8 Week Challenge: Honest Passion
Choosing a Passion to be honest about was actually a bit difficult to me. As you may have gleaned from my posts up to this point, I have a lot of hobbies, and I’m passionate about every single one of them. I love crafts, pretty much all of them. I’m also really into survivalism and learning primitive skills (think fire with sticks and flint knapping, baby, I’m all over that stuff). I’m also pretty Passionate about the people I Love. The problem is, I don’t like being needlessly cruel, so I didn’t want to write out a big list of cons about anyone I Love. Sure, their faults only make me Love them more, but I don’t really think it’s appropriate to spell them out for all the world to see. So what I finally settled on was my photography. There is so much I Love about photography. I Love to capture moments. Not just someone posing, but getting those candid shots of people just living. I Love taking a picture, giving it to someone and having them smile, not just because of the picture, but because of the memory it represents for them. I Love the solitude the camera brings. Even in a crowded room, surrounded by people, it’s just me and my camera. I can slink through the swarm, casually snapping pictures as I go, and no one will bother me. Alternatively, I Love how it draws people in. It doesn’t matter where I am, whenever I pull out my camera with the big, professional looking lenses, there will be without fail at least one person who is curious about it. Just the other day I was at the zoo with my family and was approached by someone asking about how well the camera worked, and what brand I used and if it really made it seem like the bars weren’t there. I don’t mind at all. I Love photography, and I’m always happy to chat with someone about my passion.
Don’t think it’s all a magical Love affair though. My relationship with Photography is definitely Love/Hate. One thing I should say is that I do this professionally. Not all the time, not even for a lot of money, but I do consider this to be my career, and am hoping that once my kids are older I can put enough focus on this to really make a go of it. The problem is, I don’t know the first thing about running a business. That’s not really the problem, anyone can learn how to run a business. The problem is, I don’t want to learn how to run a business. I hate numbers, I’m not good at networking, I don’t like advertising and I’m horrible about negotiating prices with people. I do this because I Love it, and I think everyone should have beautiful pictures to put on their wall. I can say with certainty that I’ve been taken advantage of in the money department. People want the best bang for their buck, and if they’re able to trick some dupe into negotiating away any possible profit, they’re going to. And because I’m not really doing this for the money, I let them. I’m learning though. I did a 12 hour wedding, with another 15-20 hours of editing after the fact for only $200 bucks last year, and have definitely started to have a better respect for not only what I do, but my time doing it. I’m good at what I do, and I deserve to be treated like a professional. So, even though I’m not fond of the business aspect of running a Photography business, it’s making me appreciate my skills in a whole new light, aprofitable light.
Another downside of Photography is that it requires patience, which is not something I’ve always been good at. I really Love doing nature photography, but nature is far from predictable, and not always very accommodating. You can sit in the woods for days with your finger on the trigger, so to speak, and never get a shot of a deer. Then of course, you can go out on a hike without your camera the next week and see three. It’s incredibly frustrating waiting for nature to comply. The nature photos, of course, are not what pay the bills. For that, I do a lot of family portraits. I Love this. It gets me interacting with lots of people and interacting with some of my favourite people; children. The problem with children, though, is that they’re a lot like animals. They don’t really like to cooperate. For ever picture that turns out like this:
You get ten photos that turn out like this:
But it’s those ten bad shots that make the good one so spectacular. It’s so gratifying to see the parents gush over the adorable moments I’ve captured for them. So, even though it was an hour of wrangling a hyper/cranky/show-off/pouty/mean/mouthy/hungry/crying child, it was totally worth it for that one shot that perfectly captures their perfect angel. It’s those perfect shots that keep me coming back, even after all the frustration, when business is bad, when I don’t want to deal with clients, when nature just isn’t cooperating. No matter how crappy a session is going, there will always be that Perfect Shot to look forward to, and that’s why I’m Passionate about Photography.
Author: Lesley Pelletier of SustainableUtopia