How’d I get here anyway?

me-and-greggor

A few years ago, I was working a nine-to-five, go nowhere job, while simultaneously freelancing as a Water Treatment Consultant and Writer/Editor when I was stricken by a general malaise that I couldn’t seem to put a finger on. I was in love with a fantastic man, we owned a decent home and vehicles, had a great network of friends and family and all sorts of toys to keep us entertained. Yet, I was gripped with this sense of stagnancy. I felt as though a part of me was being stifled, but I couldn’t understand where the feeling was coming from.

Although I couldn’t think of a single reason or cause for it, I thought I was depressed and, like many people these days, sought a doctor’s advice, only to be offered antidepressants as a means to end my inner turmoil. Knowing that drug-induced happiness wasn’t the answer, I forwent that avenue and decided to dig deeper into myself to find the cause of my distress. I’d always been a rather high-strung, hyperactive person, so in hopes of calming my inner turmoil, I learned how to meditate and took up Yoga.  Perhaps the best thing I did was start writing down my thoughts in a journal.  It was liberating to be able to write anything and voice any thought I had without suffering the fallout that my spoken words may have caused.  However, after several months of meditating, journaling and attempting to turn myself into a pretzel, I was still feeling this sense of discord and unease and, unbelievably, it seemed to be getting much worse.

My writing, however, was getting better and better. Sometimes, when reading previous posts to my journal, I marveled at my improved use of language and how my descriptions evoked vivid scenarios in my head. Mostly, I found that the only time I felt truly happy was when I was writing in my journal or when I was using the creative side of my brain.

It took me a long time to realize that happiness returned only when I was being creative, but when I finally did realize it, my world instantly morphed from a world that seemed bleak and blase into one that seemed rife with color and possibility. For me, learning was part of the creative process, so I decided that I would make a point of learning something new each and every day.

I already had a good handle on writing, but I’d always wanted to learn the fine art of photography, so I bought a Nikon D40 Digital SLR camera and Adobe Photoshop CS2 and began to teach myself how to use them. My goal was to learn absolutely everything about photography and Photoshop so I could not only take amazing pictures, but also enhance them in amazingly creative ways! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I’ve discovered that it is virtually impossible to master either of these because a person can literally never learn all there is to know about them. Technology and technique and new creative ideas are so abundant that they virtually overflow the internet and magazines every day. On the one hand, I sometimes become frustrated that I don’t know everything there is to know about my two favorite creative pasttimes, but on the other, I’m still learning something new each and every day and staying true to my creative goals-which makes me very happy.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this creative growth, I lost my nine-to-five job (which was the best thing that has ever happened to me) and I signed up for the local Self-Employment program. I started my business by creating photo books for my clients using Photoshop. I made books for all occasions (weddings, engagements, baby’s first year, anniversaries, celebrations of life, etc.) and, throughout the process, kept studying photography and learning its ins and outs. Eventually, I backed off from creating the books (largely because it kept me tied to the computer for 10 to 12 hours each day) and started spending more time out shooting whenever and whatever I could. Throughout the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a remarkable improvement in my work and have been pleased to hear people comment on how much they like it. This, of course, has me continually striving to improve and learn and grow!

I still create books, but I tend to create them using pictures I’ve taken for clients, not using pictures that they’ve given me. The last three years have taken me down a long and winding curve of life. There have been moments of sweet triumph and spiritual enlightenment and moments of mind-boggling frustration, but each and every moment has provided me with daily inspiration and motivation. I wouldn’t trade any of it for an easier road.

Find a job that you love and you’ll never work a single day in your life. Truer words have never been spoken. I love my job. I love playing with my camera and getting paid for it. I love the feeling I get when I take pictures for people and they get teary eyed when they see them. I love the sense of freedom and creativity I am able to cultivate on a continuous basis and, most of all, I love seeing and talking to other people who feel as passionate about photography and about life as I do. There is nothing more inspirational than living life in a way that makes you feel truly alive and I strive to make that life come through in my pictures.

Please stay tuned to read about some of my recent photo shoots and to meet some of my awesome clients!  They truly make my job the best job in the world!  Or, if you want to see more now, check out my website at http://www.photoworkz.ca

I’ll post more soon 🙂

Jo

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