Since moving to America, I've not really worked. This wasn't really through choice at first - it took me a long time to get a green card, but since I got that late last year I've applied to a lot of companies and gotten nowhere. I seem to be stuck in a middle ground, either over qualified to do entry level jobs or under qualified to do the stuff I know I can do. So life has been rather frustrating and demoralizing of late. I know eventually I'll land something but I'm having to try different things to make money.
One of those things is photography. I'm just starting out as a professional photographer. Photography is something I've done for a number of years, but I've really fallen by the wayside with it since moving to America. My camera sat dormant for a long time, until I got the opportunity to get into wedding photography. Last weekend, I shot my first wedding as a second photographer, assisting the guy who shot my wedding.
He's very good.
I'm really not, and that's just not false modesty. I found it incredibly difficult. I shot a lot of photos and most of them were crap, both from a technical and compositional point of view. I was really disappointed, but I also learnt a lot from being so bad, about what to do and what not to do, if that makes sense. I know that if I get another go, which I should, that I will be much much better next time around. Most of the stuff I got that I was pleased with were the detail or incidental shots, but then as a second shooter I suppose that's what I was there for. I reckon I got about a 30-35% hit rate, which is okay but I want to get 45%.
Most of the stuff I've shot previously has been still life or outdoors. This was indoors in low light and I really struggled to catch things, especially when everything is happening so spontaneously. I got better as the event went on, and it's kind of telling that my best shots all clumped around the end of the day.
In addition to this, I also drew my first money this week from selling microstock photos, which are just photos you sell the rights for online. Seventy dollars from shooting still life shots. I need to get into that more and sell some more of those.
As well as this, I've done a lot of writing. In fact, right before I started writing this I reached 70,001 words to finish the first complete draft of my third novel. There's a long way to take it before it's really completed, but I'm pretty pleased with it thus far.
Now for the tricky part. In the next few weeks I'm going to put together some packages, consisting of a cover letter, a synopsis and three chapters of each of the stories I've written. I'm then going to submit these to agents, publishers and maybe magazines to see if I can do something with my writing.
I really don't know how this will turn out. It's pretty nerve-wracking even thinking about it. Most likely, I will fall flat on my face and get nowhere, but I've reached the point where I don't want to see the chance of actually doing something worthwhile with my life slip by because I didn't have enough self belief. If I'm able to move to America and marry a gorgeous blonde, how hard can it be to get a book published?
That's what I want to find out this year. I'll let you know how it goes.