Thursday, June 12, 2008


I've been officially unemployed for the past nine months. My contract ended and the company saw a downturn. No contracts available. The company that had around 200 people working hell bent for leather last year, is now down to about 30 employees. Scary.

So, to the drama of looking for a job that meets my skills and experience - add 170 other people in town with the same specialized skills competing for the same jobs.
On the rare occasion that I get an interview, the people at the prospective company express their condolences for my past position. They know all about the company and in fact, just interviewed 8 people who have that company listed on their resume as well.

Don't expect a call.

I've been working at a part-time minimum wage job since then. Through Divine intervention, I've been able to meet my mortgage payment.

All the jobs I'm targeting seem to want current skills - technologies that weren't even around when my 1992 Bachelor's Degree was issued. Because I was steadily employed, there was no need to learn those new whiz-bang programs. They weren't even necessary in my job.

Here I am in the dust.

During this trying time I have rediscovered my love for photography. It was my first love, but I got distracted by moving pictures and sound and now I'm at the end of that career. Never made any money at it anyway.

People seem to like my photography. And at the part-time job at the portrait studio... I've learned a few tricks for baby pictures and family portraits. More importantly, I've discovered that my personality works very well to coax the best smiles and make parents happy.

I think I'm ready to take a photography class.

I've always been a natural at composition but I need some help learning the technical side. Once I'm armed with that knowledge I'd like to take my show on the road.

It's risky. There's tons of competition. I can't afford to start a studio. Can I run my own business? Scary.

Last night I shared all these concerns with my mom. My desire to strike out on my own. My fear of going to school. (I hate school) Half expecting her to say... "Can't you find a job doing _______ for _______? "

Instead she said, "I think you'd be good at that. You should try it."

You don't think I'm crazy?

"No. I believe in you."

Blink back tears.

"You've always been a hard worker. You've always done well at everything you set your mind to do. I believe in you. I always have."

Choke back tears.

It is one thing to know that your parents support you and believe in you.
It is another entirely to hear them say it aloud. With words. It's so amazing. It is in some way like hearing the voice of God reassuring you that you are on the right path.

That is one of the things I really love about my parents. They never ever even suggested that there was something I couldn't do. That something might be out of reach.
I've always been far more aware of my limits or possible limits than they have.
That is an incredible thing to be able to do for your child. To present the world as a wide open possibility.

Maybe part of that comes from their farm background. You just have to trust that you are doing the right thing with the resources you have and God will provide. They took risks, buying or selling livestock, trying a new crop, buying more land. It was all a risk but they must have always believed it would go well. And it did.

My parents are amazing.
And guess what? I'm believable.


Anonymous said...

I almost followed the same path as you. Left a job they were laying people off at. Worked - for 2 weeks - at a portrait studio, and all the while studied photography on my own.

I have my own part time/side job/semi-pro photography business. I've learned a ton and not one class. I think you know enough already, the problem is the business side and not the art side.

In my experience, you don't need a studio yet. Photography is really 2 areas, studio and outdoor. You can shoot exclusively in one if you want.

Since you are female, you can get a lot of help as a minority business owner through the government. Local universities usually have a business school that can help you setup a business model as a class project. For free.

As far as the photography goes, learning your camera doesn't take much. Below are some links to YouTube videos and sites that I think are useful and MUCH more informative than any class I took.

Also, join the local photography club and make some contacts.

(There are 8 or 9 EXCELLENT parts to this )

We can have a more lengthy discussion later.


Keli said...

I would love for you to call me and we could chat about this. You can start doing photography completely on-location. You really don't have to have a studio these days to get a successful business going.

I can't tell you how many people I've met on pro photog forums that are moms that started their businesses in their basements. You can learn a ton (about the technical side of it)from other photographers online. There is a wealth of information out there. I would also suggest taking a photography class. Just to learn a little more.

But your composition is great! I would suggest purchasing photoshop if you haven't already. You'll need it! Hope this helps. Call or email me and we can talk more about it. I don't claim to know everything about photography, in fact, far from, but I do know just how you feel. I also know what you need to do to get started!

k said...

go for it! i would love to be a photographer! maybe i can come work for you when you get yourself up and running! :)

it mentioned above, it would probably be important to learn more about becoming a business owner - i bet you could find some classes through a continueing ed class, if not a book somewhere.

TRS said...


I've been meaning to call you. Hopefully sometime this week. Maybe today!


K- thanks for the support! Come to Denver anytime and we'll go play with cameras!