My Day Job...

…and how photography has crept in and become part of what I do for the company, not only my boss, my client too.

I am sitting here on a plane waiting to take off, they just announced that there is a maintenance delay, it may be an hour, maybe more?  Thats fine, it gives me time to reflect on the job I just finished.  I shot high speed video of a paper product coming off the rollers of the machine that makes it.  The paper goes by so fast and we needed to shoot very fine detail images for making measurements.  So I had two high speed camera set up with macro lenses set up right under this machine.  I had done some tests in our lab before the trip to make sure it would work.  Got great test images, man thats cool, I’m all set.  Then I get there, it was hot, humid, and so dusty that I had to not only clean the lens off just before each sequence of images, I had to clear the dust off the lights too.  I didn’t even notice the conditions being that bad, my coworker and our contacts commented on how hard my part of the work was.  It is? I said that I hadn’t even noticed, I was having so fun fighting the conditions trying to get the best images I could, I was loving it.  Wow, I thought, its like I’m not even working at all.  Its not to say the work wasn’t hard, I struggled to get the focus dead on, get enough light for a shutter speed low enough to keep the detail that I knew was there and was critical to the success of this job.  All morning I was so focused on getting the right combination that I didn’t even know it was lunch time, I was pushing the limit of the cameras and lights that I had with me and was still not happy with what I had, but I knew I could do it.  And when we started back up, I hit it and got the images that I knew we needed.  OK, now the pressure was off, now the customer was excited about the images, really excited.  I was still wanting more, but at least it was in the bag now, but as I pushed more and more through the afternoon the images just kept getting better and better, by the time I was done I was happy with the results and felt a calmness, what a satisfying trip this was, it wasn’t easy, but that’s what makes it so amazing when you pull it off.


But wait a minute, how did I get here?  Am I a professional photographer?  No, not yet, well maybe, that line is starting to blur.  See, I love photography, making images and telling a story with photos.  But I didn’t know how to do it full time, still don’t, but I still need to make a living.  That’s ok, I can still enjoy photography as a hobby and maybe I will one day find a way to incorporate in to my live more and more as I grow, will I ever be a full time photographer?  Only time will tell.  I am working for a mechanical engineering company now, and its really a great place to work.  I like the work, the people and how the company is setup, but it’s not a place where a photographer could find a place to shine, or is it?  The owner of the company is Bill, and he has seen the passion I have for photography and found a place where he can use my talents and allow me the opportunity to develop my interests in a professional setting thru the use of high speed video.  Then recently he came to me and wanted to get a portrait taken for a more professional look when he has to submit a photo to various places.  This is getting interesting. Now I am bringing photography in to my day job, and now it’s on my terms, the kind of photography that I want to do, it’s amazing.  Shortly after his portrait, I got the opportunity to do portraits for the rest of the company.  I still do many other thing for the company, but from time to time, I get to do what I really love, and on those days, I am a professional photographer and its not like work at all, its exciting and now I want it even more.  It has be a long journey to this point, and I still feel like I am just now at the being of this wild ride, that is about to take off and I its time to just hold on and really start working hard to realize my dreams, they don’t have to be just dreams, and I now know that.