It’s been two years. Two years ago, I picked up my first SLR and embarked on a new chapter in my life. I took a break from the corporate world and traveled the Caribbean for five months.
Most of that time was spent in Jamaica and also in that time, I developed a new love – a love that was under my nose my entire life but that I never stopped to notice: photography.
Last Sunday, I had the privilege of talking to a successful, published and respected travel photographer who is on staff at a major US newspaper and has been for years. The first thing he said to me – and mind you I have never met him in person – was “I congratulate you… for having the courage to step aside from the corporate world long enough to acknowledge and feed your soul.”
I was stunned. And I knew right then that I couldn’t let the occasional setback distract me from my goal. I had the right to pursue something I loved and I was blessed to even have something that I loved doing this much.
So in writing this post I decided to look at the other angle, as I look forward to the next two years: what have I achieved since discovering and pursuing professional photography? Most life coaches tell you that successful people always take the time to celebrate a milestone and take the time to list all of their achievements, big and small. It boosts confidence and dismisses that voice of self-doubt we all experience at times. I couldn’t possibly list all of the amazing cultural experiences and people I met on the road that came with practicing this art.
But as a motivational exercise for myself, and as inspiration to others who are wondering whether to pursue something they love, here is a list of some of my publication accomplishments these past two years:
- Published in Lonely Planet Travel Magazine – “Reggae On The Beach in Jamaica” Best Travel Experience Feature (Sept 2010).
- Commissioned and published by The Grenada Board of Tourism (Spring 2010) for their new website and print marketing materials.
- Hired and published by luxury, celebrity-resort La Luna, in Grenada (Spring 2010).
- Published in the UK Guardian as a Finalist in two photo competitions “Architecture” and “Chance” (April 2010 and November 2009).
- Published in the London Travel Guide by Schmapp “Eurostar Train Station.”
- Published in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper for a shot of “Jungle King” the fire eater (Spring 2010).
- Published by the Matador Travel Network, “Weekend Wanderlust.”
- Commissioned as assistant photographer for the Annual Reggae Marathon in 2008 and 2009.
- Commissioned as assistant photographer for the Annual Jamaica Jazz Festival 2010.
I look at this list now and I am humbled and thankful. I plan to push harder this coming year and get to the point where I do photography at least for more than a quarter of my time. When you really love something, the sky is the limit.
For now, I want to say thank you to all for following my work, supporting, enjoying, commenting and mostly encouraging me in my craft – whether you are a travel lover, fellow photographer or one of my wonderful mentors!
And lastly, the images I capture are truly for others to experience with me what I live on the road and to showcase the amazing cultures that surround us. So enjoy, because I have much more in store for 2011.
*Apologies for the formatting issues but am overseas and WordPress is not cooperating.