The beautiful part about photography - and with life, if you want to get all "kitsch philosophical" about it - is that we are all different. Different things appeal to us more than other, we have different hobbies and interests, we prefer different climates or locations over others, etc. While others may not find it particularly appealing, I can't get enough of working in restaurants (as a photographer). Something about being around kitchens, wait staff, bartenders, chefs, food, booze, and a restaurant's atmosphere makes me feel at ease. It's not for everyone, but it doesn't have to be; it just has to work for me.
I had the pleasure of meeting Justin Marshall, bartender and community manager for Chez Billy, a while back, where we got to discuss social media thingies, as well as the restaurant scene and more. It was a really cool meet up and I was stoked to find out he took over their social media platforms, which he has already utilized to the fullest. Meanwhile, Chez Billy is looking to update their website and wanted new photos. Since I kind of sort of absolutely, 110% LOVE shooting restaurants and bars, I was looking forward to shooting there!
Walking around the kitchen and the dinning room (and the balcony. and the patio. and the bar. and the... you get the point) was such a breath of fresh air. As much as I love shooting weddings and events for the Marine Corps, having a restaurant gig thrown in there reminds me of my roots. Where I came from. And how much I appreciate what I do. Don't get me wrong, I had some good times when I worked in restaurants, but I'd MUCH RATHER be shooting photography for a living than the strenuous hours I was working back in the day. Just like food photography isn't for everyone, so is working in restaurants and living that life. I have mad respect for chefs and restaurant industry folks, so I suppose you could say gigs like this keep me humble and remind me why I love those people so much.
Meanwhile, I'm getting busy again. The ebb and flow of a photographer's schedule is simultaneously humorous and aggravating. If you're looking to schedule some free time, then the clients come a-knockin' and your calendar fills up. If you're hoping to book a shoot for every day of the week, then you will be left with a lot of free time. Go figure.
As much as I'd like to say I've taken this to mean I should blow off attempts in picking up business like trying to play it cool by ignoring the pretty girl at the dance and restraining yourself from asking her out, I still approach, squeaky voice and all. Working on new marketing materials, networking, and more... it's a never-ending grind. Sounds like it's paying off, as I'm gaining more gigs a week than I was before. Who would've guessed that putting yourself out there more gets you more business?
Because of the work with the Marine Corps, I've been... content. I've been very fortunate with the work I'm doing for the Wounded Warrior Regiment, but as a result and only until recently, I haven't felt the desire nor the need to push for other gigs. But in typical Patrick fashion, once I get into a rhythm, I start to itch for a change, and that change has occurred in the form of shooting a wider variety of things. Does this mean I'm going to start shooting editorial gigs? Start creating photography projects? Who knows.
At the moment, the coffee is already wearing out, so to prevent more rambles from happening, I will end it here. I will say, however, that updates regarding weddings and food photos are due, plus my latest film foray. So many things. Like woah. (woah)
Until next time,