Writing a new chapter

Still Life
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter: 1/100 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

Some days, there’s nothing better than sitting at my desk drinking a hot cup of coffee, writing a letter to a friend and watching the rain fall. Three years ago, I couldn’t imagine what life would be like as a freelance photographer. I thought I needed the structure of a daily staff job. I thought I needed the security of a steady paycheck. I thought I needed the companionship of co-workers and colleagues. I walked away from a position as an editor and plunged head-long into a fog of depression. Sometimes doing the right thing is the last thing you want to do.I missed my paper; I missed my friends; I missed my readers. I cried and moped and tried to pull my portfolio together. I spent a month in Mobile with my family, searching for a new job. I returned in even lower spirits. I spent my days staring at the wall. I spent my nights sitting on my bathroom floor in the dark with my eyes closed, trying to drown out the voices in my head that kept saying that my life was over. People called; I let the phone ring. Bills arrived; I left them unopened. Eviction notices collected on my front door, and my car was repossessed. I didn’t think I would live through it and I didn’t really care.

Then the photo editor of the local daily called and offered me a position as a stringer. The pay wouldn’t be much and I would have to buy almost $5,000 in new equipment, but it was a ray of light in a very dark tunnel. I signed my contract that afternoon.

I thought about these things yesterday as I sat at my desk. Work is slow this week, but I am becoming accustomed to the ebb and flow. My days have their own rituals of morning coffee, a quick perusal of email, then shower, dress, and return to my desk to begin the work of the day. My income is beginning to stabilize, and I am starting to make more money for less work. Thanks to the immediacy of the internet and the openness of the photoblogging community, I now have colleagues and friends around the world who are always only a few clicks away.

I finally feel like maybe I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And it’s so much better than I could have ever imagined.

Music of the day: Noah Grey’s new album, Survival.

Favorite photos of the day: “Storm” by n3on; “Dawn and the Sea” by Alec Long

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