When I made the leap into being a freelance professional photographer, I felt pretty confident in my photography. Being out in the world with a camera in hand was my happy place but I quickly discovered that there was a lot more to it than that. From taxes to marketing, there have been a million things to learn. It’s been two years and a half years and I’ve been slowly figuring things out.
I had been contemplating the Canon 16-35mm and Canon TS-E 24mm lenses for sometime and finally had an opportunity to rent them. At the end of 2018, I got asked to photograph the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago and there wasn’t a stringent creative brief involved. Since most of the images would be indoors, I figured the two lenses would be perfect to test out on the interiors against my usual Canon 24-70mm.
My love for hotels is a bit irrational and totally intense. I’ve learned that suggesting a different hotel for each night of a trip is the fastest way to get planning rights taken away so I strategically suggest 3 to 4 hotels per trip and try to add on as many hotel shoots to each trip as I can reasonably add in.
At the end of 2018, I contributed a couple of articles to other sites. Working with clients as a photographer isn’t exactly second nature to me by now but I generally know the way projects will flow. As a writer, I’m still very much a bumbling beginner. I only know how to write like myself.
The first 2 days in Mexico City, Eli and I found ourselves feeling underwhelmed. All the recommendations we received for the trip were extraordinarily enthusiastic. The emails we got were all caps with lots of exclamation points. A few folks may have even uttered the words “best food city in the world”. It gave us unrealistic expectations.
For a year, I was responsible for all of the imagery, social media and digital presence for 8 restaurants. It was a bit of a impossible job because it is incredibly difficult for one human to be in 8 places at once. Either way, I did it and did it decently well and so to this day I still get emails asking if I’d do the photography and social and digital for this restaurant or that bar.