On Being A Photographer

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

I was asked once by someone why I couldn’t get the perfect shot. After all I am the photographer and that I have already been working as a photographer for more than a year. Really? I’m gonna run home now to begin practicing taking the perfect photograph every time.

Sarcasm aside, what people don’t understand is that you are not going to get the perfect head shot, portrait, or whatever perfect at every instant. A professional photographer with years of experience will work quicker, yes. And even at my current job, I’m required to get two portraits in less than a minute for each student at school. I don’t have all day to get the perfect shot. What I am addressing here is the expectation that because I am a photographer now, I will always be perfect every time. That is a ridiculous expectation. If it were the case that everyone is perfect at what they do all of the time, nothing would seem extraordinary anymore. It would be normal to be good at what you do and that you should always be hitting it when you get asked to work your talent. Being successful to me is knowing what is lacking or failing – or even knowing something is already good – and trying to get something better.


Published in: on September 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Price of Being Single and Independent

Yesterday, as I waited for the bus to go home, I was talking to my co-worker about being in transition with my career. She asked me about my life and what I did before. I told her – I had a job in printing and that I lived on my own. For a very brief moment, I told her about how I managed to keep my house for another year after being laid off because I had severance pay. It didn’t sit very well with some neighbours, and, although they didn’t do anything crazy like vandalize my home, they weren’t nice and welcoming to a single female like me. They never bothered to ask me about what’s going on.

Even though I could have leased my home, I didn’t want to carry on the responsibility. It was the top of the recession. If I along with thousands of others were being laid off, it would be difficult for me to be compassionate to someone who was just let go and knowing that I still need to collect money. I’m sure I would have to deal with it then. Selling my home was one of the most difficult things I faced.

That aside, I had a discussion with a couple of other single people who own their home. They, too, faced difficulties with neighbours looking upon them weirdly. These are family type neighbour-hoods. So we broke the mold and decided not to live in a condo. As I recounted this story to my co-worker, she commented, “So much for being single and independent.”

As much as I loved living on my own, it was a lot of work and a lot of stress. One income to pay for the entire shebang including utilities and taxes. On top of it all – the maintenance. It’s a wonder I had a life. I worked a lot and was too tired to go out most weekends. If I did want to go out, I stressed about how much money I had. I did have part time jobs here and there to help support myself.

Back in 2000 when I first purchased my home, I believe the Toronto Star ran a story about how many single women owned a home (not a condo) in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and how that is increasing. Back then when I just moved out, it hovered at about 2%. Years passed and I saw a similar article in the newspaper again. This time, the number was higher. With a quick tapping of keywords on the internet, I found a Globe and Mail article (June 8 2012) that states 20% of home buyers are single women in North America.

Read more on this article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/single-ladies-hooking-up-with-homes/article4243449/

While I look forward to eventually moving out on my own again, I will be better prepared as to what I want and how to take care of myself. I know who I can trust and when to trust my own instincts. I’m not saying being independent is a bad thing, it’s just difficult sometimes.

So while all you neighbours are so judgmental of that single person, you don’t know their situation. Offer to help and find out what kind of neighbour you have. Have a BBQ or something.