8 Great Years!

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel 16 Comments

Wild wolves at sunrise, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Wild wolves at sunrise, Denali National Park, Alaska.

This old photo shot on Velvia slide film is still one of my favorite photos and memories, and as good as any for my annual trip down memory lane.  You see it was eight years ago that I left a wonderful job and took the big plunge into being a full time photographer – a decision I have never regretted.  I could go on, but I would just be repeating what I wrote last year on my 7 Years and Counting post.

I heard about an interesting study reported on the news recently (NBC Nightly News I think).  The researchers interviewed elderly people in retirement homes to find out about their lives, and what brought them happiness and regret.  To greatly paraphrase the results, the thing that universally brought about the most regret was not having taken more risks in their life – risks they may have enabled them to pursue a dream or passion.

To this day I have to remind myself of this – I tend to be a bit risk adverse, and to this day I’m a bit surprised I did take such a huge leap.   I have to give Janine much of the credit for this decision thanks to all her help and support.  It reminds me of the great quote:  “It is better to try and fail then to never try at all”.

Comments 16

  1. Congratulations Ron and Janine! Hard to believe it has been that long already.
    You two have great complimentary talents and its been fun watching you build a great business together.

  2. Those words are so true, Ron. Congratulations, and just keep going the way you have been!

    I myself am on my 2-year plan toward write-tirement. I’ll be leaving a very good job, too, with all kinds of benefits. But to stay on and live that many fewer years without doing the main thing I love and giving it all I’ve got? Do I want that? Better to take the leap. I’m going to share your inspiring post on my Facebook page.

  3. Congratulations! I totally agree – without our supporting wife’s we would by faaaaaaaaar not made it that far. How far? Well to us it is only important that we can support us and our job. The richness does not come through money for us – it comes through those beautiful moments we can have while being on a shot. Often it is stressful and the pressure is always on but to us their is nothing more satisfying to have some of those magic moments captured on film (or now on a chip).

    Congrats Janine and Ron – I’m very proud knowing you personally and to be a colleague to such ethical photographers as you guys are!

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    Thanks a lot everyone, I really appreciate it!

    @ Calvin – it is hard to believe it has been that long – thanks for all your support over those years and more!

    @ Toby Best of luck with your write-tirement plan. That is how we started, with a 2 or 3 year plan.

    @ Rolf That is so true – you say it so well, thank you very much!


  5. Yes, supporting wives make the difference. Congrats to you! I’m comng up on 9 years of working for myself, though I did not leave a secure job & naively jumped into photography full-time. We all have a different ways of getting to where we are currently, but risk is part of it. My dad always told me that life is a 1-way trip, so make the most of it!

  6. I keep important quotations from notable persons, Ron, and they often give me the reassurance I need. Here’s a couple that are apropos:

    “Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run that outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller

    “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” William Shed

    “Nothing is one hundred percent risk free – nothing. But the gain to be made is worth that risk.”
    John Glenn

    Congratulations on eight years! You’re an inspiration to me, and I envy the lifestyle you have created alongside your work. You ought to be proud.

    Amazing rim light on the wolves!

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    @ Jon – That is so true – no two paths are the same. Thanks!

    @ Michael Those are great quotes – thanks a lot Michael!

  8. Twelve years ago I left my job working in a camera shop/photo lab to pursue my dream to be a dog musher. I’ve never regretted my decisions and glad to hear you feel the same.
    I posted this quote by Teddy Roosevelt to my Facebook page yesterday – it is one of my favorites –
    “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumph, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy or suffer too much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat” – T.Roosevelt

    Another favorite is Norman Vaughan’s life motto -” Dream big and dare to fail.”

  9. Ron, the wolf picture, backlit in gold, is exquisite. I’m glad you took the leap into photography full time — you’ve got way too much talent to squeeze into an ordinary 8-hour per day job. I really enjoy your images. Here’s to your next eight years!

  10. LOVE that wolf photo, and I can’t imagine you doing anything but photography. Now I just need to find a supportive wife…wait, can husbands work the same way?…so I can pursue my dream. Oh yeah, first I have to come up with a dream, too!

  11. Congrats, Ron! I couldn’t agree more and for that reason I’ve already put the wheels into motion to head up that road myself right now.

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    Thanks for more great comments!

    @ Karen Great quotes – Norman Vaughan was the man! Your success on the Iditarod Trail is sure something to be proud of!

    @ Ken – thank you very much!

    @ Amy You are funny. I think you have a dream life now!

    @ Mike – Thanks – I look forward to following your success.

    @ Dennis – Thanks. I hope you see wolves as well – it is an amazing thrill!

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