I don't normally write anything on here about what I do when I'm not writing, because I do do other things apart from writing. In fact, the writing just fills in gaps between the other things I do. Apart from cooking, cleaning, shouting at a small dog and generally irritating my wife, my main other occupation is photography.
I don't think I'm a great photographer by any means. That's not just the old false modesty thing, you know, when someone goes "Golf, eh? Never been much good at it," right before they hit a hole in one and look smug. I'm talking about an honest technical appraisal of my own capabilities and my ability to operate the cameras I have.
I've owned DSLR cameras for about 8 years now and like most things in life I've played with them sporadically. I always shot with natural light mainly because I didn't know how to use a flash. But since the start of this year, a kindly chap has taken me under his wing and taught me an awful lot about how to do good photography and really it's not that hard. Most people go wrong because they're scared of all the buttons and settings, but if you take your time and learn what they all do and then do a bit of reading on how it all works then you will find yourself coming on leaps and bounds.
As a case in point, at the start of the year I was bumbling through weddings barely understanding what I was doing. Now I can shoot a full wedding, process the images, print and deliver them to a client and have them turn around and say how much they like the pictures.
It's that last part that made me write this. It's so nice to see people comment on a picture and say how much they love it. The praise is not directed at me; there's nothing to say who the photographer was. Instead, what they like is the mood and the emotion of the image, and that's what I strive to shoot. I'm not technically the best but I like to think I can capture how people feel, and when they come back and comment to that effect, it makes me feel like I've done a good job.
That said, I'm still learning the trade, and I will use the rest of this year to improve my skills. Next year, though, I'm going to be taking off and making some good money doing something I really enjoy, and you can't ask for more than that, can you?