Crazy to think, but ten years ago yesterday was the day I walked away from a good paying job, with great benefits and wonderful co-workers, to become an outdoor photographer. Wow, what a journey it has been!
I still remember waking up those first few days relieved that I didn’t have to go to an office, but worried that we would have to rely solely on my photography to pay the bills. If you told me then that we would still be at it 10 years later, I would have assumed that worry would go away, but I would have been wrong. No matter how good a current month may be, the next month is always an unknown mystery. I supposed that is common when you are self employed especially in such a competitive field. I have concluded that this uncertainty is a good thing – I know it is a great motivator that keeps me pushing not only physically, but also creatively.
What no one knew at the time, is that my departure was part of a 5 year plan – a plan we had not told a single person about because we didn’t want to be reminded about how crazy and risky the idea was – we knew. We attacked all our debt and expenses, gathered the necessary photography gear, added what we could to savings, and began building relationships with publishers. Janine then left her job 2 years before I did, and worked full time at building the business. Even though I was spending all my weekends and vacation time in the field, in those early years our biggest short coming was a lack of coverage. So by the time I left my job, we felt like we could expand our coverage enough with me full time that we could make a go of it.
We had a small camper (still do) and after traveling around Alaska during the summer, I drove it across Canada into the Lower 48 passing through what would become one of my favorite destinations, Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. So I thought it was only fitting to share an older photo from Jasper – I really need to get back there!
So here is to the next 10 years!