What’s Going On ?
Starting fresh. Page one. That’s what’s going on.
About a week ago I decided to jump ship on the most perfect job ever. My job. I’d been working there for close to twenty years.
Growing up I can remember wanting to be a Systems Engineer. That’s where my studies were leading to. Things didn’t turn out that way (another blog post, maybe?) and, as I discovered photography, I knew I’d found a new goal in life.
My mind made up, I went to photo school. The student body at the time was made up of mostly two groups: the artist wannabes and the photojournalist wannabes. I quickly joined the photojournalism group, as they seemed the most fun to be around, and soon enough I also knew where I wanted to work when school was done: the job I just left.
Went through photo school, tried to find an internship at the dream place, failed to do that, ended up doing my internship (7 months, no pay) at another newspaper (the competition). It was not the best of times, but I learned a lot there, met a ton of people who would play important roles for years to come, worked my butt off, made Staff Photographer, and waited until someone responsible at the dream paper noticed my work.
At the time there were a lot of magazines and newspapers around, and new ones popped up every once in a while. People moved from place to place with relative ease, and three years later an opportunity presented itself: there was a new paper in town, and a couple of photographers were leaving the dream place and moving there. I, it turned out, was considered for a position by the new editor. I, it turned out, moved to the dream place after three years at my first paper. I was 27 years old, there was no other place on earth I’d rather be. There was also no other place to go. This was it.
The Photo Desk at this newspaper was epic, all of them masters of the trade. They were always covering stories most photographers in the country could only dream about, there was always money around to go on cool assignments. We were much bigger than our country, where no one seems to read a newspaper unless it a crappy one, or a sports paper.
A few months went by and I was sent on assignment to Kosovo! Kosovo! I’d gotten as far as Madrid on the other paper! A year later I would be developing film in a bathroom in East-Timor. The following nineteen years would be a roller coaster ride, as they say, with a lot of good stories, a ton of good friends, everything I could have wished for. My dream life was coming true, every single day.
This is the place where I would grow, as a person and as a photographer. I wouldn’t be the same one if I’d spent the last twenty years somewhere else.
And where did I find myself after those twenty years ? Stuck to a desk most of the year, editor for longer than I can remember, spending most of my days looking at other people’s photos instead of my own. I was not as happy as I could be, that’s for sure. I would still get the occasional assignment, but those were far apart and had been getting shorter for a while now. Things have also been different for a while now, even at the dream place.
Close to the end of last year we were told by the management that some more cuts would have to be made. We’d been here before, sadly a few times over the years. It’s not a good place to be. This time around a generous severance package was being offered to those who would volunteer. I volunteered.
I now find myself in the freelancing position. As I will surely have a lot of extra time on my hands (No Country For Freelancers), I thought about blogging again. I will try to keep things separate, the extra geekiness contained at The Guezota Diaries and the day-to-day life of the unemployed photographer at Chevalier du Bois. I plan to share stories about the projects I’ll hopefully get off the ground, as well as stuff about the twenty-something years it took me to get here. These were really cool times, going from film to digital and from paper to online, and I was lucky to be able to live them. Very lucky.
Photography just gets us out of the house
– William Eggleston
Feel free to leave a comment below, say hi via Twitter or through the site if you have any questions or comments, or if you’d like me to cover a particular subject or theme on a future post. I’ll also keep updating my Instagram feed as usual.