Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'm a professional!

When meeting someone for the first time inevitably the question will come up at some point, "so what do you do" or at least some varition thereof. When I was in college the answer was easy, "I'm a (insert designation here) in college". When I was in Grad School/ seminary full time it was the same thing, "I'm a graduate student" or "I'm in seminary" depending if I was talking to church folk or not. 

Once I stopped Grad school full time the answer got more difficult. For a while it was a Lifeway employee but when I started doing media/worship part time I became a "worship leader". 

When I got married I got my first real full time job and I became a delivery driver and only a delivery driver. I didn't add that I delivered caskets because I didn't want people to know that. 

Often I have added a "but" to my answer. "I work at such and such but I'm in grad school and I'm going to be..." 

I currently work three jobs + seminary. I have a bill paying, a creative, and a ministry "job". I put in 32 hours a week at my day job, it's consistent, reliable, and lends itself very little creative production but it helps to pay our bills and out food on the table. 

Then there is my photography business, right now it's my favorite of the three but just by a hair. I get to be creative and work for myself, which can be both good and bad. I probably could have eventually gone full time with this if it had not been for my ministry position (which is my calling and first love) which will be taking us out of the country soon. I love photography! I love shooting, I don't hate editing, not a big fan of the business side but I'm learning more about it. This job has been what I tell people I do, along with my ministry job. In fact it was this self proclaimed title that has started this series of blog posts. I have been telling people for a while now that I'm a photographer, most people assume when you say that, that you mean you're a professional (we will discuss this in our next post) so I usually leave that word out. In the month of June I felt like a professional full time photographer. I had 4 weddings in 5 weeks and a trip to Guatemala the other week to do photography and videography. 

My wife and I were at a wedding a couple of weekends ago and sitting at a table with some folks and someone asked me what I did, I smiled and said, "I'm a photographer and director of media for a non profit group". 

So I wrote the above blog post July 25th with the intention of posting it a few days later when I had time to finish it. Needless to say, but I'm going to anyway, I didn't. 

I had a point to this post when I started writing it but I can't remember what it was. In fact I nearly deleted it but I really liked it.

I guess that I wrote it for a couple of reasons:

1. I was frustrated with my day job. I love the people I work with. But it is not what I am called to be doing and it doesn't challenge me. God has been really working on me to be satisfied and work at it as I would work at my dream job. 

2. To set up the next few posts. I have a couple of ideas in ind of what I want to talk about. 
     a. My wrestling with how media and my calling to the ministry fit together. 
     b. What it means (to me at least) to be a professional photographer.

Anyway. Sorry for the rambling. Another reason I wrote this is that I am trying to get into the habit of keeping a blog going for when we go to Guatemala. Since we are still about 8 months from moving there is not a ton going on but I have plenty to say concerning photography. 


From a wedding back in July:

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