Chapter 2: Great Life Change

So if you’ve read Chapter 1 you’ll know that photography has been a part of my life for many years, as a hobby.  However my story took a big twist in April 2015 when I was made redundant, completely out of the blue, from my job in IT Consultancy & Project Management.

I had no idea what I was going to do next… all I knew was I wasn’t going back to an office job, to the 9-5, the daily commute and living for weekends and holidays.

Once I got over the shock of losing my job, I realised this was the best thing that could have happened to me.  This was the opportunity I had been looking for to turn my life upside down and do something completely different.  But what? So I took some time off and decided to have a really good, deep think about what I wanted out of life.

I realised that, for all the successes I had had in life – I had a good career, owned my own flat, drove a sports car and had holidays to all sorts of exotic places – underneath it all I was unhappy and unfulfilled.  I had no idea what I was going to do next… all I knew was I wasn’t going back to an office job, to the 9-5, the daily commute and living for weekends and holidays.  I was single and free and had the opportunity to start a whole new chapter.  So I set out on a journey to work out what really made me happy and then figure out how I could make a living doing just that.

After taking some time out to go on a crazy road trip, covering 3,000 miles in 3 weeks in my car and on my motorbike, I settled down to think.  I spoke to a number of friends for ideas and inspiration.  The most influential was my school friend Karen, who had recently walked away from her job at the Foreign Office in Bangkok to take a year’s sabbatical to go travelling and learn to salsa dance.  She gave me names of some of the blogs and books she had consulted before making her decision to take a ‘mini-retirement’ in her mid-thirties.

And so it was that, with the help of Tim Ferriss’s book “The 4 hour work week” and Marianne Cantwell’s 21 day online course on becoming a “Free Range Human“, I figured out that there are 4 recurring themes in my life:

  • photography
  • travel
  • meeting people
  • motorsport

These are the pillars of my life, the things that make me tick, that give me a buzz and which bring me joy.  Without realising it they have all been present, to varying degrees, throughout my life.

Ok, I thought to myself.  So now I know what I need in my life, how am I going to make a living that involves these things and involves a complete change in lifestyle?

I picked Photography as my central theme and started to think how I could generate a living which centred around it.

Following Marianne Cantwell’s model of creating your own ‘made to measure career’ rather than a job that someone else has defined, I picked Photography as my central theme and started to think how I could generate a living which centred around it. However I had no formal training or professional experience in photography… just what I had learned over the years by playing with my own camera, experimenting in my spare time and attending a few odd day courses.  This was not enough to build a business on, I needed more commercial experience.

While I was trying to figure this out, I decided I needed an outlet for my photos.  A way to get them ‘out there’ while I worked out what to do with them.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how this Photo Blog was born. I used it as a place to publish the ‘best’ of the photos that I was taking, and pushed myself to make sure I published something new at least once a month if not more often.  This would help keep my focus on photography.

I still use this Photo Blog as my platform to express myself through my photography and to try to work out just what photography means to me.  I was hoping that through publishing my best and my favourite photos, I could work out if I had a particularly type or style of photography that was dominant.  In a way it was successful, as it was pivotal in helping me make the leap to the next chapter, which would see me making the transition to professional photographer

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