One of the toughest aspects of starting this new venture is the sudden lack of daily structure. The transition from employed to self-employed presents a starker contrast than I’d anticipated. The rigors of my morning commute have disappeared completely, replaced by a meticulous coffee-making ritual after which I chase the housecat back and forth across the apartment until we’re both exhausted.
Then, instead of sitting at a desk in an office and sorting through my daily emails and getting my workflow flowing, I sit and narrow down a vague list of dream tasks I set out for myself the night before. And I quickly get bored. And I wonder what I’m doing. And I worry that the real professional photographers—the ones who have their shit together and field calls from clients and book shoots and make money—I worry that they would find my current ambitions curious and amusing.
I do not want to fall into despair so easily. So I read and I get out of the apartment and I try to accomplish some tasks, some things I can point to at the end of the day to rationalize the fact that I have yet to seriously think about preparing a résumé or looking at job listings.
Last week, when I heard the dense fog advisory first went into effect, I knew where I’d be the following morning. Some time at the lakefront would lift my spirits. I had a project. A purpose.
And so I went. And I wandered about cloaked in fog, fall foliage crunching underfoot. I brought my tripod, which I rarely use, so that I would slow down and focus on what I was doing. I picked my way along the shoreline, setting up at several spots along the way. The fog was not as thick as I'd hoped. But it was early on a weekday and there were hardly any people out. This peaceful morning was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate myself. Just me and my camera, wandering about, capturing and cataloging these soft scenes.