compulsive photography

Ibooked the domain name “compulsivephotography.com”, several years ago, January, 21, 2007 to be exact. I never did anything with it until now. I’m not sure I remember exactly what I wanted to do with it back then, but that name sounded right to describe how photography came to me, because I wasn’t really looking to become photographer. After my studies in multimedia and web development I’ve worked as developer for more than six years, building websites and online applications became my daily routine.

During that time, photography was just a hobby, something I was doing on my free time. Then I bought my first DSLR, the Canon EOS 300D and that’s how it started. I’ve learned almost everything with that camera, using the manual mode and trying all possible settings with no cost thanks to digital! I like to learn things by myself and that first DSRL was perfect for that. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures, I was stopping on the road on my way home to take pictures, that’s when it started to become compulsive.

A few months after, I started a photoblog during two years (called: sakana blog) to share and get feedback on my pictures, it attracted quite some visitors and allowed me to get some visibility at the time. But photography was still just a hobby, a passion, until a few colleagues and friends told me that I should try to make some money from my pictures, at least to be able to buy more material… so I thought about it… cause we all know that photography is a damn expensive addiction!

In order to play safe, I kept my fulltime job as web developer and started on the side as a freelance photographer. As you can expect my first contracts were almost all weddings. But a wedding is good when you start, cause it pays for the hardware, the lenses, the accessories and you can quickly evolve. After the first three years doing almost only events and weddings I got some more “commercial” requests but it was not enough to make a living out of it. That’s why I kept working as web developer for three more years, until one morning, I woke up and I thought

“if I don’t try it now, I’ll never do it and I will regret it, so let’s take the risk.”

After that, some friends eventually took care of kicking my ass in order to be sure I wasn’t coming back on my decision and  indeed, despite the fear to fail, three months later I gave my resignation letter to my boss and I established myself as a fulltime freelance photographer. Taking that decision was more psychological than financial, it’s when you accept the idea that you can eventually fail that you really start to climb without looking down.

Today, it’s been almost one year and half that I’m living from my passion, that’s a real dream coming true. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy everyday and the first six months you better have some self-control not to panic and give up. The way I see it, day after day, it’s better and better, each job allows you to learn something new and everything you learn gives you the experience you need to get another contract. Of course, all jobs are not great or kick-ass and when you start you can’t just pick the contract you like, you have to take whatever you can in order to be safe financially speaking. You can’t act as a luxury bitch from the start…

Anyway, even if you have the chance to work on great and interesting projects, there is always a risk, when your passion becomes your job, that sooner or later you will eventually hate it. That’s why you have to keep working on personal projects, getting the stress, the clients and the boring projects out of your head and just work on something you like without any pressure or deadline, with just your passion.

This blog is my way to get back to the roots where it all started. When it was just about sharing something I like. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Xavier.

Lisbon, Portugal
21 December 2012 at 10:32 am

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
1/80s at f/8
iso 200

 

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6 comments on "compulsive photography"

  1. Just received you email…
    It’s about time and as far as I can you still talented, that’s a good news! :)

    Regards
    PaKaL . VISION

  2. I remember visiting your blog and I am happy you are back. I also had a photography-blogging hiatus of a couple of years and I didn’t realize I was missing it until I restarted my blog a couple of months ago. I’ll make sure to keep visiting your site, and good luck with your commercial activity.

  3. Hey Xavier!

    Glad to know you’re back! Loving the website and the photos! I miss the good ol’ photoblog days.

    Cheers,
    F

    • Hi Filipe,
      Thanks for your message. Glad to be back! I was missing it too.
      I saw your wrote a review about the x100, can’t wait to read it.
      Regards,
      Xavier.

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