It's 2020 and YEP Life changes
As if saying it's 2020 isn't enough to make the point that life changes. And with that said, this is the point life does change seems everything changes. After 22 years of either freelancing or working as a full-time commercial and editorial photographer, I am headed into a retirement of sorts.
So what's the scoop? COVID 19 played a significant role, but it's roll and timing, I think, could not have been better for me at least. As horrible as this virus is, I am trying to see the positive. Fact is, after all these years of self-employment, I am burnt out. I was honestly done. I hated looking at my cameras, much less picking them up to shoot for clients, and I had not created for myself for over a year by January 2020. I had tried hoping personal work would break the funk, but it did not. Yet, I kept going because I am a professional, and that's what you do, especially for the client.
It does not help that the last few years, my back, knees, and shoulders and the damages I have done to them over the years on active duty and only skiing, kayaking, and doing the things I enjoyed doing had finally really caught up to me. Most days, my back and knees significantly slowed or outright stopped me in my tracks except for client projects that I pushed through.
March 2020, the Covid hammer drops everything starts to well STOP, and little did I realized what the next nine months would bring. Clients stopped all projects; I tried a personal project once again with the free time I had, but well, there was nothing there, so I stopped. Then it hit me I was losing what I had built over all these years, and the proverbial rug had been yanked out from under me, and there was nothing I could do about it. First, I felt depressed and scared, then several months in, it hit me COVID was making me do what I wanted to do all along, STOP and reset. It was forcing me to do the thing I needed to and wanted to the most but wouldn't because of fear and my feelings of responsibility. So the funny part was about five or six months in, I realized I had still been proving just fine and not doing near the amount of work, and I was feeling better in general, so the decision was made I would retire, or semi-retire and after much debating and a few meetings turns out I could find a way to do just that. So I made the formal decision, and I retired in October 2020!
The studio and traditional part of the business after all these years is closed. My office (because I have to have an office) is now at home in my garage, and I am not 100% sure what's next. So far, I have managed just to wind down and move everything out of my office and studio and into a storage unit. I have set a few goals, which turns out is what my psychologist says I needed to di Ya me being ahead of the curve. I have also decided to take on the occasional freelance gig MAYBE if the timing is right and it feels right, or I want the extra money to buy a new toy, lol. But no more hardcore hard at it 260 +/- days a year travel new hotel every night nonsense.