Last year Ian and I took a month out to travel around Australia and New Zealand. Whilst in Queenstown we did a bungy jump; standing on that bridge and looking down was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. But we realised that standing on the bridge is the scariest part, what comes next is the good bit. It’s scary. But good scary. So we soon realised that you can stand on the bridge and wonder what comes next, or you can jump and find out. If one of us needs to make a decision, it seems a bit scary and we’re not quite sure where it will lead, we call it “standing on the bridge”.
So, this time last year I was in Australia. Sydney to be exact. It was 30 degrees and whilst Ian and I were sat having breakfast one morning, we saw the news of the torrential weather and floods back home. We couldn’t believe it; it was like we were worlds apart. Home was being flooded and Australia, especially Adelaide at 40 degrees, was experiencing their hottest, driest spring in years.
The month long trip around Australia and New Zealand gave us time to reflect on areas of our life that we weren’t happy with. I’d jumped around from job to job for a number of years but only ever been really happy teaching aerobics. So when I left the industry due to injury and illness I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere anymore. I was lost and unhappy. Knowing what “job satisfaction” was, loving going to work and constantly bouncing around the living room choreographing new routines was what I loved and what I knew – inside out. I kept up my day job in an office, and evenings and weekends were spent studying Interior Design. After qualifying as an Interior Designer I went back to college and studied CAD. Once qualified in CAD I changed jobs (again!), and got a job as a CAD Operator designing Anti-Vandal Accommodation. I hated it. I planned on keeping the job for six months, just to get experience and then move onto something better. Many job interviews and two and half years later I was still there. Eventually the company got into trouble, many people were made redundant, the company was bought out and people hung onto the last little bit of hope that their jobs would be saved. I however jumped ship.
I made one last ditch attempt to head back to the fitness industry – the place I loved and knew so well. Unfortunately due to joint problems I couldn’t go back to teaching Aerobics so I decided it was about time I used my qualification as a Personal Trainer. Being qualified for the past decade I’d never really done anything with it – yes it came in handy for my aerobics and work as a Fitness Instructor, but now it was time to put it to proper use. I hated it. There was no job satisfaction. It wasn’t teaching aerobics. I quit and spent the next year studying web design and working from home maintaining websites. I hated it. I’d had a car accident 5 years previously and I finally got my compensation money through, so Ian and I decided to take a month out and head over to Australia and New Zealand. I got made redundant a matter of weeks before we left, so it was the ideal time to take time out and re-evaluate things.
After studying photography at college and then again for a while at University I decided it was about time to invest in a decent camera before we went so I could document our trip. The whole time we were away it never left my side – it was like a security blanket! From Brisbane to Melbourne and everywhere in between it was there. It was there and then I realised that after spending 10 years hopping from job to job and studying numerous things photography was the one thing I always came back to again and again. Doh!!
We returned home in December 2009 and in February 2010 I booked onto a Wedding Course at Annabel Williams (now Aspire Photography Training). The course was taken by Lisa Aldersley and I loved it. Every. Single. Second. I left feeling inspired and the following month I was second shooter on my first wedding. I never looked back. I started doing my own work in between and then realised that I wanted this for myself. I didn’t want to work for someone else. This was my new aerobics. It wasn’t long after that I discovered the Bespoke course, especially for photographers who want to fast-track their business. Photographers who want to get up and running as fast as possible complete with full business support and training from some of the top photographers in the UK! By the skin of my teeth I managed to enrol about two weeks before the new intake. Newly branded as Aspire Photography Training, I can safely say this is the best thing I’ve ever done. Yes, it’s been difficult at times, but let’s face it, the best things in life are worth fighting for!!
So here I am, six months into Bespoke, surrounded by a major support network of many people including some wonderful photographers. I have many photoshoots behind me and many more ahead of me (the next one is on Sunday actually!), and I wouldn’t change things for the world. Also, I’ve been sat writing marketing letters all morning whilst still wearing jim jams! Working for yourself and from home does tend to have some perks!! So although I’m not currently snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef or Skydiving in Queenstown, Australia and New Zealand put me where I am today. Taking a month out to travel and re-evaluate things simply changed my life.
So although for me, photography is the new aerobics and at times it’s been quite scary – it’s all been good scary…..and although I actually made the jump a while ago, I’d still like to welcome you to my bridge…..because there’s always another one to jump off!Filed under: Personal