On knowing when to let go.
In reality, I haven’t worked as a freelance photographer in any substantial capacity since March 2020.
Note: I can't quite believe it, but on May 7 it was the one year anniversary of this newsletter. A WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR. That well and truly snuck up on me. I remember being so worried initially - if I’d be able to write at all, if I’d even be able to keep it up. I had no idea that I'd be doing it professionally a year on… Things change so quickly.
All my thanks and love to each of you who have read or liked or shared, I can’t express enough how much I appreciate you all x
This month I publicly announced* (*sent a tweet out to the world and hoped for the best) my decision to move to freelance writing full-time and leave behind my ill-fated attempt at freelance photography.
In reality, I haven’t worked as a freelance photographer in any substantial capacity since March 2020. Behind the scenes, nothing will really change. Truthfully, I probably should have shared this news a while back but I never felt ready to fully let go of being a freelance photographer, not ready to give up the exciting new identity that I was building for myself.
It feels a bit like an unwanted break-up; having to move on but really not wanting to, clinging on to something that felt like it had only just started to grow strong legs.
I’m lucky to have been able to shift to other, remote work and keep mostly afloat, but I feel a heavy sense of loss for what could have been, my chance to finally build a professional career in photography, something I had been thinking about since I first picked up a camera over a decade ago.
Now, despite the tentative hopes and vague light at the end of the tunnel, I realised it’s still going to be a long, long time until I feel that it’s safe enough to risk going out for work.
While I still count myself as a photographer at heart, and I still have a website and I’m still working on personal projects, I have to move on to what works.
That means changing bios, removing “freelance photographer” in all my profiles, changing my email and email signature, changing the information at the bottom of this newsletter... all the usual, normally exciting admin involved with starting up a new initiative. I’ve been slow to do it, procrastinating over each tap of the backspace key.
That’s not to say that I’m not excited about what’s to come. Writing has been another dream for some time, preceding the photography dream in fact; I always wanted to be a writer way before I ever even knew what photography was, and it’s only in recent years that I realised it’s the storytelling that I love, whether it’s in the words or the images.
(And, ultimately, the tweet helped: I got an incredibly exciting book review commission directly from that. Another lesson in putting your hopes and dreams out there, as nerve-wracking as it is!)
My long-term plan is to try again when things calm down completely. If I’m being optimistic that could be a year, but it could easily be many more than that.
The thing is, so much can change in a year, or two, or three, and that’s what scares me. I’m making space for another dream, and maybe I’ll never look back.
On Being Alone
“I like the way ravens preen each other, the thoughtful, intimate touches; the way their beaks sometimes rest against each other. But how striking is the one alone in the sky, cut out of a shadow and suspended above the earth?”
Like Thandiwe Newton, I want to embrace my full name in all its glory
”Having names carelessly handled – even taken away from us – has an effect on one’s identity. It can feel like something is being slowly wiped away, leaving you feeling like a faded sketch of a person, not fully realised.”
“I felt isolated from the photography world and I was struggling to connect to my Bolivian roots. It’s natural for people who have lived outside of their country for a long time to come back and find it difficult to relate to it.”
A little about me
I’m a freelance content writer based in London working in the creative, travel, and digital media sectors.
I enjoy telling stories about adventure, the outdoors, and particularly women in these spaces. By night, I’m a portrait and documentary photographer.
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