Around this time most photographers usually do a yearly round up. I was thinking of doing the same but there are a number of shoots I cannot yet reveal. So this will be a partial round-up (sorta). For those who have been following me for the last 4 years (or more), thank you for sharing my journey and sticking around with me thus far.
Back in 2007, I stumbled upon Alison’s work on Flickr and fell in love with her beautiful photographs. I was documenting my guinea pigs* daily lives then with a point and shoot and even kept a blogger account in their names that hit over 10k followers *(RIP, Ginger & Wiggley, oh I kept their original names given by their first owners).
Back then, I was keen on storytelling. (I took my blog down a few months after Wiggley passed away in 2011, it was too painful to look at, especially when you receive comments from visitors how sorry they were). It still hurts today thinking about them.
Apart from guinea pigs, I was also documenting my knitting project. Because I was such a slow knitter (I really mean slow - like a pair of socks took me 2 years), my notes helped me trace back where I had left off.
When my Dad got me my first Canon 450D as a birthday present in 2008. I was adamant on using it - this was so unlike a compact camera and I felt hopeless I couldn’t get a single decent exposure. That, got me into learning photography seriously. By that I mean, seriously investing in time, effort, and money.
My parents were the first ones who saw what I could do with a camera and believed in me. It was their way of saying to me, indirectly “go work this out yourself. You know you can do it”.
Fast forward 3 years, a whole heap of $ of my own savings and hard earned money into photography (no government support/ grants, no hand-outs), for equipments, specialist workshops, travel related for workshops-shoots-what-not, mentorships, art books, working for free-for-portfolio-for-personal-projects, hiring graphic designers, testing specialist-print-vendors-custom-framers-album-makers, setting up a business, etc, I think I’ve arrived at the vision I had 3 years ago.
Took me 3 years - during this time I was on it full time, and then money in a corporate job was too good to turn down, and then back to it full time to focus on crafting my art.
I sleep, breathe, eat, speak photography. I know where I want to be in the next 2 to 3 years - the journey is long and at times it is tempted to just all it quits when sustainability of a business may be questionable. This year especially, has been tough for me.
I couldn’t have done this without and foremost, my husband’s full support. There were times when dinner was forgotten. And essential provisions like milk, toilet paper, cat food also forgotten. Not to mention having to wait for our laundry to be ready in the dryer so we can put our clothes on and look a bit more presentable. And those late nights photo editing and processing on my iMac over the week and weekends where we could have spend time with each other as a family or with our friends. Not to mention doing delivery runs on my behalf or carting my heavy equipments about on some shoots (The Donkey has he puts it). It’s a passion that not only consumes me, but also consumes my husband's life - his sacrifice in forgoing a bunch of stuff to support me so that I in turn, can tell the stories for the pets and their people who love what they see in my work and have entrusted me their time and faith so they have beautiful photographs of their beloved pets to enjoy and keep for many years to come (and just because I like to make people happy).
So this Christmas as with last and the year before that, I was going to send e-cards to save cost. But thought why not push on for yet another year of twoguineapigs’ tradition since I believe in the real thing* - in the tangible - in having something in your hands to touch, to feel, to experience. *(The most, I’ll wait till next year before I buy a new T-shirt, or have baked beans on toast for lunch, or go to the movie theatre to save up.)
For those who found this post because you have received my Christmas card - I would like you to know you are special. Thank you for your support and love this year - it means a lot to me, and my family.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have one awesome 2015!
BTW, check back in for what may be the second half of a 2014 round-up - if I get around to it that is :)