Ditching A Plan That No Longer Works

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 Bodies
Nikon 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-800
Manfrotto 3021BPRO
Manfrotto Head 3265
Quantum Turbo 2×2 Battery Pack,
4 camera batteries
1 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 GB
Never Used
UV 77mm Crystal Optics Filter
C PL 77mm Crystal Optics Filter
DIgital Circular PLD 77mm
USED
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.   

The Cat, The Turkey Neck, & A Change In My Direction

Alfie, is a neighbor’s cat who comes over almost daily to have his ears scratched and to see what food he can scrounge. At Christmas he found his way up to the temporary bird table John built to feed the birds over the winter after an older one fell apart.

It always amazes me what John thinks the birds will enjoy and I’m surprised to see them eat things at times that I thought they would never go for. Take for instance, the cooked turkey neck hanging in the top right of the photograph.

The birds would not touch it, but Alfie … he seemed to really want it!

I photographed him through the sliding glass door while standing behind the Christmas tree thinking I might see him leap into action.

He came back for several days. He’d leap up three feet onto the bird table and then he stare at at the turkey neck and look around like he was thinking about the best way to reach it.

I really wanted him to take a chance and go after it, but he never did. I waited, hiding behind the tree with my camera hoping to see him jump to get it or climb up and reach down from the boards above, but he always seemed a bit unsure and afterwards I labeled his hesitation and lack of follow through as a failure.

After a few days, John took the turkey neck down and threw it out.

Seeing these photos made me consider a big decision I made the other day. It was something I had thought about for a while, but just could not move forward for a number of reasons. I was kind of like Alfie, part way there but not all the way and I had to wonder what was holding me back.

My biggest obstacle was me and my sometimes screwy way of thinking that things can only be seen one of two ways such as good or bad, black or white, and almost always, as a success or failure. This kind of thinking leaves no room for changing your mind or choosing another path which is clearly what I have needed to do for a while.

Choosing ‘Daily’ as my word for 2012 felt big when I did it and loaded with practicality. I did not imagine it would help me make such a big decision so soon, but when I used the daily five to break it down, the answer was simple and instead of angst, I felt relief.

I need a day or two to get a photograph together and I’ll be happy to share this change in direction with you then.