London iStockalypse – The End of the BeginningReading Time: 3 minutes
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” — Winston Churchill
In every man’s life, there are moments that live forever. Although much time has passed since my journey to London, it feels like it was yesterday. London became a part of my story, forever in my heart and soul. The experience and people I met changed my life forever. I’ve been trying to hang onto that memory all summer as life came at me hard and fast.
It’s time to roll up my sleeves and continue the hard work of transition. The summer was busy with the priorities of family and finding time to enjoy being present in those moments. What little work there was all seemed to happen at once. Clients and friends came forward to voice their support and share encouragement of my journey.
Many people privately shared with me that they enjoyed my daily stories from London. They were disappointed my trip was over as they looked forward to reading my daily updates in the afternoon. A part of me wishes I could travel, photograph and write stories. Is that the hopeless romantic in me or is the Universe trying to tell me something?
The recession has been going strong for 3 years now. Just when it looked as though things were getting better, we have more setbacks. Every market has a different set of circumstances that determine how bad the downturn is for professional photographers. Personally, I feel my market has been one of the hardest hit. Simply from all the photographers sprouting up on a seemingly daily basis. That is why I’m so thankful for this opportunity.
I’m not begrudging them their chance to pursue their passion, but they are working for prices that simply won’t sustain a business. They will be gone as fast as the technology they rely on to earn their living. So where does this leave us? Something has fundamentally shifted and it’s not just in the business of professional photography.
“The fact is that in the last three years the business has changed considerably. It has gone from being hard, to being very very hard. Success requires considerable luck, a vision that is relevant to the market, business sense and most of all perseverance. There is a certain Darwinian element to it, those who try the longest and the hardest survive.” – David Harry Stewart
I received an email that said, “I appreciate the way you have articulated in a few words what so many have been going through the past few years. While life is a constant intercourse with change, it is the directional changes that come unwelcome — which obscure tomorrow that are the most difficult. Yet when those changes are successfully navigated, they result in growth and opportunities not otherwise contemplated or achieved.”
My heart and passion (which I’m not afraid to share) are who I really am. Wedding photographer is a descriptor that simply defines how I spend some of my time. My heart and passion are in telling stories of the people I meet on this adventure of life.
London was a big deal for me. The memory of which is still a blur. Kim Komando and her team gave me a front row ticket and access to the most successful photographers in the stock industry. Armed with this experience, I know what I need to do to successfully make this transition. I’ve been going through my image archives looking for images I feel would make good stock images and making sure I have model releases in place. So far, the support has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m learning that the hardest part of being a stock photographer is developing concepts for photos. That is the secret to being a successful stock shooter and perhaps the hardest to master.
Stay tuned my friends. There is much happening and as a faithful reader, you’ll have a front row ticket to all of it. All my new friends at iStockphoto have been diligently writing me, offering support and gently persuading me to test the waters. I know this won’t happen for me overnight, but for the first time in a very long time… I have hope. And that’s something.
Telling myself this is simply the end of the beginning, I have put together a few collages from my London adventure. Time to close this chapter of my life and move forward.
Behind the scenes video of the London iStockalypse by Georgia Court and Canon Professional Network Europe.