait photography that people with their numerous body image issues could hate the images no matter how wonderful they are. I'm no psychologist but I also don't want that type of clientele. I would rather have a day job. I also have a fear of running into one of "those" clients...Colorado Baker or even this Refusal to Photograph Gay Marriage -- But to clarify - I have no issue photographing any type of engagement or marriage ceremony, but what if the person begins as a very demanding potential customer and I decide I don't want to work with this person based on the attitude they put out in messages and if they have ulterior motives or race, or religion they could use the discrimination card and it wouldn't be true. I hear about buyer beware, but what about business owner beware. In this totalitarian society that demands we offer our services without question - I struggle to find the boundaries where I am legally safe from predatory customers. Yes, customers can be predators too. I already run into the attitude that because I do photography I should of course be available to do whomevers photos at anytime. I can't take this hobby that I fould out of my love of solitude and aloneness and make it into this extroverted constant flow of people into my life. I am, or could be, John Galt.
After watching the media and the news and it's obsession with the "top one percent" and who "holds the wealth" and the "fairness" of society - I am disgusted. Our values in this nation are entirely wrong. We are obsessed with what other people have compared to ourselves. People spend their time telling you that you aren't good enough because you don't have enough. Your life isn't rich enough, you need medication, you need to shop, you need so much that you don't have. Society says it's not fair because someone else has more than you do. Nevermind that as Americans we have more than most people in any other society prior to us have had. Yet its elitist to say we're valuing the wrong things. For the most part people don't care what you have, or where you've been you need to appreciate your own experiences. Some wisdom I read tonight is that you can't find your own happiness based upon other's opinons of you.
We are amazed at the ancient people because of their knowlege of the stars, of the sun and moon and the actions of the planet. Because we don't see the stars. I feel like I found something that I've missed most of my life through night photography. I've missed the varying shades of darkness, the magic of night. So I can become a more exclusive person with my time, so I can enjoy my reclusive life. If you're good at something and you know it, and enjoy it - it's hard to balance that need for outside validation. I like these shots, it's nice to know that I'm doing them correctly.
A year ago or six months ago, I felt a pang of envy whenever I'd see a photographer who could photograph the stars. I had the technology all in my hands for years, but I didn't have the drive to learn the skill.
I love the stars, it's as beautiful as loving our very own star and the motions it creates at the center of our universe. I'm tired and tomorrow will be a busy day. It's so worth it to drive deep into the country late at night just to see the stars.