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Hardships of a Photographer

Lately I have been binge watching a lot of Adventure Time during my editing hours. If you’re not familiar with the show, Adventure Time is a children’s cartoon shown on Cartoon Network that follows the protagonist Finn, a thirteen year old boy, and his magical dog, Jake. Together, they fight evil and are the heroes that protect the post-apocalyptic land of Ooo.  I am now on season 4 of the show and it is every bit as strange, bizarre, and weird as others have described to me. After watching for so long, I realized this show applied to my hardships of being a photographer than I thought it would.

“The kids of this generation watch the weirdest cartoons.”

Photography Hardships

I fell in love with the show; not because it was strange, but because it had so much more meaning to it than I had originally thought. What seems to be a simple plot of the week cartoon with colorful animations, is definitely more complex than one might think. Adventure time has a rich story that instills very important underlying themes that many adults forget with age. This show hits close to home.

MY FEARS OF BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER:

As a professional freelance photographer,  it is definitely scary chasing down a dream that may or may not happen. You don’t always have a paycheck at the end of the month nor enough work lined up to pay your bills. It’s a lot of trial and error;  high risk and small reward. The uncertainty of it all is probably the biggest and crippling fear that runs through your head.

Will this work out in 3-5 years? Should I get a “real” job and play it safe? What if this is all for nothing?

So why do I do it? Well, it’s my dream to photograph, travel, and help people for a living. When it does work out, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Yes I can play it safe, take the traditional route and land myself an average paying job. But do I really want to work 9-5 for something I don’t care for? Do I really want to put my dreams on hold and help someone create theirs? No. I want to make a lasting impression on this earth before I leave it. I want to work towards something that represents me as a whole. For me, photography is just that.

UPDATE TIME:

Last week I was offered a job to relocate to the Cayman Islands and become a destination photographer for a wedding studio based there. The Salary was 50k a year, and I would be on a 15 month contract. Having a slow month, this sounded very tempting. The first thing that went through my mind was Russelle. I know 15 months is not a very long time, but at the same time, it’s pretty long. It is hard enough being long distance from her currently and I couldn’t imagine having to wait months at a time to see her.  The second thing I thought about was my ability to grow my own business. Would I be working towards my future or someone else’s? Long story short, I may have made the STUPIDEST BUSINESS decision of my life, but probably the best decision of my life.

Wait a minute, why was I even talking about Adventure Time? Be patient cause this all ties together. I promise.

At a young age, people are told that they can be anything they want to be. Some people strive to be Doctors; some want to be Artists, Dancers, Chefs, World Leaders, Firefighters, Heroes, Marine Biologists, Entrepreneurs, or even become an Ice cream man/woman. Simply put, we chose professions that we thought would make us happy. There are so many different dreams we had when we were little kids. As we grow up, we continue to face hardships and sometimes life gets in the way. Bills, salaries, kids, time, and that guy named Bill that said you couldn’t do it. We settled for compromises, put things on hold, and eventually gave up.

The older we get, the more sensible of a person we become. We stop taking chances and making big risks. You start making excuses and eventually your dream fades into the background noise of your 9-5 job.

HERE IT IS

Adventure Time subtlety tackles the theme of following your dreams. Finn has many character traits that makes him a good protagonist such as: his bravery, his sense of duty, and his commitment to helping those in need around him. He is a terrific protagonist that is devoted to being a hero. During my binge watching and trying to decide whether or not I should take the job, one trait stood out for me through the rest. His unwavering stubbornness to not settle for compromises. If he’s not happy with the two options presented, he’ll find a third. If he says he’s going to get it done, he finds a way. Things may not always look up for him right away; but at the end, things always work out.

SOME INSPIRATION:

Finn has something a lot of us lose while growing up: the bravery to tackle the unknown. During my choice to go to the Cayman islands, I felt as if I had to choose between several choices. The first was choosing my relationship or my career. I knew Russelle and I would never break up over something so trivial, but I also didn’t want to put a strain on our relationship. There are a lot of unsure things in my life because of the career I chose, but Russelle is one of the few that isn’t. I didn’t want to jeopardize that in any way. The second decision was choosing between following my own dreams or  playing it safe and making money working for someone else.

So what did I choose? I chose not to settle. One day I’ll have Russelle working closely with me while I run MY OWN successful business. I chose to decline the job, venture back into the unknown, face it with the love of my life, and wait for the next opportunity that arises where I will no longer have to compromise. I will make my own path where I don’t have to choose between what’s important to me. It will all work out in the end :).

Photographer hardships

Seriously, thanks for reading. I hope you choose to follow your dreams instead of putting it on hold.

– Christopher

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