When I started off in photography, I had a somewhat blurry idea of what within the field I wanted to pursue.
I always knew where my major interests lay, but at the same time the more practical side of my personality kept telling me to also look at the stuff that could be potentially lucrative.
Eventually, I started where any photographer starts - at the bottom, doing anything and everything to add to my portfolio.
I viewed every assignment as a means to an end. Everything I got was a way for me to learn more about my style, my camera, and establishing a rapport with my clients.
I have so far worked with clients I've wanted to work with. I didn't have to 'serve the man' so to speak, and do work I would hate, which is something I've gotten lucky with.
My very first gig was a stroke of luck, combined with the fact that it was something I was genuinely interested in. The more I worked with these guys in different situations, the more I had to explore my instrument and experiment, while still show on the outside that I knew what I was doing.
My most recent ongoing gig has really led to a spike in my growth curve. I've been working in an environment that's so high pressure due to the nature of the gig that my focus has to be spot on. Between the music playing loudly, the drunken crowd, and the dim lighting, I really need to bring out my A game each and every week.
It's challenging, but extremely fun, and I look forward to it every week.
I gain tons of pleasure out doing the work I love, but there's a part of me that wants to do more. There's so much in photography, and there's so much that I don't know that I want to learn about.
When I started off, I never saw myself doing something in fashion or food, for instance. But both those are now starting to seem very appealing to me, because of the nature of the work.
Fashion requires you to really get close with your subject. It's going to force me to bring something out in myself that's going to bring out what I want in my subject.
With food photography, I know I'm going to need something different, technically speaking. I'm going to have to show my knowledge about my camera, and bring that out.
I don't view anything now as being lucrative or not. Everything has become interesting to me, and I'm extremely excited to start expanding my horizons.