Sorry about the length, just a lot a ground to cover!
Twenty years ago in a small town, I owned an even smaller photography studio. I wasn’t that great and didn’t make too much money. At the time, I knew if I kept chugging along it could come. After all, the positive thinkers say that if you love what you’re doing then success will come. I spent a lot of weekends working weddings, pageants anything I could do. Remember, the Internet was just some buzzword and no social media existed in the mid-1990s.
However during the first six months of business I met someone and everything suddenly changed. Somehow, late afternoon sessions couldn’t be scheduled anymore, Saturday weddings & pageants somehow were let downs to my girlfriend and after one year my girlfriend pretty much told me that if we were to be married that I needed more income than the small bit the studio brought in.
Fast forward to 2012, I decided to take people photography back up. And did sessions once every 2-4 months, I can’t recall if it met resistance. By the end of 2013, I could get by with 2 a month. Each shoot was met with a hard time by my wife (or maybe that’s the impression I was getting). My average time away from home could range from 3-4 hours. This year since April, I’ve done 2 maybe 3 a month. I can feel my wife’s disapproval when I tell her. She called the women I’ve worked with “whores” and calls me a “creepy old man stalking young girls”.
I mentioned this to my shrink, she liked the idea. Cool I thought, at least I’m not crazy about doing this. She offered some tips for my wife’s resistance.
June somehow steamrolled on me, I had three planned. Then at the advice of one my models who suggested I should try to get my work in magazines (obscure ones that you can by online for $15), so what the heck!
I found a publication with a contest that has a deadline at the end of the month. One problem, there is a week left. I got 2 ladies to work with me. But life decides to throw curveballs and things changed. Shoot #1 we had to cancel on-site due to bad weather. Shoot #2, the subject was in another city 3 hours away. Her hair turned green due to bad water, spent a few hours cleaning it up, her GPS got her lost, then hits a massive storm. We finally met 3 frustrating anxious filled hours later. It was too late to shoot, so we met a fast food place to reschedule. I got home at 9:45. Shoot #1 rescheduled as well, the client did so good that it took 2 hours. Then timing once again struck, my car died and I had to call my wife to pick me up.
So now I being accused (her word was concerned) of getting an out of control manic experience, I’m out all hours of the night (2 nights before 10pm), I’m away from the family all of the time, she’s afraid I’m getting in too deep, I spend all of my time editing photos (not smoking weed or watching lame reality shows). She said if she didn’t care, then she would let me do it with free abandon!
Maybe I’m the bad guy, maybe this is my drug or addiction. I don’t think so though but sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. Maybe I’m overblowing my wife’s part in this. But I gave up a business for her. I try to limit the time I do this just for her.
Over the last 2 years, my hobby has evolved. I’m working with people with resumes so long and impressive, I have to ask them “why me?” I have a new client who has ideas for another shoot and a fourth project in the works down the line. I like where this has progressed since I had to beg on Craigslist and offer money to the first taker. Yes, I’m not charging my clients for anything because I like doing this. However sometimes I get asked “so when are going to get money for this?” Getting some confidence is a reward now; having some pride is my payment. Somehow, I can’t explain those concepts to my critic.
I just don’t know..