Monday, July 15, 2013

Retirement?

As I try to adjust to being "retired" (I still see myself as unemployed even as I approach 66 years old) and try to get something going with this blog, I am using mostly existing images as I sell the equipment that I used as a newspaper staffer. As I no longer have a possibility of working for another newspaper, I felt it was time. BUT selling this equipment was a tough decision. I started out with film SLRs in the late 1970s, switched to digital around 2001, and had used the same bodies (a pair of Nikon D2H's) since 2003.
What made selling this equipment hard? I know them so well I do not even think about "how" to change a setting, I just instinctively do it. Using the same equipment for a decade allowed me to really know how they would react in just about any situation. But with the layoff of an entire 20+ person photography staff at the Chicago Sun-Times, it is time for me to think differently about making money with my photography. While I have done the occasional portraits and weddings over the years, it really was not the direction I wanted to go with my efforts. When I went pro full-time, I put most of my effort into making inroads with a local weekly newspaper. I started out just freelancing, paid by the image, to going under contract (guaranteed minimum hours, mileage, etc) to finally being hired as the first staff photographer in 2005. I would work sometimes as much as 70 hours in a week and was just having a ball. When you are a member of the media in a small town setting, you get to do things that most residents do not get clearance to do. I was on the sidelines of all the high school sports, backstage at all the music festivals, up close and personal with not only local and state politicians but national ones as well. Being known by local law enforcement and firefighters allowed me access inside the usual boundaries to keep out the public.
But to today's entry in the blog. Since I am looking to go in another direction with my work, I am looking back over the images I have been shooting since leaving the newspaper biz in 2008 just before being laid off. I am finding the images that appeal to me most are the ones that showcase ordinary people being ordinary. This image is from a local resort in the Florida Panhandle. People were gathering for a free concert and just enjoying life. It reminds me of the time my wife (this year's anniversary will be number 45!) & I would open a bottle of wine in the evening and enjoy sitting on our porch overlooking the lake we used to live on. With some jazz playing on the stereo and a glass or two of wine, life is good. While there is a lot of strife going on in this world, there are ordinary people doing ordinary things and enjoying their time on this planet like these three women.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

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