For close to a year now, I have devoted my life to photography with the intention to make a living out of it one day. In this blog post I would like to focus specifically on the 1st of January until the 30th of June 2016. The first half year of this journey, which I spent travelling. I would like to give you an honest and genuine idea of the challenges I faced, some of which I have overcome and some still present. I also learnt a few very valuable lessons I would like to enlighten you about. I would like to look at this half year not only from a photographic perspective, but also from a personal one.
Well, I haven’t really put much thought into the whole project to start with. There was just one point in my life where I thought: hey, you are going to live for at least another few decades, do you really want to spend your time doing something you don’t love from the bottom of your heart? Having said that, I decided to give this whole thing a try and become a landscape photographer. I had quite a bit of savings from a few years of working and decided to travel the first half year of 2016. I needed a break and wanted to further explore Africa, but I also had the ulterior motive that I then have a lot of time to practice and learn photography. To me, the decision to travel for such a long time has been one of the best in my life. It was an indescribable beautiful journey. I met some of the most amazing humans I have ever encountered. Saw places I wish I never would have to leave and I am left with dozens of memories that will last forever. Also, I am somehow proud of what I did. I travelled a big part of South Africa by myself and it helped me to realize many things in life and it taught me many lessons a school class never could. So from a personal perspective, I can most definitely recommend travelling for a longer period of time to anybody. It is not only very liberating, but more importantly, it gives you time to live and learn.
The photographic perspective looks a bit different. I wouldn’t say I am unhappy with how it went, but rather disappointed in myself. I just feel like I should have had a better general understanding and knowledge of photography beforehand. Especially with the use of filters and HDR photography I would have been able to achieve much better results. Also planning wasn’t a household name to me. I didn’t scout for locations. To make matters worse, I don’t have a driver license. Africa is humongous in its size and only properly discoverable by car. Comparing my work from Africa with the one from Switzerland, which originates in the second half of 2016, I see a tremendous increase of quality. The photographs are more refined and my eye for photography has gotten better since I started photographing. Don’t get me wrong though, my photography is still nowhere near where I want it to be. On the positive side, I feel very confident editing with Adobe Lightroom and, after all, my general knowledge and understanding has grown to a very solid base. I continually have managed to grow my followers on Facebook and Instagram. I also started revising my website and portfolio, but more on that on the follow up blog post on the second half of 2016.
I don’t regret one second of this whole half year at all! Honestly. If I would have done something differently I wouldn’t be where I am today, whether personally or photographically. So even though I may have highlighted something as negative in the post at first, I ultimately see it positive. Furthermore, this journey, as I like to call it, has thought me one very important lesson that plays a huge role in my everyday life and work: motivation. I realized how much I love exploring and seeing the world and that I want my future job to basically cover that. This, and of course also my love for photography, have been the reasons that I have been working for my business nearly every day and really put everything in I have.
I think this sums up my first half year pretty well. Once the second half of 2016 has passed away, I will definitely write sort of a part two to this post as briefly mentioned. I hope this gave you an idea of what I have experienced in this first half of 2016. To give you a better visual interpretation, I attached a few of my favorite photographs from this half year. Please feel free to tell me your thoughts etc. in the comment section.
Thanks & Much Love,