I had the great fortune at the age of 51 to change careers from engineering/program management to becoming a newspaper photographer. Did I take a hit in salary? Yes. Did I find the joy/fun that I thought being a fulltime shooter would be? Absolutely.
I do not regret a single day of my short career (a single decade) as a member of the press. I was just a small town photojournalist that got to meet and be known by common everyday people that make life worth living.
I used to joke with folks about my work. I said "I get to go play every day!"
This image is from about 18 months after I had left the newspaper. In early 2008, I could see the proverbial "handwriting on the wall" as the paper's revenues continue its downward spiral in the recession. But I could not stop shooting the place and people that I had come to know and had come to know (and expect) me. I still got in free to local events (music festivals, sporting and newsworthy events, etc.) This shot is from a Friday night football game. The title, of course, comes from all the kids riding on their dads' shoulders at halftime just leaving the concession stand.
I had been covering the high school since 1998 and the people there were like family. I was always treated with respect and welcomed into the community. This type of relationship is what I miss about no longer being involved with a small newspaper. It was all about the people.
I shall always miss Freeport High School and all of the people that live in that community. But in the end, I could not afford to retire in the area and ended up returning close to my immediate family in Georgia and Alabama.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...