How many times have you made a decision and after investing time and serious money to support your plans, later changed your mind? Did you let go and move on with ease or was it a struggle?
I’ve been wrestling with one that I couldn’t seem to make. For more than three years, I’ve let my indecision suck energy from me and felt loads of remorse over my apathetic attitude towards what I once considered a perfect career.
When I lived in the US, this vision of my future fit well into my business plan for a creative life. I invested in equipment and training designed to cover both the technical and business aspects and paid for quality in both areas.
When I felt ready to deliver a good product, I put myself into situations to prove to myself that this was a good fit. I photographed weddings, PR events, family portraits, and even a red carpet event in Times Square while in New York.
And it was good, for a while.
After a weekend workshop with Denis Reggie, who the New York Times called ” A Storyteller with a Camera,” and who Oprah Winfrey said was ” The Best in the Business, ” I set up my Linked In account and identified myself as the owner of Elizabeth Harper Photographers.
Denis Reggie advised that by using the word photographers instead of photographer or photography, I would leave room to include other photographers who might shoot weddings with me.
During a workshop with Liana Lehman Hall that focused on the business of photography, we did a bit of writing as well and Liana told me that she could see me doing something similar to Jasmine Star, a photographer who incorporates words and story into her blog posts and client images. I knew then that I could write and that I was good at encouraging people to share their stories and after a look at Jasmine Star’s website, I thought it was indeed the kind of thing I had thought of doing to use both skills. The combination seemed as if it might satisfy my desire to write while earning a living as a wedding photographer.
This might have worked had I stayed in Georgia and not met John. Moving to the UK changed many things for me one of which was my desire to work as a wedding photographer. I still love weddings and I enjoy getting the shot that defines the day or a documents a special moment, I’ve just decided that I don’t want to do it for a living.
The rhythm of days spent writing has the strongest pull now and after worrying that I was throwing away money spent on training and camera equipment by not building a career in the UK as a photographer, I decided to end my ambiguity and sell my gear.
My decision to close the door on one career path is an opportunity for someone else who may have been dreaming of something as big as a new direction, or just adding more equipment to their camera bag.
Here are few images from some of the weddings I’ve photographed along with two of a mother and child.
Now that I’ve made peace with redefining how I see myself, I’ll be heading over to “Linked In” to change how the Linked In community sees me.
I’ve contacted a business in the UK that is well-regarded for buying and selling used photography equipment and they’ve given me a quote. As is the way with companies like this one, the price is a good bit lower than can be gained by selling it myself.
Before I decide to sell it on Ebay or Amazon or make use of the company I contacted, I wanted to share it here. I am including a list of the items in case any of my readers wish to add to their gear.
Please consider forwarding this post on to anyone you know who might be interested in well cared for camera equipment.
(2) Nikon D200 BodiesNikon Lens ED AF-S VR-NIKKOr 70-200 2.8,
Nikon Lens AF 50 1.4,
Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 18-200 3.5-5.6 ED,
Nikon DX ED Fisheye,
Nikon DX AF-S 17-55 2.8 G ED(2) Nikon Speedlights SB-600,
Nikon Speedlight SB-800Manfrotto 3021BPRO
Manfrotto Head 3265Quantum Turbo 2×2 Battery Pack,
4 camera batteries1 Extreme IV Sandisk 8.0GB
1 Extreme IV Sandisk 4.0GB
(3) 4.0 Sandisk
(2) Sandisk Ultra II 1.0GB
(2) Sandisk 1.0 GB
1 Sandisk Ultra II 2.0 GBNever Used
UV 77mm Crystal Optics Filter
C PL 77mm Crystal Optics Filter
DIgital Circular PLD 77mm
Quantaray 72mm C-PL
Quantaray 77mm QMC-UV
FLD 77mm Crystal Optics
I’m happy to provide photos of the items and answer any questions. Thanks for helping me move on and I hope this ending is a new beginning for you or someone you know.
I know a young lady who might be very tempted – not me as I’m too hooked into Canon gear …can you DM me a price list?
I just posted about choices, my word for 2012. This is a big one of yours, and I applaud you for making it.
Cheers and wishing you much success and happiness on your path forward.
I am interested in the camera bodies & speedlights. Could you send me your list of prices?
Elizabeth, please don’t fret over this decision. I’m sure you learned a great deal from the photography training and that you will carry it over into your writing by creating a written photograph. Never feel that you wasted learning something or the experience. Everything you do shapes the individual you are. I love reading your posts. I enjoy your perspective on life and very often I find myself reflecting on your writings. You have a precious gift of insight and an amazing ability to write. I’m excited you are going to continue that eventhough your photos are fabulous too.
Elizabeth, This was a big decision. I also admire your courage in thinking it through and coming to your answer. It’s so hard to look past the investment to the reality and not the history of that time invested. Hats off to you. And your writing will be all the richer for your ability to think in pictures. I agree with Jan and others that none of that time, energy and money is wasted.
I’m in that situation right now. Half way through my PhD I developed a stress condition and had to take a year off, which is now almost up. Do I really want to go back to that? No. Do I need to? No. But can I turn my back on it easily? Also no. You have been very brave to take that step and I’m sure the time was no more wasted than mine will have been if I do drop it. I love the image of the praying bride. But it is great to turn that corner, break free from a thing which was no longer working and find a fresh start.
Moving on to new horizons or ending what was an important part of our lives we used to love is a difficult decision. I”m glad you feel in peace. I can relate to this inspiring post, Elizabeth. I’m in what I call “a transition mode” and reading this helps a lot. I will send the link to my son who is a photographer. I know he will benefit from your post and who knows, maybe he needs some equipment. I wish you can sell everything soon..and Enjoy your new path!
Elizabeth, I applaud you. You are a great photographer, but why does that mean you have to do it for a living? You have an eye, you have an interest therefore, you have a hobby, not necessarily a career. I am sure your writing will benefit from the focus. Good choice.
Cheers to you, Elizabeth! That sounds like a huge decision and I hope your new direction is deeply satisfying.
Beautiful photos Elizabeth, just because it is not your career choice doesn’t mean it can’t be you hobby choice……….
Just found your blog today and have enjoyed reading several posts and looking at your wonderful photos! When I got to this particular post I just had to comment. I too had a creative bent, painting, and it was my reason for living, outside family. I think I was good at it and earned a small living from it as well. One day that passion began to fade and I knew the end was coming. I wondered what would replace it…. Writing has replaced it. Making blankets out of used clothing has replaced it. Blogging has followed. I don’t make any money on these activities but they give me great pleasure. Seems that if you are creative, you are creative no matter what you choose to do.
It takes courage to close such a comfortable and successful passtime and yet if we didn’t we couldn’t pursue the things that come afterwards, new passions, new talents yet to be uncovered.
Your writing is wonderful and I encourage you to pursue it. I will be back for another visit!