I actually retired quite a while ago at 55 just before Lak and I were married. I have no
idea how I managed that but I did have a small pension and no debt. That’s 13 years
ago I can’t believe it.
As all good things it didn’t last long and I took a job managing a gym. I only had to work
a couple of days a week didn’t even notice it. I had a new wife and a job that paid me to
work out, talk and watch soccer games. I took some courses and managed to pass both
my Personal Training Certification and a Sports Nutrition Certificate. Life was good
until the gym closed.
Oh well I was already retired right? Wrong. I had the second gym in town offer me the
same basic job for more shekels within days. So I was back to managing a gym and
working out. The best part of the gym business is the customer base. They all have a
story and I’m not short on the gift of the gab either. It was a fun job but at some point it
was time to leave as Aran was beginning to get older.
All this time I was still doing photography and I’ll probably go to the grave with a camera
in my hand. It’s something that I have done since I was 16. That’s 53 years, OMG that’s
a long time. I never really liked it as a job. I hated weddings, and portraits, and
Real-estate and the people (or some of them). I wanted to do more of my preference in
photography and less of other people’s sometimes strange ideas.
I also dislike that most people don’t look at photographers as skilled professionals or
artists. After all everyone has an iPhone. They don’t have a clue that I have thousands
tied up in cameras and lenses or that I’ve got more money invested in lens filters and
carbon fiber tripods than their whole family has in Iphones. I have a grand worth of
spare ink for my two large format printers and a drawer full of printer paper some worth
over $15 a sheet. And I won’t even mention all the computing power I need and the
storage that runs into the multiple terabytes. And no an iPhone is not a camera despite
some slick advertising campaigns.
I also dislike that many people don’t put a value on a photographers work. We, and I’m
talking for all professional photographers, would never walk into a store and say can we
have some of your stock for free. Or expect not to pay for our gas. Or ask an artist if we
could have their work for free. So why do people ask photographers to send them their
intellectual property for free. Most of us are nice and just cull out the good pictures and
send them the rejects but even those rejects cost time, money, skill and processing. Next
time you ask a photographer for their pictures please think about the fact that they have
to feed their family as well. Don’t have money trade them something, everyone likes to
barter. I’ve given pictures to events for fund raising but seldom ever even hear back let
alone get a thank you. If a photographer gives your organization a donation of their work
thank them for it, for Gods sake.
So, I’ve decided to Retire, Again. And again sorta.
I’ll have my business closed by year end. I’ll no longer be Aran House Photoworks. I’ll
get to do some stuff in photography I’ve wanted to do for some time now. One thing I’ll
do is take pictures for myself to feed my own soul without the worry that others won’t
like it. I just won’t care what others think, because I can.
I’m still going to work for the Similkameen News Leader as I
really enjoy scooping out things to report on and George and Brenda are great people as
well. I like taking the pictures and I like writing a bit. A steep learning curve but
I’m learning, slowly. Probably the hardest is to try and always be neutral. Not
always easy as I normally have an opinion on everything. Newspaper photography is a
bit different than other photography too. All photography has to tell a story but in a
newspaper it’s more dramatic and it’s more time related. You have to really concentrate
on composition and lighting in a 150dpi newspaper.
So to sum up. Business closed. Newspaper reporter/photographer still going strong.
Going to take pictures for myself like the odd Gallery show. I’m also going to do more
for charities and other organizations, that I believe in, that I think could benefit from
using my work to get them some cash flow.
“That’s All Folks”